Things to consider if you are thinking about transferring

Ryan Allen

If you are a student-athlete who is thinking about transferring, there are several things to consider before making your decision.  This can obviously be a very difficult decision for most, if not all, student-athletes.

Speaking as a former student-athlete who transferred after his junior season, I can fully understand the anxiety behind starting over at a new school and leaving behind the relationships that you have formed at your current school.  But at the end of the day, each athlete needs to look at his/her priorities as a student-athlete.

If you are a person who is more concerned with a continuous 4-year education from the same major university, then it may be in your best interest to stay where you are currently at.  The same applies to those who are content with being a bench player or moderate contributor, or are simply fulfilling a dream of wearing those school’s colors.

However, if you are a person who wants to put him/herself in the best position to achieve their full potential, then you need to closely examine your options for staying/leaving for the following year.

The best indicator for your future with your current school would be your relationship with your head coach, and whether or not he/she sees a successful future for you on his/her team.  I’m sure most of you have at least one coach on staff that you admire, or have a good relationship with.  But, the head coach should be the tell-tale indicator.  After all, he/she is the one who will make the final decision.

It might also be beneficial to look at your coach’s track record of developing players and what kinds of players get the most playing time.  Some schools put more focus on developing their own players out of high school, while others may put an emphasis on bringing in junior college players to contribute immediately.

For example, if you just finished your first year at a particular school as redshirted player, does the trend indicate that you still have a good shot at playing time, or does that most likely mean your future with that school is dwindling.

There are many things to be considered when looking at your future with a particular athletic program.  But understanding these issues will hopefully put you in a better position to make a confident decision that will allow you to move forward with no regrets.

About Ryan Allen

NCAA Division I Pitcher - University of Missouri - 2006-2009

NCAA Division II Pitcher - University of Central Missouri - 2010

M.Ed. - Educational & Counseling Psychology - University of Missouri - 2013

BS - Business Administration - University of Missouri - 2011

Academic Adviser - University of Missouri Athletic Department - 2014-present

Internship - Academic Adviser - University of Missouri Football 2013-2014

Internship - NACDA - National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics - 2013

Graduate Assistant - Recruiting & Education - University of Missouri Compliance Department - 2011-2013.

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199 Responses to Things to consider if you are thinking about transferring

  • wondering

    What if a student athlete wants to transfer from a DII to a DI school. Must he sit out or is he allowed to play?
    thanks so much.

    • Wondering,

      You don’t mention specifically which sport you’re asking about. There are a number of various factors to consider, but in most cases a student-athlete transferring from Division II to Division I to participate in the sports of baseball, basketball, bowl subdivision football, or men’s ice hockey will have to sit out in their first year at the Division I program.


      • mark

        my son (qualifier) received a full ride to a d1 college out of high school in there in august did not like it there or so he transfer to a d2 college partial scholarship and started at QB as a true freshman now he wants to go back to a D1 program will have to redshirt or sit a year or can he go to another D2 college closer to home and play this season (SO) year..or would have to go to a JUCO and graduate to transfer to a D1.. would love to hear your response…THANKS

        • Hi Mark,

          When you say that your son “got there in August, did not like it there, so transferred to a d2 college…”, I am assuming that he participated in at least a couple of days of “two-a-days” practice at the Div. I school before transferring to the Div. II program.

          If that is the case, he will have to sit out for a year at the next four-year school, because he’s already used the “One-Time Transfer Exception.” So he would need to go to a JUCO to be able to play next year, and then be a 4-2-4 transfer back to Div. I.


        • Tay


          I went to a juco last year and I transfer to a NAIA school in Kansas without my AA I want to transfer out. Do I need an AA to transfer to a D2 school?

          • Tay,

            You don’t need a two-year college degree if you’re transferring from one four-year school to another four-year program.


          • Tay

            Am I aloud to get a scholarship because people keep telling me that I can’t get one if I don’t have an AA. I’m really confused

          • Tay,

            You can loudly 🙂 get a scholarship depending upon your overall academic circumstances. If you were a Non-Qualifier for NCAA purposes when you finished HS, and didn’t get your AA, then you won’t be able to get a scholarship at an NCAA Div. I or II school as a 2-4 transfer. However, if you were a Qualifier, or are transferring from a four-year school, the AA degree is not a requirement.


  • michael larson

    Can a D1 student athlete whom is not on scholarship talk to other schools without signing a release? If you go from D1 to D2 is there a waiting period or can they play immediately if Athletic Directors agree to it? The sport we are talking about is golf.

    Look forward to your reply. Thank you.

    • Hi Michael,

      Even if a Div. I (or II) student-athlete is not receiving an athletic scholarship, he or she is still required to obtain written “permission to contact” before coaches at other schools can discuss a possible transfer with him or her. A student-athlete transferring from Div. I to Div. II in the sport of golf can be immediately eligible upon transfer as long as the Div. I school agrees to the One-Time Transfer Exception and can certify that the student-athlete would be eligible if they were returning to the original school rather than transferring.


  • LN

    Hi, my son is currently soph at D1 baseball school on scholarship. He is about to ask for his release from the team and plans to transfer, but my question is, if he is released now (Mid-march) do we have to repay the scholarship $$ to the school?

    • LN,

      When you state that he’s going to ask for his “release from the team,” I”m not sure whether you mean he is going to quit the team, or whether he is going to ask for permission to talk to other schools about a transfer. The school does have the right to cancel his athletic scholarship immediately if he quits the team.

      However, if he is not quitting the team, but is only asking for permission to talk to other schools while remaining on the team, they can’t take away his scholarship. If this is the case, don’t be surprised if the coach tries to force him to quit or will claim that by asking for permission to speak to other schools about a transfer, that he has in effect mentally quit on his team already. The rules specifically state that requesting permission to talk to another team about a possible transfer does not constitute voluntary withdrawal from the team, but the coach may try to pressure him to do so.

      Good luck to your son!


  • Dad

    My son is a Jr at a D1 baseball school on scholarship. He hasn’t played in a game this year and at this point I wonder if he will. If he doesn’t play an inning for the year does he lose a year of eligibility? If he decides to transfer to another school (maybe a D3 school) what steps do you recommend and at what point?


