How Long is the Transfer Portal Open?

The college football Transfer Portal is an online database that enables players to explore their options and transfer to another school without losing their eligibility or scholarship. It also allows coaches to contact and recruit players who have entered the portal legally.

So, how long is the college football transfer portal open? And what are the new rules and dates that players and coaches need to know? Here is a timeline of the transfer portal and its implications for the 2023-24 season and beyond.

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How Long the Transfer Portal Is Open

In 2018, the NCAA established the transfer portal to simplify the transfer process and provide players and schools with more transparency and freedom. However, alongside NIL, the portal has also caused confusion and controversy by altering the deadlines and dynamics of player movement in college football.

The Fall Transfer Period

The official transfer period for the fall semester of 2023-24 academic year is from December 4, 2023, to January 2, 2024. This is the first of two transfer portal windows that the NCAA introduced in 2021 to limit the number and duration of transfers. The aim is to provide more stability and clarity to the programs and the players.

MORE: What is NIL?

During this period, players who want to transfer must notify their current school’s compliance office. The office will then enter their name into the portal within 48 hours. Once their name is in the portal, any coach from any school can contact them. They can offer them a scholarship or a spot on the roster.

Players can withdraw their name from the portal anytime if they have not signed a financial aid agreement with another school. They can also enter the portal multiple times if they have not exhausted their eligibility or used up their one-time transfer exception.

Players who transfer to another school must sit out one year before playing unless they meet one of the following criteria.

  • They are a graduate transfer, meaning they have completed their undergraduate degree and have at least one year of eligibility left.
  • The NCAA grants them a waiver based on specific circumstances like hardship, health, or safety issues.
  • They are eligible for the one-time transfer exception, which allows a player to transfer once without sitting out, as long as they have not transferred before and are in good academic standing. This exception applies to players who transfer after the 2020-21 academic year.

The Spring Transfer Portal Shutdown

The NCAA has implemented two transfer portal windows in 2021 to create a break and a buffer between the fall and spring transfer periods. The second window, which runs from January 3, 2024, to April 14, 2024, is now closed.

During this period, no new players can enter the portal, and no new contacts can be made between players and coaches. However, players who entered the portal before January 2 can still transfer after that date if they have not signed a financial aid agreement with another school.

The purpose of this period is to give players and coaches time to evaluate their options and decisions without disrupting or distracting the spring semester and spring practice.

The Spring Transfer Period

The official spring transfer period for the 2023-24 academic year will take place from April 15, 2024, to April 30, 2024. This is the third and final transfer portal window for the year, and it is similar to the fall transfer period except that it is shorter and more restricted.

During this period, players who want to transfer must notify their current school’s compliance office. The compliance office will enter their name into the portal within 48 hours. Once their name is in the portal, any coach from any school can contact them and offer them a scholarship or a spot on the roster.

Players can withdraw their name from the portal anytime if they have not signed a financial aid agreement with another school. They can also enter the portal multiple times if they have not exhausted their eligibility or used up their one-time transfer exception.

Players who transfer to another school are required to sit out for one year before playing unless they meet certain criteria. However, there is a significant difference between the spring and fall transfer periods regarding the deadline for the one-time transfer exception.

If players wish to use the one-time transfer exception, they must enter the portal by May 1, 2024, or they will lose their eligibility for the exception. This implies that they will have to sit out for one year before playing unless they are a graduate transfer or receive a waiver.

The deadline is intended to discourage players from using the one-time transfer exception as a last-minute option and encourage them to make a more informed decision earlier.

The Fall Transfer Portal Shutdown

The Transfer Portal will be closed for three months, starting from May 1, 2024, until August 1, 2024. This is the fourth and final transfer portal window for the year, and it is similar to the previous shutdown period. However, it also applies to the players who entered the portal by May 1.

MORE: College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

During this period, no new players can enter the portal, and no new contacts can be made between the players and the coaches. However, players who entered the portal before May 1 can still transfer after that date if they have not signed a financial aid agreement with another school.

This period is intended to give the players and coaches enough time to finalize their transfers, prepare for the upcoming season, and avoid any disruption or distraction during the summer semester and the fall camp.

The Fall Transfer Portal Reopens

The Transfer Portal will reopen on August 1, 2024, which marks the beginning of the 2024-25 academic year and the start of a new cycle of transfer portal windows. The rules and dates for the new cycle will remain the same as the previous cycle, but they will be adjusted according to the calendar.

College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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