NCAA clarifies transfer rules for Penn State football players
A player exodus is widely expected in the wake of harsh sanctions against Penn State.
July 24th, 2012
09:31 PM ET

NCAA clarifies transfer rules for Penn State football players

The NCAA on Tuesday spelled out how it is relaxing some rules to allow Penn State football players to transfer to other schools after the governing body of college athletics announced unprecedented sanctions Monday.

The Penn State football program, one of the top programs in the NCAA's major-school division, may be crippled by the sanctions announced Monday in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal and subsequent cover-up. The program is losing 20 scholarships a year and cannot play in postseason bowl games for the next four years, which is expected to drive many of its best athletes to other schools.

"The NCAA recognizes that current football student athletes will be negatively impacted by the Penn State sanctions," said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs. "We want to allow those eligible student athletes as much flexibility as possible while still being mindful of some of the transfer safeguards our membership has put in place."

The biggest change is that players will be able to play for their new teams immediately rather than having to sit out a year. Under normal rules, a player would have to move to a lower division to remain eligible.

As long as players don't practice or play games with Penn State between now and the start of the 2013 season, they can jump schools without penalty, the NCAA said. Incoming freshmen also are released from their national letters of intent so they can play for and receive athletic scholarships from other schools.

Coaches from other schools will be allowed to contact and recruit Penn State players until classes start at Penn State on August 27. For the 2012 season only, schools not facing sanctions of their own will be allowed extra scholarships to make room for players they pick up from Penn State.

Players will be allowed to practice with their new teams this summer while the admission process to the new schools is being completed.

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Filed under: College football • Jerry Sandusky • Penn State • Sports
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    @ Doutzen, ty. Finally someone with some common sense! To the clown who wants 2 shut down the whole college, dont be absurd! That is the craziest thing ive heard yet! What have all the STUDENTS done that they should be for? Sounds like salem witch hunt!

    July 25, 2012 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
    • soleil

      I fully agree.

      July 25, 2012 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Martin

      Not only should penn state be closed, but all the big diploma mills in the country should go the way of the dinosaurs...divorce sports from education at all levels starting in junior high, and get most of the people in college into some sort of vocational triaining and maybe the system will work better...right now higher education is an inefficient money mahine...honk honk from the you like the peronal attack?....i disagree with your idea so i personally attack you?...nice....are you from a division one school? that where you learned that?

      July 25, 2012 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. Peter

    Who gives a rats behind about their football program. They didn't get half of what they deserved. What happened is disgusting and Paterno was well aware of what was going on in his showers. He is a coward for putting his precious program before the kids who were molested by a predator he enabled and someone needs to pay. It's beyond belief how a stupid football program overrides the mission of what a university is supposed to be. I hope that Penn State and Happy Valley will forever be tainted by this scandal so that nobody ever forgets the crimes that were allowed to continue.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Boston

    This entire thing is a shame. I feel so terrible for the victims of this, but as bad as this may sound there’s only 10 of them. I can't rationalize hurting an entire college of tens of thousands under the absurd notion that the entire school was guilty of something. Everyone tells me how evil of a cover up this was, and there right it is evil, but it's still a cover up. Besides for a few top level staff no one at the college knew what was happening. Why is it ok now to punish so many for the sins of so few? The NCAA should have realized this and besides for removing Pateros wins, kept their noses out of a criminal and civil case. This has snowballed way too far.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
    • claybigsby

      " but as bad as this may sound there’s only 10 of them."

      That we know many more people have been abused by this man and dont come forward out of shame we will never know.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      no, only 10 have come forward, PUBLICLY by the time Sandusky went to trial....that doesn't count his own son....and it also doesn't count the accusations of abuse that date back to the 70's.....

      July 25, 2012 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Keith

    I see your point, however, these people didn't get to the top of their professions by not disturbing the group. They are/were type A people used to taking charge and rocking the boat.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
    • William

      Studies have shown the vast majority of football players have repressed hom-o-se-x-uality. This ends up causing trouble for them on and off the field. These represses urges spill over into their fan base. It is time for footballers to come out.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • robc

      William, please show evidence of these studies. It's a hefty claim, one that should be backed up by evidence.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • David M

      So William...what are these "studies" you refer to? Or is that just some statement you made up?

      July 25, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Oh, william - but we don't WANT them

      Football players are ugly.

      Can we have the Rugby players, instead? They're WAY cuter.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Hank

      I agree. Football players are just gay thugs.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Maria

      Football fans are also mostly gay.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. Researcher

    Before making stupid comments, one should read the report, not the sensationalism of any news report. I wonder if any of these reporters actually read the report. Obviously the NCAA didn't or they would know who Alycia Chambers, Detective Schreffler, John Miller, Jerry Lauro, karen Arnold are. Go to page 42, these are the police, social workers, DA, child protective services who cleared Sandusky in 1998. Why was Joe so interested in what these folks were going to do? Maybe he wanted to break the news to his team first that a pervert has been watching them.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Michay

      i disagree. Many of us believe the school really should be closed. It could then be used to house and help troubled children. But then, many of those attending Penn State sound like they are troubled kids.