    • Hi Dad,

      I’d like to discuss your son’s situation with you to be sure that we cover all the necessary aspects of this. I’ll send you a direct e-mail.


  • M

    If I quit my D1 track team after the first semester will the scholarship money I recieved the first semester be taken away because I did not compete in the real track season or for a full year?

    • If you quit the team after the first semester, there should not be a requirement that you have to repay the scholarship money you received for the first semester. You should only lose your scholarship for the second semester – the one in which you quit the team.


  • Lisa

    My son just finished his junior year at a D1 college. He was a transfer from an excellent junior college. The head coach is a power-hungry bully. He was suppose to retire this year but changed his mind. Because of a technicality he is there for 1 more year. If my son is able to obtain a release from the school, can he transfer to a college within the same conference and play this year or does he have to sit out a year. This is his last year of eligibility and this is important.

    • Hi Lisa,

      If he desires to transfer within the same conference, it will depend upon conference rules, but most likely he will have to sit out during his first year at the next school. It could also depend upon your son’s sport, and perhaps whether he was/is on an athletic scholarship or was recruited in his sport.


  • Cris

    My brother is in a tricky situation. He signed to play football at a D3 school. He has been playing on a bad shoulder for 2yrs now and now the pain is unbearable. He feels the only way for it to heal is take a full year off but he believes the doctor will not give him the pass he needs to sit out the year. My brother would not like to lose his scholarship but the coach seems as if he doesn’t care and now he would like to transfer. How should he go about this situation, the transfer/keeping scholarship if he were to quit.

    • Hi Cris,

      Because your brother signed with a Div. III school, the coach should not be able to take away his scholarship. This is because Div. III schools are not permitted to provide scholarships based on athletics. If you’d like additional information, contact me directly at


  • Ryan

    Hi Rick,

    I signed an NLI at a D1 school, but I’m dealing with family issues and personal problems and I’m 1000 miles away from home. Does this seem to be a legitimate reason go get released? Also, I know which school I want to transfer to (also NLI school). Am I allowed to speak with their coaching staff before I request a release? Thanks!

    • Hi Ryan,

      Coaches at other schools are not permitted to speak with you about a possible transfer until they have written permission from your current school. As far as getting released from your NLI commitment, that depends upon a lot of factors, including how hard the school recruited you, how much are you are contributing at this time, and their general athletic department policies.


  • Kathleen

    Our daughter signed a NLI to attend a DII school on a xc scholarship. She wants to transfer to a DI school. She would like to transfer after one semester of her freshman year, but I think she has to finish the year before transferring or she may be penalized? She is a DI and DII qualifier. Grades are not issue. Once she has coach’s permission to contact, does she fill out the “recruit me” form on college websites, email coaches directly? Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Alex Smith

    What does a permission to contact letter look like? I plan on letting my coach know I plan on transferring this week so will I need a letter to give to him?

    • Hi Alex,

      There is no “official” NCAA form letter or standard format to a permission to contact letter or e-mail. It is a good idea to submit your request for permission to speak with other schools to your coach in writing. You should also provide a copy to your compliance coordinator, especially if you are at a Div. I school. This is because they are required to respond within 7 business days from your request, or your request is granted by default.


  • jake

    hello i have an athletic scholarship at a NAIA school and was wonder if the school can take my scholarship away in the middle of the year if i quit? because thats what i have been threatened with.

    • Hi Jake,

      I can’t answer your question with certainty regarding an NAIA scholarship. I can tell you, however, that if you were at an NCAA school, the school would have the right to immediately cancel your scholarship if you voluntarily quit the team of your own choosing. After all, your athletic participation is the reason they gave you the scholarship, so why should you continue to receive it if you’re no longer on the team?


  • Ron

    My son is about to play his first year of D1 Baseball after transfering from a Junior College and he is thinking about transfering to a different D1 to finish his college career next year.

    He has never been given nor offered any scholarship $$ from the University. If he transfers and has never been given $$ will he still have to sit a year before being able to play for another D1 ??

    Thank you for the advise,


    • Hi Ron,

      It will depend upon whether your son was considered “recruited” to his current Div. I school. If so, he will have to sit a year at another Div. I school. You may want to review the blog here on our website titled “NCAA Rules: Definition of a Recruited Athlete.”


  • Dewayne

    Hey, Im Dewayne i participated in track and field at a junior college as a walk on for 1 year my major was fire science, so i didnt really get much college level academic hr classes now im not at that junior college anymore im at another one to get the minimum coure classes required to transfer to a 4 year school and recently i was contacted by a division 1 school who wanted to offer me a scholarship but i was told i needed a degree; do i have to get the degree to receive the scholarship or can i get the minimum college level academic hour classes & still receive the scholarship?

    • Hi Dewayne,

      In order to be eligible for competition and an athletic scholarship as a transfer from JUCO to a Div. I school, you will have to earn your Associates Degree and meet other academic requirements.


  • Michael

    If I am a division 3 baseball player and I am looking to transfer to another division 3 school or possibly a division one school do I need to obtain a release of my coach. or am I good to go since I never signed any NLI.

    • Hi Michael,

      To contact another Div. III school, you will need to do a “self-release” which can be found if you do a search of the NCAA website ( To contact an NCAA Div. I school, your school will need to provide to you, or the school(s) you are interested in talking to, a “permission to contact” form or letter.


      • Michael

        If I go to my compliance director to get a “permission to contact form” will the compliance director or myself be obligated to notify my current coach? In the instance that I do not transfer I dont want to ruin the chances I already have at my current school.

        • Michael,

          If you don’t notify your head coach, your compliance director will. The compliance director is not going to issue a “permission to contact” until he knows if the coach will agree to it.

          Also, while the Div. III “self-release” states specifically that the school you send it to is supposed to keep it confidential and not share that info with your current school, you can’t be sure that they will keep it confidential. Especially if the two Div. III coaches know each other.


          • Michael

            If I use a self release does that mean I am no longer a part of my current team?

          • Only if your coach says that you’re no longer part of the team, which he might do if he feels that you’re not 100% committed to the team.


