The NCAA Division I Council announced Wednesday that it is waiving initial two-year counter-scholarship limits within Division I football.
Previously, teams were limited to 25 primary counters, or scholarship places, per year from high school prospects and transfers. Even if the programs are under 85 total scholarship limit, if they reach the annual limit of 25, they will not be able to sign any other scholarship players.
With the transfer portal becoming increasingly popular, the board announced in October that it had approved a one-year waiver to allow teams to exceed the 25 limit with up to seven scholarships to replace players lost in the transfer. Theoretically, the program could have reached 32 scholarships per year if seven players had lost in the transfer gate.
Staying below this 25 scholarship limit, filling out a full list of a total of 85 scholarships, became even more challenging for coaches who were less able to predict the number of players leaving their programs each year. The transfer environment has changed the way programs employ high school prospects: Schools are constantly bringing college transfers through the gate, and those players count against a 25-count primary.
In many cases, these transfers have reduced the number of scholarships available to high school prospects, despite the fact that the program may still be below the 85 total limit. This waiver will allow programs more flexibility over the next two academic years to fill out rosters and use scholarships as they see fit each year.