SEC to grant immediate eligibility for intraconference transfers

Josh Vitale
Montgomery Advertiser

TJ Finley originally planned to wait until June 3 to make his transfer decision because he wanted to make sure the SEC would allow intraconference transfers to be immediately eligible at their next school.

The reason the former LSU quarterback didn't wait, and instead announced on May 24 that he would be transferring to Auburn football, was because he had seen and heard enough to believe that the SEC would change its policies to go along with the NCAA's.

He was correct.

The SEC announced Thursday it will grant immediate eligibility for players transferring between two schools in the conference after a vote by the league's presidents and chancellors.

Those players would have had to sit out a year under the previous rules.

“This is an important measure to further support student-athletes throughout the Southeastern Conference,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in news release. “While maintaining the expectation that coaches and others avoid improper recruiting, this change will ensure that student-athletes who enroll at an SEC member institution will enjoy the flexibility afforded to other student-athletes across the nation.”

That is significant for multiple schools across the SEC in both football and basketball.

Finley is one of four players to transfer to Auburn since the end of 2020 season from another school in the conference. New football coach Bryan Harsin also added former Vanderbilt safety Donovan Kaufman, and men's basketball Bruce Pearl added guards K.D. Johnson (from Georgia) and Desi Sills (from Arkansas).

Another Georgia basketball transfer, Sahvir Wheeler, signed with Kentucky.

Auburn also lost a transfer, cornerback Kamal Hadden, who committed to Tennessee.

Former Tennessee linebacker Henry To'o To'o transferred to Alabama.

All will be immediately eligible next season.

Going forward, in order to gain immediate eligibility, an athlete will need to declare his or her intent to transfer by Feb. 1 for fall sports, May 1 for winter sports and July 1 for spring sports.

Josh Vitale is the Auburn beat writer for the Montgomery Advertiser. You can follow him on Twitter at @JoshVitale. To reach him by email, click here.