  • ben goodson

    My son is a freshman at a D1 school he has only got 1 at bat and 3 innings in the field he wants to redshirt then transfer to another school can he play immediately next year if the AD and Head coach release him to play

    • Hi Ben,

      He can’t redshirt since he’s already played in a game unless he becomes ill and injured and qualifies for the medical hardship waiver. It will be possible for him to transfer and be eligible next year at NCAA Div. II, III, or NAIA, or JUCO. He can possibly be eligible at another Div. I if he isn’t on scholarship, and wasn’t recruited to his current school.


      • John

        Rick, my son went to a division 1 school no scholarship, he did walk on and play baseball. Can he transfer to a D2 or JUCO and play next season. thanks John

        • Hi John,

          Yes. He will need permission to talk with any Div. II schools about a possible transfer, and will need to satisfy the requirements for the One-Time Transfer Exception to be eligible at a Div. II school next year. He needs no permission to talk with JUCO coaches.


  • Chris

    My son is currently at a DI school on scholarship for track. He was a partial qualifier out of HS for a DII school. Can he now transfer to a DII school as a qualifier with the one time transfer rule.

    • Hi Chris,

      Once he has completed a year at the Div. I school, his Partial Qualifier status is no longer a factor. He can use the One-Time Transfer Exception as long as he’s in good shape academically, and as long as the Div. I school will release him.


  • scott

    Hey I’m a freshman playing baseball at a division school this year. During my senior year of high school i underwent two ankle surgeries but i was cleared to play at the beginning of this year. My ankle is still bothering me. Half the season has not passed yet andim wondering if im eligible for a medical redshirt even though i have been cleared. I only have 12 at bats the whole year. Is there anyway i can possibly get that redshirt even though i was cleared at the beginning of this year? Thanks a lot

    • Hi Scott,

      If you have been medically cleared to play, it will be difficult for you to be granted a Medical Hardship Waiver (the proper term for a “medical redshirt”). Medical Hardship Waivers are normally only granted when a physician has diagnosed an injury or illness that is serious enough to prevent the athlete from being able to participate. Medical documentation would need to be submitted with the waiver request to demonstrate the seriousness of the injury.


      • scott

        Thanks Rick i appreciate. Do u think if i went to another doctor, not the doctor at my school and tell them that it’s really affecting me and i cant play to my full potential they would grant me one? I know I’m transfer at the end of the year i just want another year of eligibility because im not playing when I’m good enough. I feel like the year is.just being wasted. What would u suggest i do or do u think i dont have a chance to get the medical hardship?

        • Scott,

          You can go to another doctor, but be up front with your school and program that you are doing it, and don’t try to go behind their back because they will need to process the Waiver Request for you. You don’t need them angry and unwilling to help you.

          You may need to go to the athletic trainer and insist on a second opinion because you don’t feel that you are 100% or even 90% (or whatever level you feel that you are at).


  • Joseph

    My son is in his sophomore year of baseball at a d1 school. He has never been red shirted. He is considering transferring to another d1 after this year is completed. I am sure he will have to sit out a year. Can he be red shirted that “sit out” year and have 2 years of eligibility left to play?

  • Brenda

    My son is in his second yeat at a junior college – wondering if you have any advice about how to get his name out there for the next level.

    His coach has been contacted by a couple DI schools interested but not much movement. He is an outfield and understand they are generally the last to get signed but getting nervous as the season is over in a month.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    • Brenda,

      Your son needs to “market” himself. He can’t wait for schools to seek him out. He needs to send out a lot of e-mails to Div. I and II schools, and include a few short video clips if he has any he can send.

      Also, he needs to call on what I call “his best advocate.” Is that his former HS coach, travel ball coach, current hitting coach, private instructor? Ask them to make contacts on his behalf.

      Good luck!


  • Alan

    My son plays baseball at a Divison 1 school. If he transfers to a Divison 2 school after the year ends will he have to sit out a year in order to play for the Divison 2 school?

  • Larry Ruggiero

    In September, 2010 my son entered a community college as a freshman on a baseball scholarship. After playing almost the entire Spring season there it was discovered he needed Tommy John surgery which he underwent in April, 2011. In September, 2011 he began attending a D1 university a sophomore without a scholarship. He was not on that team’s baseball roster during his sophomore year because he was recovering from his surgery . During the summer of 2012 he played a little in the Mid-Atlantic States League. He went back to his DI university in September, 2012 for his junior year with a view towards being on its team and was put on the team roster in February, 2013 to play this Spring, 2013 season. Since then he has pitched very little. He has not received any athletic scholarship or athletic financial assistance whatsoever while at his current DI university. He is considering transferring to another school. He was advised he could not play for a year if he transferred to a DI school. If he transfers to a D2 or D3 school would he be able to play immediately?

    • Larry,

      It would be possible for him to be eligible at a Div. II or III school next year. It may also be possible at Div. I if he was not recruited to his current school (which it appears he wasn’t if he wasn’t even on the roster for the ’11-’12 school year).


  • Jake

    I play d3 baseball and plan to transfer to a d2. Do I need to get a release or am I good just by telling the coach?

    • Hi Jake,

      Div. II coaches will need to receive a “permission to contact” form, letter, or e-mail from your current school before they can discuss a possible transfer with you.


  • Darrin

    Plenty of people found me as a Division football player. I was recruited by many schools in the country: USC, Stanford, Mississippi State, Alabama, USF, UM. But grades were the problem. I have D1 potential and know I should be there. I started doing better with my grades and maturing, and no I would like to Transfer up to a D1. I would like to know that if I go to a D2 and if I red shirt a year and play one year with a good GPA, would I be able to transfer up?

  • AJ

    I just finished playing my freshman year of baseball at a D3 school and now I am transferring to a D1 program and walking on. I know I am probably going to have to sit out, but am I going to lose a year of eligibility leaving me with only two at the end of my sophomore year? Or is it possible to red shirt this coming year and still have 3 left?

  • Kelsey


    I just finished my first academic year of college. I play volleyball at an NAIA school and am looking to transfer to a NCAA Division I school AND play a different sport, Golf. I did redshirt this year as a freshman. I’m just confused in how many years of eligibility I would have if I transferred to the NCAA school and when I could play. Or what my options could be?… Maybe some more information on this would help?


    • Hi Kelsey,

      If you meet the academic requirements to be eligible upon transfer, you can be immediately eligible this Fall. You’ll have four years in which to use four years of eligibility for golf.

      Good luck!


