ACC to allow transfers within conference to play immediately

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The Atlantic Coast Conference has eliminated its rule requiring athletes to sit out a season if they transfer within the league.

The move is the latest across college sports to loosen restrictions on transferring athletes so they can switch schools and play right away. The NCAA is moving toward making the so-called one-time exception available for all athletes.

Currently, athletes in high-profile Division I sports such as football and basketball must sit out a season when they transfer to another DI school. The NCAA was expected to vote on more permissive transfer rule legislation in January — and it was expected to pass — but a U.S. Department of Justice inquiry delayed that vote.

“The time has come for all student-athletes to have the opportunity to transfer and be permitted to compete immediately,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said. “This decision is in the best interest of our student-athletes as it allows greater flexibility during their collegiate career.”

Conferences may have their own rules for intraconference transfers that supersede NCAA rules. The ACC made the move to lift its restrictions, put in place in 1996, with NCAA rule changes still on hold.

The NCAA is expected to address the transfer rules next month.

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