By Adam Hoge-
(CBS) Since the NCAA announced Monday that Penn State student-athletes can transfer without penalty, there has been a lot of confusion about what is permitted and what is not.
The NCAA released a statement Tuesday with the rules, so let’s clarify what’s allowed:
Timing of the transfer and eligibility
Contrary to what the NCAA originally insinuated, Penn State players cannot transfer at any point in their career without penalty. They have until the start of 2013 season to transfer and play immediately. There is a key exception, however: If a player participates in Penn State practices or games during the 2012 season, he is not eligible to play at a new institution this season (they can still transfer mid-season, but won’t be eligible to play until the 2013 season).
What this means:
If a PSU player wants to play with a new team this season, he needs to transfer before Penn State starts training camp August 6 or not participate in Penn State practices when they start and transfer later.
Theoretically, a player could decide not to practice/play with Penn State and wait to until later in the season to join a national championship contender. So Silas Redd could hold out for now and join a team later in the season that loses its starting running back to injury. That’s doubtful, but possible under these rules.
Players can play the entire 2012 season with Penn State and transfer in the offseason without penalty, provided they do it before training camp starts in August 2013.
Note: One report Tuesday indicated Penn State players would not be eligible to play in 2012 if they transfer to a school that has already starting training camp. This is not true. Players are eligible to play immediately in 2012 provided they don’t practice or play with Penn State first at any time this season.
Teams can exceed their scholarship limits of 25 initials and 85 counters by adding a Penn State player, but it will count against their scholarship limits next season. There is a huge exception though: Schools currently subject to scholarship sanctions cannot exceed their current limits.
What this means:
USC and Ohio State cannot go over their current scholarship limit of 75. Those schools can still accept a transfer from Penn State, but they need to have an open scholarship available to that transfer.
Informing Penn State
Players interested in transferring must inform Penn State of their intentions. Schools interested in recruiting a Penn State player must also inform Penn State first.
What this means:
Schools don’t necessarily have to inform Bill O’Brien specifically, but he has already voiced displeasure in regards to coaches that haven’t personally called him. That doesn’t mean much, but it is a courtesy.
Official visit rules have been loosened. Players can take official visits at any point during the 2012-13 academic year, effective immediately, but as usual, current NCAA student-athletes are limited to five total visits to Division I schools and only one visit per institution.
Adam is the Sports Editor for CBSChicago.com and specializes in coverage of the Bears, White Sox and college sports. He was born and raised in Lincoln Park and attended St. Ignatius College Prep before going off to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a Journalism degree. Follow him on Twitter @AdamHogeCBS and read more of his columns here.