Big Sky Conference rescinds intraconference transfer policy

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Posted at 11:24 AM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 13:24:32-04

(Editor's note: Big Sky Conference media release)

FARMINGTON, Utah – Effective immediately, the Big Sky Conference has rescinded its intraconference transfer policy following a unanimous vote by the Conference’s Presidents’ Council during its Spring Meeting on Monday. Both the league’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and its Conference Council – which is comprised of the member schools’ Faculty Athletic Representatives, Athletic Directors, and Senior Woman Administrators – had recommended this action.

“As our membership reviewed our policy as well as the national landscape regarding the issue of student-athletes being able to transfer to another school within the same league and compete immediately, we recognized that this would be the right step for our conference to take,” Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said. “Allowing student-athletes this flexibility is in their best interests, and I appreciate the thoughtful discussion all of our constituents had that helped lead us to this outcome.”

The unanimous vote followed a deliberate effort to engage the breadth of the league’s membership, which included the formation of a working group, chaired by Weber State University President Brad Mortensen and inclusive of administrators, FARs, and student-athletes. This topic also was an agenda item during each coaches’ group postseason meeting.

“We could not be more excited as a SAAC group that the Big Sky Presidents’ Council eliminated the intraconference transfer rule,” said Justice Littrell, a graduating University of Northern Colorado football student-athlete, president of the conference’s SAAC for the last two years, and current co-vice chair for the NCAA’s Division I SAAC. “We advocated for this change to ensure that athletes in the Big Sky can transfer and compete, while also providing academic freedom and peace of mind when going through an already stressful situation in transferring. We are supportive of opening up every avenue possible for our peers to succeed, and this was a step in the right direction for all of us.”