  • Kala

    I just finished my freshman year at a Division 1 college. I participate in track and field on a full ride scholarship and I am considering transferring to another division 1 school. My number one concern is getting my scholarship taken from my first school as soon as I request written permission. Is the school allowed to take away my scholarship after I make the request or do they have to wait until I sign a release after I get accepted into the second division 1 school?

    • Hi Kala,

      The school can take away your scholarship as soon as you make your request. They must inform you of your scholarship status for next year by July 1. If they do take it away, they must provide you with an appeal opportunity.


      • LaTrice

        So if the player requests permission to contact in September they lose their scholarship for the spring semester at the current school? What if things don’t work out getting into the second school. Is his commitment to the first school null and void?

        • LaTrice,

          The answer to your questions depend upon a number of different factors, the most important of which are the attitude of the coach and the policies of teh athletic department, which will obviously vary from one coach to another and from one college to another.


  • Ryan

    I’m a sophomore D2 baseball player thinking of transferring to a D1 school either for this upcoming year or next. Would I have to sit out a year? Say I decided to go D1 this year, and I do have to sit out. Do I still have 2 more years of eligibility remaining after I sit out the initial incoming year? Also, how do I obtain a permission to contact letter from my current school? Is this different than getting a release from the school? Or is that two ways of saying the same thing?


    • Ryan,

      Given the number and nature of your questions, I suggest you contact me directly for a consultation. My contact info is on the “About Us” page of the website.


  • Michael k.

    My son has verbally committed to a d3 school for baseball.
    He was injured last year with a lingering hamstring tear but this year came back 100% healthy and had a amazing year getting all section, player of the year and nominated for mvp of his section and athlete of season.
    He didn’t get a lot of exposure last year and that us why he verbally committed to the d3 school. my question is if he plays at the d3 and goes to either a d2 or d1 college in his sophomore year will he get redshirted or can he go and play with any consequences

    • Hi Michael,

      If your son was “recruited” to the Div. III school under the NCAA definition of recruited (look for the blog on this website titled “NCAA Rules: Definition of a Recruited Athlete”), he will have to redshirt in his first year at a Div. I program. Otherwise, he’ll have the chance to be immediately eligible without the need to “sit” for a year.


  • Perry

    My son is playing division 1 football, but he wants to come back home and play at the university that is local which is also division 1. He would have to walk on, so he wants to work for the fall semester in which he would have to sit out and go to the local community college to save money and also save up, and then enroll in january for spring semester and participate in spring ball. Is this possible so that it will count as part of the year that he has to sit out in order to fulfil the transfer rule of sitting out one year? and be eligible to play in the following year? or will he have to enroll in fall into the university and be there for a full year to be eligible?

  • Landon

    If I am not a student athlete at a DI school and I never have been, do I still have to obtain a permission slip from the school to transfer to a DIII for sports? Or can I just explain to the coach that I don’t play sports here and that I don’t need one? Thanks!

    • Landon,

      That’s not necessary. However, when you contact those schools, they may tell you that they can’t talk with you until they send a transfer questionnaire to the athletic department at your school in order to confirm that you were not an athlete.

      Good luck!


  • Neil

    It’s August 16, 2013. Can a D1 athlete (football) player transfer to a another D1 before this season of 2013. Is there a period the other school can’t be talked too?

    • Neil,

      The player can’t talk to another four-year school without receiving “permission to contact” from his current school. He can transfer, but his eligibility will be determined by a number of factors.


  • jtaebo2

    Hey Rick,

    My son was told he would received a scholarship in football for a DII school. He only signed a letter of intent. he had to report to summer camp and enroll in summer school. Once regular semester came around, he was red-shirted and not given a scholarship, Now he wants to transfer to another DII school, does he still have to get written permission to talk to other schools?
    Do he have to sit out a year if he does transfer to another DII school?
    Can I talk to other schools without permission?
    is it good to transfer now , its only been 3 weeks since the semester starts.

    • If your son has been a member of and practiced with the team during pre-season practices, he will need “permission to contact” for him or any member of his family to talk with other schools about a possible transfer.

      It will be possible for him to be eligible at another Div. II school without the requirement to sit out for a year, as long as his current school will release him and can say that he would be eligible if he were returning to their school rather than transferring. Because of this requirement, it would be a BAD idea to transfer now in the middle of the semester. He should complete the semester in good academic standing, so that he can have the chance to transfer and be immediately eligible under the One-Time Transfer Exception.


  • Renadi

    I am at a D2 school and I don’t like the school at all. I signed an NLI but I really want to go home and go to school there next year. Is it possible to do that?

    • Renadi,

      Since you signed an NLI with your current school, you’ll need to request a release from your NLI commitment if you plan to leave at the end of the first semester. Also, if you will be going to another NCAA or NAIA four-year college, you’ll need to request “permission to contact” other schools from your current coach before you can discuss a possible transfer with coaches at other schools.


  • Blake

    I am currently at a D2 school. I have had a lot of issues going on back home that have effected my play I’m a long ways from home and can’t go back during these trying times. I want to transfer to my home University which is D1 and walk on to the football team there I signed an NLI. I’m not redshirting as of rigt now. Is there a way to transfer and be eligible to play next fall or if I transfer at semester? Thanks.

    • Blake,

      Given your circumstances, it might be possible to get a waiver of the NCAA rules to be eligible, but the Div. I school would need to submit the waiver on your behalf. Without a waiver, you won’t be able to be eligible next Fall.


        • Blake,

          It used to be called a Legislative Review Waiver but may be different now. If you would be redshirted and not play next year, the waiver would not be necessary.


          • Blake

            What if this year they end up redshirting me? We have played one game but still might end up doing it? What would I need to do to transfer at semester?

  • stressed

    If I am playing d2 womens basketball right now, have not competed in any OFFICIAL practice this year but have been taking classes for the last 3 weeks and doing unofficial team workouts, can I transfer to a d3 school say next week and be eligible for the upcoming season which offically begins on october 15th. I am a recruited walk on at the D2 and am not on any type of scholarship what so ever. Do I need a release from my coach if I am transferring down a division?

    • Stressed,

      No, you can’t transfer to a Div. III (or any other school) in the middle of the term and be eligible for the upcoming season. You will need to at least complete the semester. If you were to leave now and not earn any credit hours during this semester at your school, you couldn’t be eligible anywhere.

