The NCAA Division I council announced Wednesday stricter standards for granting immediate eligibility to college football and basketball players seeking transfers.
The NCAA implemented a new case-by-case approach to transfers last year, but it has come under criticism for inconsistent standards for granting waivers and a perceived increase in submitted requests.
New guidelines, which were reviewed and approved at a Wednesday meeting in Indianapolis, won't be considered rules but will be viewed as directions.
The guidelines "appear to specify and narrow the circumstances in which athletes should be given waivers and raise the documentation requirements to obtain them," according to USA TODAY Sports' Dan Wolken, who first reported the changes.
The NCAA previously required transferring athletes to demonstrate "documented mitigating circumstances outside of the student-athlete's control" that "directly (impact) the health, safety, or well-being of the student-athlete."
The updated language reportedly demands proof of "extenuating, extraordinary, and mitigating circumstances."
Another key change will be the tightening of waiver grants for athletes who have lost scholarships for non-disciplinary reasons or were run off by a coach. The NCAA will now require a written statement from the athletics director at the previous school confirming the athlete would no longer have a place on the team. Athletes were previously granted waivers as long as their former school didn't object.
Requests across all sports increased to more than 250 in 2018-19 from more than 150 the previous year, according to The Associated Press, while the percentage of approved requests dropped from 70 to 68.