But Masoli had graduated and applied for immediate eligibility after transferring to Ole Miss. The NCAA initially denied the request, but approved it on appeal, and Masoli played the entire 2010 season.
Postgraduate transfers who could have a big impact in 2013
Defensive back Tyler Patmon (Kansas to Oklahoma State) and quarterback Drew Allen (Oklahoma to Syracuse) aren't the only postgraduate transfers who could make major impacts on their new squads in 2013.
Here's a look at four others around the country who could make noise next season:
CLINT TRICKETT, QB
Florida State to West Virginia
Trickett started two games for Florida State and appeared in 17, completing 66 of 109 passes for 947 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. He graduated in May with two years of eligibility remaining. Trickett immediately jumps into the battle — with junior Paul Millard and redshirt freshman Ford Childress — to replace Geno Smith as the Mountaineers' quarterback. Millard and Childress split reps this spring.
BRANDON MITCHELL, QB
Arkansas to N.C. State
Mitchell lost the Arkansas starting quarterback battle this spring to sophomore Brandon Allen and opted to transfer, choosing N.C. State over Michigan, UAB, Louisiana Tech and Northwestern State. He's appeared in 21 college games with three starts, and has completed 25 of 43 career pass attempts for 332 yards and two touchdowns. He's also rushed for 75 yards and two scores.
JAMEILL SHOWERS, QB
Texas A&M to UTEP
Showers, who lost the Aggies' 2012 preseason quarterback battle to freshman and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, graduated from Texas A&M with two years of eligibility remaining and chose UTEP, entering its first season under new coach Sean Kugler.
In limited action last season, Showers completed 27 for 44 pass attempts for 319 yards and two touchdowns.
CHARLES SIMS, RB
Sims, who has recorded 4,077 total yards and 37 touchdowns in three seasons with Houston, flirted with entering the NFL Draft before announcing in January that he'd return to the Cougars for one more season. In May, though, he announced that he would transfer and reportedly listed Texas Tech as his preferred destination.
Houston restricted Sims from any conference foes or other schools in the state of Texas. He's now considering West Virginia and California, per an ESPN.com earlier this month.
A look at the history of fifth-year transfers
NCAA rules have changed regarding postgraduate transfers a few times over the past several years.
Here's a quick look at the history of fifth-year transfers:
Prior to 2006: Graduate transfers had to meet one of the NCAA's exceptions for immediate eligibility, just like any other student-athlete.
2006-07: Division I adopted a new proposal allowing any student who graduated with eligibility remaining to transfer and play immediately, so long as he was enrolled in a graduate program. So many players took advantage of the rule that in January 2007, the NCAA overturned it.
2007-2010: Despite the rule being abolished, the practice of postgraduate transfers lived on as a waiver requiring a student-athlete to graduate, enroll in a graduate program the previous school didn't offer and receive permission from that previous school.
2011-present: The waiver evolved again into a more formal graduate transfer exception, which builds off the already existing one-time transfer exception for athletes in sports other than football, basketball, baseball and men's ice hockey.
With the new exception, athletes in revenue sports who graduate with remaining eligibility can receive the same one-time exception, provided they've never transferred between four-year schools before.
According to a May 9 AthleticScholarships.net article — written by former Division I compliance officer John Infante — the graduate transfer waiver still exists for athletes who have already transferred between four-year schools.
The waiver, which goes through the NCAA, still requires the graduate student enroll in a program not offered by his previous school. The exception doesn't hold that requirement, according to Infante, and is handled on the individual campuses.