      You will need a release from your coach for other four-year schools to be able to talk with you about a possible transfer.


  • BG

    If I go to a D2 school for baseball and leave after my fall semester and am not on the spring roster would I be aloud to play at a D1 school right away or do I have to sit out a year? Thanks!

    • BG,

      That will depend upon a number of factors. More info is available in our downloadable transcript “What You Should Know About Transfers” which can be found in the Store of this website.


  • Reggie

    My son is on a soccer scholarship at a D2 school, and is going to have a Medical redshirt for freshman year – if he was to transferred to another D2 or D1 for his sophomore year – with or without soccer scholarship money – would he be able to paly his sophomore year or would he have to sit out?

      • Reggie

        Rick – thank you! When you say “possible” – do we still have a chance of him not being able to be eligible? If so, what are those roadblocks?

        Many thanks, Reggie

        • Reggie,

          To be eligible, his school will need to release him, agree to his use of the One-Time Transfer Exception, and he’ll need to be eligible for the following semester at the time that he leaves his current school.


  • sha

    If i play my freshman year of basketball at a Div. I NAIA school will I have to sit out a year if I transfer to a NCAA Division I school?

  • James

    Hello Rick,
    I recently received my permission to contact form from my a.d. I have several schools I want to send it to. I was wondering if I could email the form instead of faxing it everytime. Or does it have to be faxed or mailed directly to compliance?

  • Terance

    My son signed a LOI to play at a D2 school and ended up not receiving any scholarship money from the school. He attended the school and paid his own way. He was on the football team but never suited up for the team. He did practice with them. He now wants to transfer to another school. When I asked hi head coach/athletic director for a written letter/permission to speak with other schools he told me that I needed to have the schools send a form to him first and then he would decide. Is this right?

    • Terance,

      The school has the choice of how to deal with the “permission to contact.” Some schools will respond to a request from their athlete with a form or an e-mail to the athlete or to the next school, while others require that the athlete first contact the school that they are interested in, and then ask that school to send their request for a “permission to contact.” It can be done either way.


  • jay

    My son as a true freshmen playing basketball at his university want to transfer after the season to a division one school do he has to sit out his sophomore year at the new school.

    • Bob,

      The main thing is you need to let him know that you’re very interested in his program, and tell him how you believe you can help his team win. It will also be good to promote a good academic record if you have one.


  • Reggie

    I played D-III football in my freshman year of college for the fall semester only in 2009. I didn’t sign up for classes or anything to do with college for the Spring semester. I went to the Navy (no football). My question is: am I still able to go back to college and play football? Even at a JUCO? Or possibly try to walk on to an NFL team? There is no information that I can find on the internet to tell me this information.

    • Reggie,

      It is possible for you to go back to college and play football. If you want me to explain the rules and your options to you, contact me directly. My contact info is on the “About Us” page of our website.


  • Lori

    My daughter was recuited by a D-2 coach she absolutely loved. That coach then resigned from that school and moved to a different school. She is now a Freshman in college and the new coach has already told her that “she doesn’t fit in to his system”. She is red shirting this year. How do we/can we (?) go about contacting other schools that recruited her (also D-2)? She is thinking that she is going to have to find somewhere else to play. We just are not sure how to go about this. She is an excellent student, so getting accepted to another college should not be an issue. Will she have to sit out another year if she transfers?


    • Lori,

      If she’s transferring to another Div. II school, she won’t necessarily have to sit out for another year. If you need assistance on how to navigate this process, contact me directly and I’ll walk you through the steps. My contact info is on the “About Us” page of our website.


      • Lori

        Thank you so much! I will do that when we get closer to determining if she is going to transfer. It’s nice to know that someone is out there willing to help us!!

  • Marcus

    I played football at a d3 school, started as a freshman, recorded a 3.4 gpa, but ultimately decided to withdraw 4 weeks into my sophomore year because I learnt absolutely nothing and because of ignorant actions directed towards me regarding my skin color.

    I decided on a good, diverse school that happens to be D1. I applied and was accepted, and afterwords I contacted the coaching staff and they informed me I’d have to sit a year.

    Is there anyway around me sitting a year? I did well both academically and athletically while at my old school. Basically I was driven into leaving because they (my old school) weren’t committed to academic excellence and the community ostracized minorities.

    Me sitting out a year seems like punishment for something I did not do. I already missed a large portion of this past season and missing another would be devastating after all the work I put into football.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Marcus,

      The reason that you have to sit out for a year at a Div. I school (this would be true at any NCAA school) is because you withdrew 4 weeks into your sophomore season and earned 0 credit hours for that semester. Even if you were to transfer to a JUCO, I believe the outcome would be the same, due to earning 0 credit hours.


  • cameron

    My son was recruited to D-1-A school but was later told he was a non-qualifier due to an online course that was not excepted. He wants to transfer to another D-1 school will he need to get a release from his coach? Will he have to sit out another year? If he decides to go to junior college will he be eligible to play without sitting out? Will he be able to transfer back to D-1 if recruited and will he be eligible to play without sitting out? He will complete the full year where he is now.

    • Cameron,

      I’ll respond to your questions in the order you have listed them.

      1. Since he’s a Non-Qualifier, he shouldn’t need a release from the coach, but other schools may request one any way.
      2. He will have to sit out if he transfers to another FBS school.
      3. His eligibility to play at a JUCO will depend upon how he does academically this year.
      4. If he is a 4-2-4 transfer, his eligibility upon returning to Div. I will depend upon how he does academically at the JUCO.

      If you want to talk to discuss your son’s options, and all of the transfer rules, contact me directly. Or, you may be interested in our “Informed Athlete’s Guide to Transfers” which has all the academic requirements that your son will need to satisfy for his chosen transfer situation. Here’s a link to the “Guide to Transfers”:


      • John

        Hi I have signed to play at a d2. But I ultimately aspire to play at an academic institution that is D1 for example (Ivy league, Patriot League). I know i cannot transfer without sitting out. But Im thinking about going juco for my sophomore year. What do I have to do to legally talk with a juco coach??

