Minnesota attorney general joins lawsuit against NCAA over transfer eligibility rule

Minnesota’s attorney general is joining in legal action against the NCAA over a rule that forces student-athletes who transfer schools a second time to wait a year before they can compete.

Attorney General Keith Ellison, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and attorneys general for eight other states and the District of Columbia, allege the NCAA’s rule violates federal antitrust law and robs student-athletes of an opportunity to monetize their names, images and likenesses.

“Banning athletes from competing for a year after they transfer schools a second time is arbitrary, unjust, and in my opinion, illegal,” Ellison said in a statement. “I am proud to be standing up for student athletes and fighting the NCAA’s senseless restriction on their ability to compete.”

The NCAA waived the one-year waiting period for first-time transfers beginning in 2021 but has continued to enforce the rule for subsequent transfers.

Students get five years total of eligibility in Division I athletics, and Ellison claims waiting a year “could prove devastating for athletes seeking to optimize their career and welfare by transferring to schools that better suit them.”

A federal judge in West Virginia issued a temporary restraining order in December that halted the NCAA from enforcing the rule for the 2023-24 school year, allowing second-time transfers to fully participate in winter and spring sports, court documents show.

A trial date has yet to be set.