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Judge TRO Ruling Forces NCAA To Allow Immediate Eligibility For All Transfers

Dec 13, 2023, 3:02 PM | Updated: 3:23 pm

NCAA Transfer Waiver, Marcus Adams, BYU Basketball...

BYU basketball transfer Marcus Adams is eligible to play after a judge in West Virginia grants a TRO to the NCAA waiver rules. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – A temporary restraining order ruling has opened the door for NCAA athletes sitting out due to waiver rules to play immediately.

Judge John P. Bailey from West Virginia issued a 14-day temporary restraining order prohibiting the NCAA from enforcing its transfer waiver rules.

In August, the NCAA announced stricter rules for athletes transferring as an undergrad for a second time. The NCAA currently allows a one-time waiver for transfers to move once as an undergraduate athlete.

NCAA Transfer Waiver rules placed on Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

Seven states, including West Virginia, filed a lawsuit against the NCAA for those stricter policies. Then, on Wednesday, Judge Bailey granted the TRO, potentially changing the landscape of college athletics forever.

With this temporary restraining order, athletes deemed ineligible for the 2023-24 academic year due to transfer rules are now eligible.

Yahoo’s Ross Dellenger obtained a statement from the NCAA in response to the TRO from West Virginia.

“As a result of today’s decision impacting Division I student-athletes, the Association will not enforce the year in residency requirement for multiple-time transfers and will begin notifying member schools.”

The 14-day TRO runs through December 27.

BYU, Utah Basketball Teams Impacted

In Utah, that would impact BYU transfer Marcus Adams and Runnin’ Utes’ Deivon Smith.

Adams transferred from Kansas then to Gonzaga and landed at BYU after the transfer portal window was officially closed. The TRO opens the door for Adams, a former Top 50 recruit, to play for a BYU team that is 8-1 and No. 18 in the latest AP Top 25 poll.

Adams has dealt with injuries dating back to training camp. So even if cleared to go, it’s not a guarantee he will play right away.

Deivon Smith transferred to Utah this season and was denied a waiver by the NCAA to play earlier this month. Smith transferred from Georgia Tech to Utah after former Yellow Jackets coach Josh Pastner was let go. Before playing for Georgia Tech, Smith, a Decatur, Georgia native, was at Mississippi State.

Utah is knocking on the door of the AP Top 25 rankings after defeating BYU last week in a sold-out rivalry game in Salt Lake City.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Judge TRO Ruling Forces NCAA To Allow Immediate Eligibility For All Transfers