- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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The NCAA is clearing the way for Penn State players or recruits to head elsewhere if they want to do so, and all the details are spelled out here.
For starters, any current Nittany Lion player who wishes to transfer during the 2012-13 academic year may do so and be eligible immediately, even if he makes the move during the football season (as long as he's admitted and academically eligible). The deadline for players to make the move and not face eligibility consequences is the start of preseason practice in 2013.
Here's what the NCAA says about the process of transferring and contact with other schools:
Permission-to-contact rules are suspended. Penn State cannot restrict in any way a student-athlete from pursuing a possible transfer. Student-athletes must simply inform Penn State of their interest in discussing transfer options with other schools. Before communicating with student-athletes, interested schools also must inform Penn State of their intention to open discussions with the student-athlete.
The NCAA also suspended off-campus and telephone recruiting rules from now until Aug. 27, the first day of classes at Penn State.
As NCAA officials stated Monday, any recruits who signed with Penn State in February can be released from their national letters of intent and can compete immediately elsewhere as long as they're admitted and academically eligible. These recruits also can take official visits during the 2012-13 academic year even if they used all their officials before signing with Penn State.
The "clock" for official visits will be reset at this time. The post-high school limits of five total visits to Division I institutions and one visit per institution continue to apply; however, student-athletes may begin taking such visits immediately.
The NCAA also confirms that team can exceed their scholarship limits by adding Penn State players for 2012-13 as long as "it reduces such limits proportionately in the 2013-14 academic year. For example, if one student-athlete transfers to a Division I school already at the legislated limits of 25 initial counters and 85 overall counters for 2012-13, the school will be limited to 24 initial counters and 84 overall counters in 2013-14."
And finally, a school already facing scholarship limits because of NCAA infractions, such as Ohio State or USC, may add a Penn State player as long as it doesn't exceed the limits specified in its infractions ruling. So USC can add Penn State running back Silas Redd as long as it doesn't exceed its NCAA-mandated scholarship limit of 75.
Basically, the NCAA is making it as easy as possible for Penn State players and incoming recruits to make moves.