The SEC altered its rules to allow immediate eligibility for intraconference transfers in light of the coronavirus pandemic by approving waivers for some players who transferred within the league, the conference announced on Wednesday.
Previously, the SEC had mandated that players transferring within the league had to sit out a year before they were eligible. Before Wednesday's change, the previous time the SEC adjusted the intraconference transfer rule was in 2018, when it created two exceptions -- one for graduate transfers and one for players on teams facing NCAA postseason bans.
"It must be stated unequivocally that these approvals are solely a reflection of the unique circumstances present and should not be interpreted as endorsement of the rationale set forth by individuals seeking these waivers," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. "These are unprecedented times in which decisions about eligibility and competitive opportunities demand consideration of the current challenges facing student-athletes and schools as a result of COVID-19. In a non-COVID environment there may have been a different outcome for some of the waiver requests determined today."
This latest modification, voted on by the SEC presidents and chancellors, means former Georgia offensive lineman Cade Mays will be eligible this season at Tennessee and former Auburn quarterback Joey Gatewood will be eligible at Kentucky. Both had earlier received waivers from the NCAA, but were waiting to see if the SEC revised its rule on in-league transfers.