SEC tweaks graduate transfer rules, opening door for Zaire

SEC amends graduate transfer rule, clearing the path for Malik Zaire to Florida

The presidents and chancellors of the 14 SEC schools voted Friday to alter the league's graduate transfer rule, which previously prevented schools that had grad transfers who did not earn all their April points from accepting more transfers for a three-year period. The former Notre Dame quarterback - who is reportedly decided on Florida - left the Irish in late November, but delayed his decision to see if UF would become an option. Two graduate transfers during the 2015 season did not meet their academic requirements, which brought about a ban for the Gators.

-The league tabled a proposal that would have allowed intra-conference graduate transfers.

The ease of restrictions could impact Florida immediately. That put coach Jim McElwain's program on probation for three years. A one-year ban acknowledges that idea without a major penalty.

Coming off a 9-4 season and Outback Bowl victory, Florida returns redshirt junior quarterback Luke Del Rio, who went 5-1 as a starter previous year before a shoulder injury ended his season. The left-hander had 816 passing yards and six touchdowns in three seasons in South Bend, Indiana.

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"There were some high-profile situations that we were probably overreacting to", Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin said. "Enough time has passed, it seems wise to step back and get in line with what other leagues are doing".

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said the league wasn't making any decisions "based on an individual". The league stepped in and granted Smith to a waiver to transfer to Georgia.

"We want universities that accept graduate transfers, the universities is a partner as that young person pursues their eligibility during each term of enrollment", Sankey said. "If it happens it happens and we'll all forward". There's a positive view of the concept.

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