  • Yahs

    I attend a NAIA school right now and I am a Sophomore basketball player. My basketball season is still going on now,but will be over in February. I want to transfer at the end of the school year to a NCAA DII school and I would like to start emailing coaches now, but I do not know the rules for doing so. Can you help me out by telling me what the steps are?

    • Yahs,

      You can start emailing NCAA Div. II coaches now, but they can’t talk with you about a possible transfer until they receive written permission from your current school. Be aware that if you request (or if they request) such permission before the end of your season, it could cause your coach to bench you if he’s upset that you’re not fully committed to his school.


  • Kenny

    Have a daugther that played d2 soccer at school A. She transferred after her fr year to school B and has spent her SO. and Jr. year there. She is now wanting to transfer back to school A and finish out. She has competed all years enrolled. Not sure if this has any bearing or not but school B was a NAIA but in transition d2 and will not be eligible for postseason play till 2015. Eligible? If so, can you point me in the direction that reads so?

    • Kenny,

      Because this will be your daughter’s second transfer between four-year schools, she won’t be eligible to compete in her first year of attending School A, or any other NCAA Div. I or II school.


  • Donald

    Signed a NLI (no scholarship or financial waivers) at in a D2 baseball program and red-shirted my freshman year. At the end of my freshman school year looking to move to another D2 school in a warmer climate. What are the steps I need to follow to be able to play at another D2 school without sitting out a year and following NCAA rules?

    Request permission to talk with other schools? What other items?

  • B

    Dear Rick,

    I am currently a D1 track student-athlete and I am transferring to another D1 school to compete. Long story short, I want to ‘quit’ my current team. My question is, if I ‘quit,’ do I still need to somehow redshirt the indoor and outdoor track seasons so I do not lose seasons of eligibility? Does ‘quitting’ the team affect redshirting and my eligibility in anyway?

    I look forward to your reply

    • B,

      The term “redshirt” simply means that an athlete has not used one of their seasons of eligibility for that sport. So, if you haven’t already competed in the indoor season, and won’t be participating in the outdoor season, then you can treat those seasons as “redshirt” seasons.

      Quitting your team does not affect your eligibility, but will allow the school to cancel your scholarship if you’re on a track scholarship.


  • Tina

    Dear Rick,
    My son is a sophmore baseball player at an NAIA Division 1 school. He is thinking about transferring to a NCAA Division 2 school next fall for his junior year and he does want to continue playing baseball there. Will he have to sit out a semester or full year? Also wondering what exactly the rules are regarding talking to his coach about getting a release and permission to talk to other schools during his current school year.
    Thanks for the help,

    • Tina,

      Your son won’t be required to sit out for a year at an NCAA Div. II school as long as he is released by his NAIA school, and the NAIA school can confirm that he would be academically eligible if he were staying at the NAIA school rather than transferring.

      As far as the rules and steps regarding talking to his coach to request permission to talk to other schools, you may be interested in our downloadable transcript “What You Should Know About Transfers” which can be found in the Store of our website. Here’s a link to that transcript:


  • Dean

    Hi Rick!
    It looks like my son won’t be playing much in the next season as a Junior Baseball D2 who transferred after graduating Juco with associates degree.
    If he redshirted this Junior year and then had to sit out next year would he still have 2 more seasons of eligibility?
    Thanks!!! Dean

    • Dean,

      It would be possible, but would have to be managed carefully, to get two more seasons if he redshirts this year, and has to sit out next year. For the strategy on how to approach this, contact me directly for a consultation.


  • Alen

    Throughout high school, i’ve been heavily recruited by d3 schools, and am just about committed to one as of now… (I play football) However, as of my senior year of high school i am receiving many looks, from d1’s (fcs mainly). Can I attend/play at the d3 school for a year, and then transfer to a d1 school and not lose a yearof eligibility? This question has really been burning in my head, and hopefully someone could answer.

  • Bo


    My son is an invited walkon at a Div. 1 baseball program. He did not make the spring roster but is being told he is being redshirted. We are looking at all options, including transferring.

    You mention that he doesn’t need a release to talk with JUCO’s. Does he need a release to talk with NAIA programs?


    • Bo,

      Your son doesn’t need a release to talk with NAIA schools. Rather, the NAIA rules require that their schools inform other four-year schools if they have been contacted by an athlete and have an interest in discussing a transfer with them. So, a slightly different rule, in that permission is not needed in advance, but your son’s Div. I program will be notified if an NAIA school plans to discuss a transfer with him.

      I frequently consult by phone with athletes and/or parents on the rules and steps involved in navigating the transfer process.

      I would be happy to talk with you to discuss your son’s situation and his options. If a consultation is of interest, contact me directly and we’ll schedule a time to talk.


  • Jacky


    My Daughter is a Div 1 lacrosse player and is interesting in transferring to a different Div 1 program for her sophomore year. She competed fully, and as I understand it now she could transfer and not have to sit out because she is a “qualifier” and has an “exception”. Would she be eligible to receive any athletic money for her sophomore year or would she have to attend the new school for a year and then look to receive money her junior year? Also, what is involved in receiving your permission to contact letter? Is that only with the Athletic Director at her current school, or would her coach be involved in that too?

    Thank you,


    • Jacky,

      Your daughter will be eligible to receive an athletic scholarship for her sophomore year from another school as long as she is granted “permission to contact” by her current school.

      I frequently consult with athletes and/or parents on the steps in the transfer process and the eligibility rules. All consultations are completely confidential.

      I would be happy to talk with you to discuss your daughter’s situation and her options.

      If a consultation is of interest, let me know and we’ll schedule a time to talk.


  • Matt

    My son, on full football scholarship, is a hard working sophomore with a 3.5 average, who was redshirted his freshman year and didn’t play a down this year either because his recruiting coach left before the first season and he “doesn’t fit well into the defensive scheme”. He is being pressured by the coaches to transfer to another D1 school to free up a scholarship. Because he never played a down, does he still have to sit out a year?

  • Dad

    Hello Rick,

    My son is on an athletic baseball scholarship at a d1 school. Another freshman also came in at the same position and its not looking good for my son to play this year. He is now missing the first road trip. What are some of his options?

