Football and basketball coaches may be less likely to add graduate transfers to their teams under a change being considered by the NCAA.

The NCAA Division I Council is expected to vote by Friday on an amendment that would require a grad transfer to count against a team's scholarship total for two years, no matter how much eligibility the player has left when they arrive. An exception would be made for athletes who complete graduate degree requirements before the start of the second year.

The proposal targets what critics say is virtual free agency in big-time college athletics. Current rules allow athletes who have earned an undergraduate degree to transfer to another school without sitting out a season, as is usually required by the NCAA of undergraduates.

Grad transfers can be a quick fix for coaches trying to plug holes on a roster and the freedom has been a boon to athletes looking for more playing time. But some administrators say the rule has drifted away from its original intent and graduate transfers are rarely completing those advanced degrees.

"The so-called graduate degree is really not the aspiration," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "The aspiration is to be featured, and usually featured at a higher level."

Changing the rule could slow the flow of grad transfers by making coaches more reluctant to take on players with only with one year of eligibility remaining.

"Roster management is such a critical component of every collegiate coach and then to say that you're going to burn a scholarship for another year afterward, where an individual is not even playing, that's obviously a pretty high price," said former Illinois State football coach Todd Berry, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association.

High-profile quarterbacks, such as former Alabama star Jalen Hurts who is now at Oklahoma, often garner headlines when they transfer as grad students. Still, the majority of football players taking this route are far less accomplished.

Stanford coach David Shaw, whose program routinely operates below the major-college maximum of 85 scholarship players, said he would not hesitate to bring in a star-level player as a grad transfer even if it meant having a vacant scholarship the next season. But teams could be less inclined to take that hit with a lesser player.

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