The Presidents Council met this past week and approved some recommendations that will impact DIII volleyball.
The first is that DIII student-athletes may soon be permitted to be included in the NCAA Transfer Portal. Currently this is available only to DI and II student-athletes. This would be optional and would begin this upcoming academic year. Currently, DIII coaches and administrators only have read access to the portal. The change would allow DIII compliance directors to enter and view information about DIII student-athletes who hope to transfer to a different school. I don’t expect this to be a huge change but it will provide more visibility to the DIII student-athlete trying to move within DIII or even to DI or DII.
The council also endorsed a proposal for the 2020 Convention that would permit provisional institutions involved in year three or four of the new member process to count toward the seven institution requirement to form a DIII conference. At least four of those seven members, though, would need to be active DIII colleges or universities. We have seen a lot of movement the last two years especially to the east where schools seem to be trying to find the best fit. This has left a couple of conferences in danger of losing their NCAA automatic qualifier. I certainly sympathize but I have no issues with some of those conferences losing their AQ.
Finally, the council adjusted the waiver criteria that was relevant to graduate transfers. Currently (as of 2018), graduate and post-baccalaureate students who graduated from DIII schools with remaining eligibility could transfer and compete at another DIII school. For students outside of DIII, a waiver opportunity existed but it required students to have graduated in less than 4-years (among other conditions). The new criteria states they can be eligible if they graduated in four consecutive academic years with no breaks in enrollment and have at least one season of eligibility remaining with at least a 3.0 GPA. It should be noted that redshirt years at non-DIII institutions are counted as years played/used.
The big change to me in all of this is the transfer portal. If a DIII student-athlete wants to transfer they basically have to start their recruitment all over. The transfer portal will provide an easier way to get their name out to other DIII coaches.