      July 25, 2012 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Note also that the proscecutor declined to be interviewed by Freeh (thus concealing their actions)as to why the charges were dropped and Snadusky wasn't placed on a legally mandated watch list. Keith: yes these people actually do get to the top of their professions by not disturbing the group.

      July 25, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    So the message that football is not larger than the university seems to have gotten lost. These players can now transfer into another school football program 3 weeks before the semster begins...apparently they have recieved "special waivers" which allow them to apply and transfer into a new school, while a normal student would have to wait until the spring semester....yep, that's showing those universities what's important all right...

    July 25, 2012 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
    • claybigsby

      so you would like to punish a bunch of players even more than they already are for something they had nothing to do with?

      The plain fact is, football makes money. These top recruits that are going to transfer are working to make it in the NFL and could care less about education.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      No, it means that Penn State's culture has been destroyed...the students that did nothing wrong are being permitted to lessen the harm to their own lives by transferring to a better school.

      July 25, 2012 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. JanieWilkey

    I do not understand why so many of you are making the students more important than the victims!!! I think the NCAA should have done more to Penn State and shut down the football program for at least 20 years. And why would any athlete in their right mind want to attend Penn State and have any connection or association with that program? There are dozens of other universities and colleges all over the U.S. they can and will attend and get as good or better educations. NFL recruiters will still be at those football games and checking out the players no matter where they are. I wish all the whiney students would stay off the message boards if they can't find it in their hearts to put the actual victims ahead of themselves.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
    • billofrights

      I think we are making the distinction between guilty and innocent. The only convicted guilty party is Sandusky. I don't condone punishment of any kind to those that have not been convicted of the crime. When and if the convictions are handed down by a court of law, then let the appropriate punsihments be doled out. That is the way it works in the U.S., right?

      July 25, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Martin

    Start a minor league football program and get that nonsense out of college fact, get 90 percent of the 'students' out of college is all about credentialling today and has nothing to do with learning...close the whole damned school for all the good that comes out of the place.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
    • gtr2011

      Martin – there is countless good that comes from Penn State. Hundreds of thousands of alumni living productive lives in their communities all over the world, Dr. Craig Meyers (I'm guessing you don't know who he is), Thon (guessing you don't know this either), Uplifting Athletes (definitely not this one).....the list goes on an on.

      July 25, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    Evidence shows the athletes could have possibly known about the goings on at the school. Shouldn't they be punished too? Why should they be rewarded just because they are young? Being a young footballer shouldnt automatically mean they deserve special treatment. They should be punished too.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
    • William


      July 25, 2012 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
    • billofrights

      When the evidence proves them guilty, then we can punish. That is our legal system, sometimes the guilty get off to protect ONE INNOCENT person from being wrongly convicted and punished.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. Diane

    This school has been destroyed by the NCAA. They put these restrictions on Penn State because they feel like they are
    righting a huge wrong. The problem is nobody seems to understand that the people being affected are the people that had no part in anything that happened to those children. To all you people who actually believe that the school should be shut down please "Grow Up" . Use a little more common sense if you have any. You sound so stupid. All the abuse that has gone on in the Catholic churches and I have yet to see anyone call for the end of that religion or tearing down all the catholic churches. You won't because it is stupid just like the idiotic comments that are being posted here.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. GeorgeBos95

    The NCAA has used a neutron bomb to shoot a few flies. They've reduced the number of slots for players by one team's worth, and this will now impact players at other schools as well.

    So not only is this impacting the innocent student athletes at Penn State, but many others far removed from the crimes.

    The NCAA has failed to consider just how many other innocent people they're harming, and have wreaked more havoc on more people than Sandusky and Paterno ever did.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Buinesses fail all the time and people are laid off due to no fault of there own. State Penn treated its football team as a buisness. It failed and now the employees have the chance to go to a new team. That is life in the real world, get over it.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Oscar Pitchfork

    This entire culture of sports is going to destroy what is left of our nation. We revere sports hero's as gods, spend an ENTIRELY disproportionate amount of attention, time, money and dreams on sports, and then, to make matters worse, INDOCTRINATE our little boys to be like daddy's football hero on tv.(or the sport of your addiction). Then, when the kid spends 12 years trying to be the next quarterback superstar, his dreams are crushed when he finds out that there aren't going to be 250,000 starting quarterbacks that season. Then he ends up working at McDonalds because he didn't even THINK about doing anything else. Too much tv leads people to believe that you can actually DO ANYTHING IF YOU TRY. That's motivational-thinking CRAP! This nation has a desperate need for ordinary people. People who work 8 hours a day and raise a normal family. Like we used to, you know!

    July 25, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. ampeg

    The students at PSU have been molested twice, once by sandusky and 2nd time by the NCAA.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      How have the students at PSU been hurt by the NCAA? They can still go to school and get their degrees.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. william marcy

    I get all misty eyed when these kids that love a brutal game, and they're so good at it they get full scholarships, can now transfer to another school and be calculatingly brutal for some other coach who makes twenty or thirty times what the entire math department earns. Makes a guy proud to be 'merican

    July 25, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob Schoenberger

      You make a good point.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. Luis

    I agree Diane. All Catholic churches around the world should be closed. All priest and all practicing Cathoics should be placed in jail for life. Makes about as much sense as closing the university or eliminating the football program.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
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