Should I stay or should I go?

Congratulations to baseball players across the country who were drafted in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. It had to be exciting to see your name next to the name of a major league baseball team.

Many of you will have a difficult decision to make by August 17. Those of you who recently finished your high school career, or may even still be competing for your high school baseball team, have the largest number of options to consider.

Some of you will choose to sign a contract with the team that drafted you and begin your professional career. Others of you will choose to attend a four year school and will not be eligible for the draft until after your junior year of college (exceptions for those of you who turn 21 in your sophomore year, for example, or who start out at a four-year school but then transfer to a two-year college). Still others will attend a two-year college next year – possibly encouraged to do so by an advisor – with the goal of being drafted in a higher round after one year at the two-year college.

For those of you considering starting out at a two-year college, be sure to keep your options open for transfer to a four-year program in case your dreams of being drafted higher don’t work out. Be sure to do the following if you have not done so already, so that you have the option of successfully transferring to an NCAA Division I or II institution.

1. Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Even if you are not planning to transfer to an NCAA Division I or II school at this time, registering now can make the process much easier if and when the time comes.

2. Have your high school send an official transcript with official seal and date of graduation to the Eligibility Center. Do this as soon as possible because it can be hard to find the appropriate staff members at a high school office that is closed for a few weeks in the summer.

3. If you have attended more than one high school, you also need to have an official transcript sent to the Eligibility Center from each high school you have attended.

4. Have your official ACT or SAT scores sent directly from the testing agency to the Eligibility Center. The Eligibility Center cannot accept scores taken off of the high school transcript.

5. Go to the NCAA Eligibility Center website and be sure to answer the amateurism questions for your amateurism certification. This includes answering the required question about NCAA Bylaw 10.1 (this is the “ethical conduct” bylaw that requires that athletes provide complete and accurate information to any questions asked on the Eligibility Center website or on other required NCAA forms).

6. The goal is that you will be certified as a “Qualifier” by the NCAA Eligibility Center so that you will have fewer academic requirements to satisfy as a transfer from a two-year school to a four-year school. Even a “Qualifier” will have academic requirements to satisfy as a “2-4” transfer, but the requirements will not be as extensive as they will be for a person who did not meet Qualifier standards.

Good luck with your decision as you review your college or professional options.

About Rick Allen

25+ years NCAA Rules Expertise, including Director of Compliance at 2 major DI schools

Former President of National Association for Athletic Compliance (NAAC)

Conducts compliance reviews and audits at NCAA Schools throughout the U.S.

Consulted with NAIA schools transitioning to NCAA membership status

Dad of a DI & DII student-athlete

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2 Responses to Should I stay or should I go?

  • Charles

    i just transferred to a d1 school from a jucco without my AA degree because i needed a math credit to graduate from it. i was giving a scholarship to run track at the d1 school but they cancelled it due to the fact that i dont have my AA, i cant practice with my team because of it. what should i do?

    • Charles,

      You should check with your JUCO to see if there is an online course that you can take to complete your AA degree. Or, perhaps you can take a course at a local JUCO to where you are now, and transfer it back to your other JUCO for your degree credit.

      Rick

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