    Thank you

  • Soccer

    Hi Rick,

    My daughter just signed her NLI to a D2 school, but she wants to transfer to a D1 school after her first or second year. We don’t want to ask for a release form if we aren’t sure if the schools that she wants to go to will take her. Is there any way we can contact the coaches of those schools or anything without asking for the release to contact other schools from her coach? And if she does transfer, will she have to sit out her first year? Thank you so much for your help, we really appreciate how helpful you are with each individual!

    Thank you!

    • Soccer,

      It will be possible for her to be immediately eligible at a Div. I program without the requirement to sit out for a year if she meets the academic eligibility requirements. To learn more about those requirements, and some strategies to address the transfer process, I suggest you contact me for a phone consultation.

      Or, as an alternative, you may be interested in our “Informed Athlete’s Guide to Transfers” which can be purchased from the Store of our website. Here’s a link to the Transfer Guide:


  • Rachel

    I’m a D2 tennis player and I’m considering transferring to another D2 school. What are the rules about sitting out a year?

    • Rachel,

      If you are required to sit out for a year, which may not be necessary, you can practice with your team, but can’t represent the school in competition during your first academic year of attendance at the next school.


  • Larz

    Hi Rick

    I am currently a D1 athlete but am thinking about switching to D2. If I ask for my release in the next couple of weeks, is my coach allowed to take my scholarship away for the remaining of the semester? Say for April and May? Or could he make me pay back my money for the entire semester?

    If he isn’t allowed to take it in the first situation, then what If I do decide to transfer (after asking for my release)say in the middle of March, and I tell my coach that I am for sure transferring, then is he allowed to take my scholarship away for the remaining part of the semester if he knows I wont be returning? I also may redshirt this spring season. Will that effect anything? I hope I was clear and didn’t make it to confusing.

    Thank you

    • Larz,

      Your coach can’t take away your scholarship simply because you’ve asked for permission to contact other schools. However, if you quit your team (your coach could interpret your desire to redshirt as quitting your team if he was planning to put you in the lineup this season), the scholarship can be cancelled.


  • Nick

    Hey Rick,

    I’m a D1 baseball player. I had a medical withdrawal from school a few weeks ago and was told I should also receive a medical redshirt for the season as well. I want to transfer to another D1 baseball school. Would I still have to sit out a year? Or is there some way to get around that and be able to play next season?


    • Nick,

      If you were on an athletic scholarship at your school, or were recruited to the school as defined by the NCAA, you’ll have to sit out a year from competition at another Div. I program.


  • Jesus

    Hey I’m at a D3 school and going to play spring football. If I transfer to a D2 school after the year is done and play football there. Do I have to sit out a year? And if so does that count as a red shirt year or just a lost year of eligibility?

    • Jesus,

      You won’t be required to sit out for a year at the Div. II school as long as you meet the academic eligibility requirements, and are released by your Div. III school. If you do have to sit out, it could count as a redshirt year, if you haven’t already redshirted.


  • T44

    What’s up Rick,

    Im a D2 football player in the second half of my sophomore year of college (Im a RS freshman). If I were to transfer to a JuCo at the end of this semester n play one year there, will I lose a yr of NCAA eligibility?

  • Hank


    I am currently at a D2 baseball program on athletic scholarship. My first year here I had surgery on my shoulder and had to redshirt. I am now a sophomore in the classroom, and a RS Fr. on the field. The team is off to a terrible start and I want to play at a better program. I don’t want to play juco, and I don’t want to sit out ever again. If I go to another d2 school will I have to sit out? What about D1?


    • Hank,

      You’ll have the opportunity to be immediately eligible at another Div. II school. If you transfer to a Div. I program, you will be ineligible for competition in your first year there.


  • Grant


    I am currently at a d2 baseball program. I am redshirting this year because of an injury. I turned down a few Mac schools because I wanted to play at an up and coming d2 school. However we are doing terrible this year and I am not satisfied with life at this school. If I look to transfer can I go D1 or D2 and not have to sit out?


    • Grant,

      You’ll have the opportunity to be immediately eligible at another Div. II school. If you transfer to another Div. II program in the same conference, they may have a conference rule that requires you to sit out next year.

      If you transfer to a Div. I program, you will be ineligible for competition in your first year there if you are currently on a baseball scholarship, or were recruited to the Div. II school for baseball.


  • Hank


    I am in my second year playing baseball at a d2 school. I redshirted my freshman year due to labrum surgery and now I’m a RS Fr. on the field. The team is off to a terrible start and I don’t want to play here anymore. Would I be able to transfer to a d1, or a d2 school without sitting out a year?


    • Hank,

      You’ll have the opportunity to be immediately eligible at another Div. II school. If you transfer to a Div. I program, you will be ineligible for competition in your first year there.


      • Debi


        My son was diagnosed with a torn labrum the day before his sophomore season began at a DIII school. He is currently listed as a medical redshirt. He is considering a transfer to a D1 school this fall, which is in our hometown. Will he need to get permission from his current coach, to speak with the D1 coach? Also, since he is currently a redshirt, will he also be a redshirt his first year at the D1 school and therefore, inelligible to play?

  • sbusoccer


    I am playing soccer at a D1 program. I made the team via a public tryout that the school holds annually. Right now I am in my freshman year and I am considering transferring because I am concerned about my playing time. Would it be possible for me to transfer to a D3 school? I would like to transfer because I could have a more important role on a D3 and some of D3 schools are extremely good academically.


    • Jaret,

      Yes, it would be possible to transfer to a Div. III school. Before the coaches at a Div. III program can discuss a possible transfer with you, they’ll need to receive written or e-mailed permission from your current school.


  • Stelios

    Hey Rick,
    I play soccer for a D3 School and i am looking to transfer to another D3 schools. I have the opportunity to redshirt my first two seasons. Would i still have to sit out a year ot the redshirting makes me available right off.

    • Stelios,

      I’m not sure why you would want to redshirt for two seasons rather than get some playing time in the second year, but that’s your decision (the more seasons you redshirt, the fewer years of eligibility you have remaining). If you transfer to another school, your eligibility is based on your academic standing, not on whether or not you have redshirted.


  • Moore

    Hey Rick, I am NAIA collegiate athlete, I redshirted my first year, but I played this year but I am looking for my playing time, going into my Redshirt Sophomore year, what transfer options do I have?

  • Davis

    Rick, this is a great cite. Thank you!

