Spring Transfer Portal Rules Explained (Updated 2024)

    What is the spring transfer portal, and what are the rules? Explore the regulations, dates, and conference differences in 2024.

    The spring transfer portal presents the next round of potential college football moves and marks the next milestone for regular-season football in the fall. It is the final opportunity for student-athletes to transfer to a new school to be eligible to play in 2024.

    It is the first time since the turn of the year that players have had the opportunity to enter the transfer portal, and while the spring period is expected to be calmer, it is still vital to the overall college football picture.

    The rules in the spring transfer window are slightly different from those we experienced during the winter. Let’s look at the rules and see how one conference goes further than the others.

    Spring Transfer Portal

    The spring transfer portal will mark the first time players can enter the transfer portal since the winter portal window closed for entrants on January 2, 2024.

    The time between January and April should be a quiet period, with players unable to enter the transfer portal unless they meet certain criteria. However, some players have already made their intentions known, declaring they will be entering the spring transfer portal when it opens.

    Over 2,000 players entered the winter transfer portal between December 4, 2023, and January 2, 2024.

    Although the spring window should be less utilized, some high-profile names are expected to enter, including Oregon State RB Damien Martinez.

    When Does the Spring Transfer Portal Open?

    The spring transfer portal will officially open for underclassmen on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, and close on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. This means players have just 15 days to enter. For graduate transfers, the window is extended to May 1, 2024.

    Players who wish to enter the spring transfer portal must inform their school’s compliance office, which then has two days to register the request. Players who enter will then be filed onto the transfer portal database for other schools to see and contact.

    Once their names are in the portal, they can complete their transfer at any time. A player only needs to enter the portal during those dates. However, for the benefit of the team and the player, a swift conclusion is often met to allow acclimation before the season starts.

    It is the final time before the college football season begins that all players are eligible to enter the portal, and the timing is important.

    Firstly, the portal opens towards the end of the academic year, meaning student-athletes can assess their education requirements and academic concerns better than they potentially could in the winter.

    Secondly, with spring practices underway, players can better evaluate their fit with a team. Maybe they aren’t expected to get the playing time they are searching for. Perhaps they aren’t a scheme fit with potential coaching changes. The spring portal allows athletes to consider all eventualities before making a decision.

    SEC Spring Transfer Portal Rules

    The SEC spring transfer portal rules differ a little from the rest of college football. Student-athletes from SEC schools who enter the spring transfer portal cannot move to other schools within the conference if they wish to be immediately eligible.

    If a student-athlete does choose to transfer to another school within the SEC, they will have to wait a year before being eligible again.

    When the conference adopted the spring transfer window in 2021, they added the clause that means that athletes from SEC programs who enter the spring transfer portal can only become immediately eligible if they transfer to schools outside the conference.

    Players wishing to transfer between SEC schools must have entered the transfer portal by February 2 to be eligible for fall sports. For the rest of college football, that date is May 1, the end of the spring transfer portal window.

    SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said, “The SEC has established a deadline for declaring an intention to transfer in fall sports as February 1 to create time windows that are more consistent across fall, winter, and spring sports.”

    The most recent example of the rule is from 2023, when Bear Alexander entered the transfer portal out of Georgia and transferred to USC, knowing he couldn’t attend another SEC school if he wished to be immediately eligible.

    MORE: How Long is the Transfer Portal Open?

    The rule allowed programs and coaches greater control, and the conference hopes that the restrictions will prevent the chaos of the fall/winter portal from being replicated.

    It means potential backups don’t have the option of moving to another SEC school. College football’s self-anointed premier conference believes that will be enough to prevent players from entering.

    However, critics state that the rules only see talent exit from the conference and suffocate competition.

    In 2024, that rule also applies to Texas and Oklahoma, which don’t formally enter the SEC until July. However, 247Sports confirmed that the eligibility rule will apply to them as they become full-time members in 2024.

    What Are the Exceptions to Transfer Portal Rules?

    As with any system, there are potential exceptions that can be made.

    One such exception is already being used outside of the traditional windows: a 30-day window that student-athletes can access if there is a head coaching change at a program. Numerous players from the Alabama Crimson Tide and Washington Huskies programs utilized this rule in January.

    The next key rule to note is that any player who has completed their undergraduate commitments can transfer at any point.

    It should also be noted that previously, a multi-time transfer would have to sit out a year unless the NCAA granted them a waiver. The NCAA would grant a waiver if there were mitigating circumstances, such as health or hardship-related complications.

    KEEP READING: College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    It was a complex issue that stung North Carolina’s Devontez Walker. However, after an NCAA injunction, a player does not have to sit out a year as long as they have entered the transfer portal by the end of the academic year in 2024.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

    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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