Remember, Big Ten now allows intra-conference transfers to gain full scholarships

Published: April 18 2012 | 3:49 pm - Updated: 3 April 2014 | 4:54 pm in

Somewhat lost in the midst of the minute-by-minute updates involving Jarrod Uthoff is that the Big Ten now allows intra-conference transfers to receive scholarships from their second school.

Gone are the days where an athlete like Sam Okey had to pay his own way to leave Wisconsin for Iowa. Now, with a full release, an athlete can transfer from one school to another and gain a scholarship. That rule was finalized on Oct. 25, 2010 and went into effect for the 2011-12 season, which first was reported at www.thegazette.com.

“The current intra-conference transfer rule has no impact on financial aid, so a (student-athlete) could receive aid in the year of transfer and in future years,” Scott Chipman, the Big Ten’s associate commissioner for athletics communications, wrote in an email to The Gazette on Tuesday. “Under the old intra-conference transfer rule, a (student-athlete) who received athletics aid at one Big Ten institution could not receive athletics aid at a second Big Ten institution.”

However, especially in the so-called major sports like football or men's basketball, it's unlikely for schools to grant a student-athlete free reign when picking a school. So don't expect Wisconsin to allow Uthoff, a Cedar Rapids Jefferson graduate who wants to transfer, to just show up at Iowa or Indiana and, after sitting out a season, compete against the Badgers at least six times in his career. Likewise, I can't imagine Michigan or Ohio State allowing its fifth-best running back to leave for Minnesota or Indiana.

An athlete still can transfer to another school without a scholarship release but he or she loses a year or eligibility and must pay his or her own way for one year.

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