    My son is a high school senior being recruited at a D3 school for basketball. The coach has already informed him that if he came there he would be in the team, but he may or may not play his first year but would be being developed by the staff. If he goes to play there and wanted to transfer out after his 1st or 2nd year, will he have to sit out, be redshirted and lose a year of eligibility?

    Likewise, if he went to a JUCO for two years would he have to sit out if he was recruited to go to a D2 or D1 school? What about if he went to a prep school instead right out of high school?

    Thank you for your assistance.

    • Davis,

      Given the different options you are considering for your son, you may want to purchase and review our downloadable “Informed Athlete’s Guide to Transfers” which can be purchased from the Store of our website. The Guide to Transfers describes the transfer process, as well as the academic requirements that need to be met to be eligible upon transfer from one school to another. Here’s a link to the Guide to Transfers:


  • Jazz

    I Redshirted My first year in Div 1 college volleyball, I transfered to a Div 3 my soph year. Realized competiton was not challenging enough. There may be a couple of options playing at a differnt Div 1 or Div 2 school but I need to know how many years of eligibility I have left because I may consider sitting out one year to focus on my classes at my current div 3 school. Is there a limit on how many times I can transfer? and would I lose a year of eligibility of I don’t play next year? Thank you

    • Jazz,

      Because you’ve already transferred once between four-year schools, you’ll have to sit out from competition during your first year at a Div. I or II program. So, it would be better to transfer at the end of this year rather than sit out next year at your Div. III school.

      After sitting out next year at a Div. I or II program, you’ll have two years of eligibility remaining.


  • Fred

    Baseball player goes JUCO freshmen year… Recruited by D1, transfers to D1 and plays sophomore and junior year on scholarship, can he go NAIA and play his senior year? As well as D2/D3?

  • Annette

    How do you go about transferring to another school for men’s golf? If you are a very successful D2 player and want to transfer to a D1, is it best to contact coaches by email or phone? The current D2 program is crumbling. Unsure of process, thanks

  • Paul S

    Struggling for some info that makes sense. Our daughter is on a full scholarship at a division I as a diver. She is the team number one, but suffering badly from too low a competition level. She needs a much higher standard of competition she can’t get in the current conference. She wishes to compete for her country, Australia, but will never get to that level with the college and lack of competition in that conference.
    How does she seek a better opportunity without threatening her existing scholarship with the current college. If she requests a permission to contact letter can they just cancel out her scholarship, and if she gets no transfer offers, she ends up with nothing.

    • Paul,

      As you know, there is rarely a reward that comes without any risk. Your daughter may indeed end up without a scholarship offer if she pursues a better opportunity. I do have a strategy that may help reduce the risk of this happening. Contact me directly at if you want to pursue such a discussion.


  • Baseball player

    I am finishing my freshman year at a junior college. I had surgery before the year and I am out for the season. I haven’t redshirted yet but I plan to transfer from the current school to either a d1 or another juco. Am I giving an automatic redshirt from njcaa if i show paper work or will i have to go through with the school I’m at now to have them approve the redshirt?

    • Baseball player

      Also, If i was eligible for d 1 out of high school, does this mean I can still be eligible with out my Associates.

    • BP,

      If you haven’t appeared in a game for one single play at any time during this school year, no paperwork is necessary. That would only be necessary if you had played in games and were trying to get your year “over again” through a medical hardship waiver.


  • Jon

    Fall of 2012 I attended a D3 football school and played on the team. I did not see any varsity playing time and played in a few jv games. I was ineligible toward the end of the season because of my grades. Did i lose a year of eligibility from that? Also i have not attended a four year school since the 2012-2013 school year so I’ve only played one football season in college. I was wondering how many years of eligibility i would have if i transferred to a D1 or D1AA school in the fall or spring. I was told I’m losing eligibility even though I’m not enrolled at a university and not playing a sport anywhere but was wondering if that was true.

    • Jon,

      You did use one season of eligibility for Fall 2012. Two years of your “five-year clock” have expired, so you may still have three seasons of eligibility available (depending upon whether you meet the academic criteria to be immediately eligible at the Div. I level this Fall). If you don’t enroll at a Div. I this Fall, then you’ll be down to two years of eligibility available at the Div. I level.


  • Bria

    I am currently a D3 basketball player looking to transfer to a D2 program would i have to sit out a year and do i tell my school im transferring?

    • Bria,

      You’ll have to obtain “permission to contact” from your Div. III school before coaches at the Div. II will be able to talk with you about a transfer. If you are doing well academically, and are released by your Div. III school, you won’t have to sit out next year.


  • Don

    My son is a sophomore at a D2 school and is thinking about transferring because he is not happy with the program. Would it be better for him to take a shot at D1 or go to another D2 school? If he does go D1, I know he would have to sit out a year, but could he use his redshirt year and still have 2 years of eligibility since he has 5 years to play 4 season. Or does he completely lose that year?

    • Don,

      If your son does have to sit out a year at a Div. I school, he could take that year as his redshirt year and still have two years of eligibility. As to whether it’s better to take a shot at Div. I or go to another Div. II school obviously depends upon a number of different factors. If you would like to discuss those factors, and your son’s specific situation and options, contact me directly at for a consultation.


  • hannah

    i’m currently a walk on at a d1 school for xc/track. i competed in xc, winter track, but did not race in spring. i would like to transfer to a d2 or d3 school for soccer. i am not on scholarship. if i am not sure if i want to transfer can i email other potential coaches or do i have to be released to do that.

  • Jared

    If a D3 baseball player quits the team in the middle of a season, and is thinking about transferring and trying to walk-on at at D1 school, does he need to get permission to talk to the coach at the school he is transferring to?

  • Francis

    I just finished using my first year of eligibility in an NAIA school for baseball. Sadly, the school is unable to afford the program, so there will no longer be a baseball team, meaning it is cancelled (in other words.) The team found out that the baseball program would be cancelled after our first game of the season. This summer I am working on finding a new college to play at and caught interest from a D1, would I have to sit out a year, or would I be eligible since the school cancelled the program?

    • Hi Francis,

      As long as you meet the academic requirements for eligibility as a transfer to Div. I, you should be able to be immediately eligible using the NCAA’s “Discontinued Sport Transfer Exception.”


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