The announcement came during SEC Media Days where the "It Just Means More" motto took on new meaning.
"Surprised at that? Absolutely surprised at that," said Tennessee coach Josh Heupel after first hearing Thursday the NCAA had essentially just allowed athletes to transfer an unlimited number of times. "I think it only heightens the craziness to the transfer portal."
That was a first reaction to the NCAA's announcement that the Division I Council had recommended eliminating the restriction against players transferring multiple times. The NCAA Board of Directors is expected to rubber-stamp the recommendation Aug. 3.
The news comes not even a year into the NCAA's new relaxed rules for one-time transfers.
"A kid can go as many times as he wants and doesn't have to graduate? Wow," Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher told CBS Sports. "It's just open recruitment of your own players [by other schools]. Everybody can recruit [them]. That's what they're doing with third parties anyway, with agents. Agents are coming in saying, 'I can get you a better deal here.' "
The legislation was both expected and a surprise. Administrators who had seen the NCAA's grip on amateurism slip were not shocked. We are experiencing in real time the NCAA's slow, inexorable move toward a pro model. The latest example: On Friday, CBS Sports reported the Big Ten had received a demand that players receive a share of media rights revenue.
"People have to realize that, yeah, there could be a person that plays for four teams, four different years," said Ohio professor and players rights advocate David Ridpath. "At the end of the day, that's their right until the NCAA wants to sit down and collectively bargain restrictions with the athlete. There's just no other path forward now."
The NCAA Transformation Committee next month is expected to announce moves that would allow conferences and divisions to make some of their own rules. There is already the concern the Big Ten and SEC will monopolize the money, power, influence and championships in college football – at least.