Transfer Release Exceptions

See this article regarding the requirement for a release per Article V, Section G, Item 1.

A student shall have the 16 calendar weeks residency requirement waived for participation in that same sport provided the student has a cumulative minimum overall GPA of 2.000 (on a 4.000 scale) from all previously attended institutions of higher learning and receives a written release from the athletics director, assistant or associate athletics director, or compliance officer at the immediately previous four-year institution.

Article V, Section G, Item 1, EXCEPTION 1: If a student’s NAIA school requests a written release from the student’s previous four-year institution and the previous institution does not respond to the request within 30 days, the written release will be deemed automatically approved, provided the NAIA institution can produce the prescribed written documentation showing a transfer release was requested. To satisfy this requirement, the NAIA institution’s request must be made via email and directed to the previous four-year institution’s athletics director, associate athletics director and/or compliance officer, including as many of these individuals as possible.

Key points of this legislation:

  • The request must be made via email.
  • The request must be addressed to the athletics director, associate athletics director, and/or compliance officer.
    • Include as many of these people as possible.
  • The requester does not have to guarantee receipt.
  • The 30 days start at the time of sending.
  • There is not a standard form or wording as long as the request is clear.
  • 30 days indicates 30 calendar days.
  • Once the 30th day has expired, the release is deemed granted (pursuant to the bylaw), regardless of future communication from the previous institution.
  • You should keep a copy of the request for future reference.


Q: What qualifies as a written release (e.g. email, fax, certified mail)?

A: To utilize the exception the request must be made via email.

Q: Who does the release need to be requested from at the previous institution?

A: The request should be directed to the institution’s athletics director, associate athletics director and/or compliance officer, including as many of these individuals as possible. That does not guarantee one of these individuals will be the one who responds to the request, but to utilize the exception in this proposal the request must be directed to as many of these individuals as possible.

Q: Is there a standard form or wording that needs to be sent?

A: No.

Q: Does the 30 days start when the request is sent? Or received? How do you know when it has been received?

A: The 30-day time period is counted from the day the email request is sent. There is no way to ensure that the request is received, particularly from an institution that has otherwise been unresponsive to the request itself. The NAIA institution is not required to be able to verify that the request is received, but is required to follow the guidelines described in the proposal to ensure the greatest possible opportunity that the request will be received by the appropriate parties.

Q: Is it 30 business days or 30 calendar days?

A: 30 calendar days.

Q: Upon expiration of the 30-day period and if the release has not been responded to, can the student be certified immediately as meeting all transfer requirements?

A: Yes. The NAIA institution should document appropriately the requested release, and save a copy for future verification, if needed. Additionally, the school should communicate appropriately with its conference eligibility chair. Just as with transfer releases that have been approved by the previous institution, the eligibility chair can determine if he or she would like a copy of the request, or if there are any other conference policies regarding certification for these situations.

Q: Does this apply to all intercollegiate students wanting to transfer to the NAIA?

A: The transfer residency period is only required for students who competed at their most recent four-year institution. For any of these students transferring to an NAIA institution, this proposed exception could apply. For any student who is transferring from a two-year institution or who did not compete at his most recent four-year institution, the residency period is not required and therefore there is no need for a written release.

Article V, Section G, Item 1, EXCEPTION 2: A student who has completed all academic requirements for graduation and who has transferred to an NAIA institution and enrolled in a graduate program, professional school or fifth-year, post baccalaureate degree teacher education program will not be subject to the residency requirement. A graduate transfer student can compete immediately at the new institution, and there is not a release or minimum GPA required, pursuant to any applicable conference rules.