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Boon for the Gators? SEC relaxes transfer rules a bit

Former Ole Miss receiver Van Jefferson now can contribute immediately for Florida.
Wide receiver Van Jefferson (87) runs a drill during a Florida Gators spring football practice on March 16, 2018, at Sanders Practice Fields in Gainesville, Fla. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Wide receiver Van Jefferson (87) runs a drill during a Florida Gators spring football practice on March 16, 2018, at Sanders Practice Fields in Gainesville, Fla. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Published Jun. 1, 2018
Updated Jun. 1, 2018

For the second year in a row, the Gators could be the beneficiary of a change to the SEC's transfer rules.

The conference approved a proposal Friday to allow players to transfer freely within the conference if they're leaving a school under a postseason ban. Call it the Van Jefferson rule.

The rule change, made official on the final day of the SEC's spring meetings in Destin, could allow Jefferson to be eligible this fall. The 6-foot-2 redshirt junior receiver transferred from Ole Miss to UF after the NCAA hit the Rebels with a bowl ban.

Jefferson looked like the Gators' top receiving threat during the spring. Over the past two seasons at Ole Miss, he recorded 91 catches for 999 yards and four touchdowns.

Commissioner Greg Sankey said earlier in the week that the proposal wasn't about any specific case, and UF coach Dan Mullen said the change would provide another incentive for schools to follow the rules.

"I think one of the things you want to do is make sure everybody's following NCAA rules," Mullen said. "And there's going to be a punishment for you if you don't follow NCAA rules within the league."

This rule change comes a year after the SEC tweaked its grad transfer policies, paving the way for quarterback Malik Zaire to join UF from Notre Dame. He started twice last season.

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

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