The Cost of Not Being An Informed Athlete

Last week, I was contacted by three different student-athletes and/or families within 24 hours with very similar situations.

In each case, the NCAA Division I student-athlete was planning to transfer and was ready to, or already had, resigned from their team, and in one case, the athlete had already withdrawn from classes at his current college.

Read further to learn what happened:

Case A:

The student-athlete made up his mind to transfer, and requested permission from his coach to contact other schools.  He informed the coach that he was going to finish out the semester in school, but wasn’t going to continue as a team member in team practice.

Result:  He called me the next day to ask about the rules when he found out that his scholarship was being cancelled immediately, potentially costing him and his family thousands of dollars.  At that point, it was too late to help him. 

Case B:

The student-athlete learned through a friend of an opportunity at another college, and withdrew from his classes to pursue this other opportunity. Unfortunately, he had already begun attending classes for this semester at his current school.

Result:  The family contacted me to confirm that if he didn’t complete this semester where he was, that he wouldn’t be eligible next Fall at the new college.  He did indeed have to get re-admitted to classes for this semester at his current school and complete this semester.

Case C:

The father of a student-athlete sent this e-mail:

“He is still there, enrolled for the Spring semester, but called me tonight and plans to resign from the team tomorrow and request permission to transfer.  If he resigns from the team, is the school still obligated to pay his room and board payments after his resignation through the end of the semester?  He thinks they would since he signed a one year scholarship.”

Result: Because this father contacted me prior to his son’s conversation with the coach to fully understand the consequences of his son’s plan and discuss how to properly handle this situation, he saved nearly $5000 in room and board benefits that his son would have lost had he resigned from his team.

It’s always better and less expensive to understand the rules and how they apply to your situation BEFORE costly mistakes are made! 

In 2 of the above cases, if the parent or student-athlete had contacted me BEFORE they took action, I could have advised them on how to handle the situation and helped save them potentially thousands of dollars and/or alot of stress that resulted.

In the 3rd case, I was able to head off a negative outcome by alerting the parent and student-athlete to what would happen if the student-athlete quit the team in the middle of the semester.  We then discussed how to navigate through the rest of the semester to result in the student-athlete’s ultimate desired outcome.

I have worked on both sides of the cases related above.  In my 26+ years of working on major DI college campuses as the Director of Compliance, I’ve had to inform athletes that their scholarships were cancelled after they quit the team.

One of the reasons we started Informed Athlete was to help student-athletes and their families avoid situations like this. 

In my 8 years of advising student-athletes and their families through Informed Athlete, I’ve helped hundreds of student-athletes avoid situations where this type of thing happens, saving them thousands of dollars and all kinds of stress.

In order to help you understand the rules and how they apply to your unique situation, I recommend a private phone consultation.

We’ll discuss your situation, answer any questions, and we’ll review the rules that apply and what is/isn’t permissible.  I’ll also give you options as to the opportunities that might be available to your athlete. Many times both the parent(s) and the student-athlete are on the call and I coach the student-athlete on how to approach and what to say to the coach.

To learn more about our phone consults, please click here:  Informed Athlete Personalized Phone Consults.  To schedule a CONFIDENTIAL phone consult, please call Informed Athlete at 913-766-1235.

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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