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DOJ announces settlement barring NCAA from enforcing transfer eligibility rule

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The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a proposed consent decree to prohibit the NCAA from enforcing its rule requiring student-athletes who have already transferred once to sit out a year if they transfer again.

The proposed consent decree, filed in a West Virginia federal court on Thursday, also requires the NCAA to issue an additional year of eligibility to certain qualifying college athletes who were previously deemed ineligible to participate as a result of the transfer eligibility rule for a season or any portion of a season.

“Free from anticompetitive rules that unfairly limit their mobility, Division I college athletes will now be able to choose the institutions that best meet their academic, personal and professional development needs. This resolution is a testament to the benefits of federal and state enforcers working together to ensure free markets and fair competition for all Americans,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, who works in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.

The agreement is subject to approval by U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey of the Northern District of West Virginia. Judge Bailey had already granted a preliminary injunction in the case preventing the NCAA from enforcing the transfer rule during the spring sports season.

Virginia is one of the 10 states that joined the Justice Department in the suit, and Attorney General Jason Miyares, who has been busy the past couple of years in a run of challenges to the NCAA’s way of doing business, made sure to tout the pending victory in court.

“The NCAA’s inconsistent and arbitrary enforcement of its transfer eligibility rule served as an illegal restraint on student-athletes’ ability to market their talent and control their education,” Miyares said. “I’m pleased that we could reach an agreement with the NCAA over its transfer eligibility rule. This agreement not only enhances the rights of student-athletes but also provides new opportunities for them to reach their full potential – both on and off the court.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].