DENVER — The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and seven state attorneys general, including Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, have jointly asked a federal judge to extend his restraining order and allow multiple-transfer athletes to compete through spring 2024.
Under the NCAA's Transfer Eligibility Rule rule, an underclassman is allowed to transfer schools once without having to sit out a year. If the underclassman decides to transfer again, they would have to sit out for a year at the new school unless granted a waiver by the NCAA.
Earlier this month, Colorado and six other states — Ohio, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia — filed a federal lawsuit in West Virginia alleging the NCAA's transfer rule violates antitrust laws. Judge John Preston Bailey on Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order, which states the NCAA cannot enforce its transfer rule for 14 days. A hearing was also scheduled for Dec. 27 to decide whether the restraining order should continue until the case is decided, according to the Colorado Attorney General's Office.
According to the Associated Press, the NCAA initially said players who competed during this two-week window would be using a season of eligibility. On Friday, however, the NCAA joined Weiser and six other state attorneys general in asking Bailey to extend his restraining order so winter and spring athletes could play without having to worry about their eligibility status.
Weiser said the request was made to address "uncertainty for Division I student-athletes, coaches and schools."
"It is important that student-athletes enjoy the freedom to pursue economic opportunities fairly and without unjustified restrictions. Today’s agreement on interim relief provides student-athletes with that freedom until we are able to litigate the issue at trial or reach a final agreement on what restrictions are justified under the antitrust laws," Weiser said in a statement. "I will continue to defend the rights of student-athletes as well as enable Colorado universities to recruit the best possible players for their teams."
If the extension is granted, the Dec. 27 hearing would be unnecessary and a trial date could be set after the academic year ends, according to Weiser's office.