Former Rutgers quarterback Tom Savage, a starter for the Scarlet Knights as a freshman, intends to transfer to another university. Pursuant to NCAA rules, Savage has asked for his release from Rutgers to contact other universities regarding his potential transfer.
Savage, however, has encountered a common road block – Rutgers has denied his request for a full release. According to Savage’s father (as reported by the Miami Herald and College Football Talk), Rutgers has denied Savage permission to contact a number of schools including Miami, Florida, Florida State and Michigan.
Although schools frequently refuse to provide a release to school in their conference, Rutgers has denied Savage the ability to contact the aforementioned out-of-conference schools. On balance, Keith Sargeant of MyCentralJersey.com reports that Rutgers agreed to release Savage to 17 of the 25 schools in which Savage expressed interest. Savage has filed an appeal with Rutgers and plans to contact a lawyer.
The Savage situation provides a good opportunity to examine NCAA regulations concerning the process of requesting a release:
1. NCAA regulations require a student athlete to receive a written release from his or her university before contacting other schools about transferring, To request such a written release, a student-athlete must request his or her release in writing. The university has 7 business days to grant or deny the request. If the university doesn’t act within 7 days, the request is deemed granted.
2. Should a university deny a request for a written release, the student-athlete has the right to a hearing, which will be conducted with an entity or committee outside of the athletic department. The hearing should be conducted and a decision provided to the student-athlete within 15 days. If the hearing isn’t conducted or a written decision is not provided within 15 days, the request for a release is automatically granted.
To read the NCAA regulations concerning Division I transfers in their entirety, see the NCAA Division I Manual, Bylaw 14.5 (beginning at page 175).