Transfer rules, explained

A lot of questions have come up since Diamond DeShields announced she was leaving North Carolina last week.

NCAA transfer rules can be downloaded in their entirety here.

Eligibility, procedures for transferring between different Divisions, and more are explained in those 35 pages.

Pages nine and ten
seem to address the rules many fans have questions about:

Know when you need to get permission to talk to another school

Written permission-to-contact

Generally, if you are enrolled as a full-time student at an NCAA or National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
four-year school and you want to transfer to a different NCAA school to play, your current school’s athletics director must give
written permission-to-contact to the new coach or member of the athletics staff before you or your parents can talk with one
of them. That is called having a
permission-to-contact letter.
You may write to any NCAA school saying that you are interested in transferring, but the new coach must not discuss transfer
opportunities with you unless he or she has received written permission-to-contact from your current school.
If your current school does not give you written permission-to-contact, another school cannot contact you and encourage you to transfer. This does not preclude you from transferring; however, if the new school is in Division I or II, you cannot
receive an athletics scholarship until you have attended the new school for one academic year.
Also, if your current school officials deny your request to permit another institution to contact you about transferring, they
must tell you in writing that you have a right to appeal the decision. In that instance, a panel of individuals from your current
school who are not involved in athletics will conduct a hearing to decide the issue.

Do not talk to another school’s coach until you know the rules about receiving written permission.

When do you not need written permission-to-contact?

In Divisions I and II, if you are transferring from a school that is not a member of the NCAA or NAIA, you do not need
written permission-to-contact.
Also, if you are now in Division III, you may issue your own release (called a self-release) to allow another Division III
school to contact you about transferring. The self-release applies
to transfer student-athletes from a Division III
school to another Division III school. For a sample self-release, go to the Division III homepage at