Eastern Washington athletic director Bill Chaves has been named to a committee that will study Division I transfer rules, the NCAA announced this week. It’s an issue that struck close to home two months ago, when EWU quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. took advantage of the NCAA’s graduate-transfer rules to play for Oregon next year. On Feb. 9, when Adams announced his intention to transfer, Chaves said, “We are not sure that this was the actual intent of the legislation when it was approved, but it is the rule currently in place that we and potentially other schools have to adhere to. “We will continue to work through the process of this transfer based on the rule as it stands now.” Now Chaves is part of a group that could change the rule that allowed Adams to leave. Last month, the NCAA’s Division I Council Coordinating Committee appointed Chaves and 12 others to the Ad Hoc Transfer Issues Working Group. The panel’s main focus will be on graduate transfers and permission-to-contact rules. “I look forward to working with this group so that we can continue to evolve all of the issues that surround transferring from a number of perspectives,” said Chaves, who is in his eighth year as athletic director at Eastern. “There has been some very good work done by others that this group will be able to use moving forward.” Beyond that statement, Chaves said he wasn’t empowered to speak for the committee, which has yet to meet. Chaves said the panel probably would hold several meetings in the next 3-5 months. The group’s goal is to recommend changes that will be considered during the NCAA’s 2015-16 legislative cycle. A point of emphasis will be to consider whether to update the policy for graduate transfers to follow closely a new policy adopted last year for undergraduate transfers. The current policy for graduates allows them to compete immediately after transferring if they meet certain conditions, which includes getting written permission from their original school. Also, a graduate student-athlete who isn’t eligible for that one-time transfer exception may seek a waiver to compete immediately. The group will discuss whether that policy should be consistent with the undergraduate transfer policy, which requires students competing in baseball, basketball, bowl subdivision football and men’s ice hockey to sit out of competition for a year after transferring. The new policy would allow those students to request a waiver to extend the number of years they have to complete their eligibility, but they would no longer be allowed to request a waiver to compete immediately. In addition to the graduate transfer regulations, the group also will consider changes to the permission-to-contact rules. Currently, all students interested in transferring must receive permission from the athletics director at their school before another school’s athletics department can discuss with them the possibility of transferring. If permission isn’t given, students can still transfer to another school, but that school is barred from discussing the transfer or offering an athletics scholarship until the student has either been attending the new school for a year or has been withdrawn from their previous school for a year.
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