A Citadel policy on players who enter the NCAA's transfer portal will prevent baseball standout Tyler Corbitt from completing the season.
News broke on April 7 that Corbitt, a third-year sophomore and all-Southern Conference second baseman, had entered his name in the portal, allowing him to communicate with schools to which he might transfer.
Corbitt is slated to graduate in May and will have two years of eligibility as a graduate transfer.
NCAA rules do not prohibit Corbitt from finishing out the season with the Bulldogs, who are 8-16 with 27 more regular-season games to play. Corbitt, from Airport High School in West Columbia, is batting a team-best .376 with five home runs and 16 RBI.
"The NCAA does not have rules that would impact a player’s eligibility once he enters the transfer portal," an NCAA spokesperson said. "However, individual schools may have more restrictive policies."
And that is the case at The Citadel, where policy states that a player who enters the portal is "immediately" removed from his team.
"The student-athlete will be notified by the coach and sport supervisor that they are consequently being released from their sport program effective immediately," the policy states. "This means the student-athletes will no longer be a member of the sport program and will not have access to our athletic department services. A written confirmation of their removal from the program will be sent to the student-athlete by the department."
A Citadel spokesman issued this statement about the policy.
"The policy follows the NCAA guidance in regards to the timelines established and the rights of each institution to handle the situation in a way that allows for student-athletes to exercise their rights to transfer while also supporting the institution and current program," the statement said.
At a Board of Visitors meeting on April 8, athletic director Mike Capaccio said the policy has been enforced previously as Citadel athletes enter the portal.
"We have a policy in place for all our student-athletes, that when they enter the portal, they move on from the activities we provide," Capaccio said. "We've had several baseball players go through this already, several football players go through this. So nothing has really changed, and all the cadet-athletes know where they are at.
"We had to put a policy in place, and the policy is that once you go into the transfer portal, we move on from the activities you are allowed to participate in ... We're 100 percent behind the young man who made that decision. But it's not just him, we probably had 30 before that made that decision."
The NCAA's guidance to student-athletes on the transfer portal notes that "your current school has the right to reduce or cancel your financial aid at the end of the academic term" and that "your original school is not obligated to take you back as a student-athlete."
Other SoCon schools have different policies.
At VMI, star quarterback Reece Udinski entered the portal with the understanding that he would play during the current spring season for VMI. He committed to play for Maryland in the fall of 2021 as a grad transfer, and played in four games for VMI this spring before suffering a season-ending injury. A school spokesman said there is no department-wide policy on the eligibility of players in the portal.
At Wofford, the school has a more flexible policy that says Wofford "has the right to remove the student-athlete from participation/team once intent to transfer is received in writing."
A school spokesman said Wofford, which does not have a graduate school, currently has student-athletes (including football players) that entered the portal as graduate transfers who completed or are still finishing their season of eligibility with their teams. Two players who entered the portal the week of the Terriers' game with The Citadel opted out due to COVID-19, then entered the portal.