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'It's a good change': Hoiberg happy with rule change as one-time transfer exception becomes official
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HUSKER MEN'S HOOPS

'It's a good change': Hoiberg happy with rule change as one-time transfer exception becomes official

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Nebraska Northwestern Basketball

Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg talks to his team during the second half of a game against Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., on March 7.

Count Nebraska men's basketball coach Fred Hoiberg among those in favor of Thursday's landmark decision by the NCAA to make the one-time transfer exception uniform across all of college sports.

"I think it's good. I think it will give some consistency now for the transfers that are moving on, that you have the ability to play right away," Hoiberg said Thursday. "I think it's a good change."

The Division I Council adopted the new legislation Thursday, meaning athletes in some of the most visible college sports — football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball and men's ice hockey — can now transfer from one four-year institution to an NCAA Division I school without having to sit out a year.

One-time transfers already exist in every other college sport. The new rules will go into effect for this fall if, as is widely expected, the legislation is ratified by the Division I board of directors on April 28.

Some of the main points of the new legislation:

* An athlete must transfer from a four-year institution to a Division I school.

* Starting in 2022, fall and winter sports athletes will have a deadline of May 1 to transfer. Spring sports athletes will have a July 1 deadline. This year only, the deadline will be July 1 for all athletes.

* Transferring athletes must be in good academic standing in order to take advantage of the rule.

* Schools cannot object to schools to which an athlete wants to transfer.

* The waiver process remains in place for athletes who do not meet the one-time transfer criteria, or who wish to transfer more than once.

Nebraska has actively sought immediate eligibility waivers for many of the transfers it has brought in under Hoiberg, including current Husker Shamiel Stevenson, among others. 

NU has had varying degrees of success with the waiver process. Former Husker Isaac Copeland was granted an immediate eligibility waiver after coming to Lincoln from Georgetown. Stevenson's waiver process dragged into November of 2019 before his waiver was denied.

For the upcoming season, the rule change means Xavier transfer CJ Wilcher will be immediately eligible for NU after playing for the Musketeers last season.

As for other players with Husker ties, Yvan Ouedraogo will be immediately eligible at Grand Canyon next season, while Akol Arop and Elijah Wood will also be able to play immediately should they land at Division I programs.

Hoiberg and assistant Matt Abdelmassih, of course, used the transfer market to jump-start their rebuild at Iowa State. While Thursday's news was welcome, Hoiberg, said, it won't change the way NU goes about its business when trying to build its rosters.

"Obviously we’ve seen in the couple years that we’ve been here that we’ve taken players from all different areas as far as freshmen, junior college players, international players and transfers," Hoiberg said. "I think there’s 1,300 or 1,400 of them in the portal right now, and obviously a lot of them have very talented, unique skill sets, and are very good players.

"So we’re evaluating that constantly as all coaches and all programs do, on how you can add talent, how you can get your team better."

Contact the writer at cbasnett@journalstar.com or 402-473-7436. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.

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Husker men's basketball/baseball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

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