As part of Informed Athlete’s commitment to providing accurate information to our clients and newsletter subscribers, we attend the annual NCAA Regional Rules Seminar every year.
I’ll be attending the seminar from June 4-6, 2018 where I’ll have the opportunity to discuss important topics related to transfers, waivers & appeals, eligibility, scholarships, and recruiting rules with NCAA staff members and many of my friends in the compliance business.  I am especially interesting in hearing progress updates from the NCAA Transfer Rules Working Group!
If you’d like to see a list of topics to be discussed, click here:  http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/events/regional-rules-seminars.
Watch for Informed Athlete’s weekly newsletter where I’ll include updates on key items from the sessions.
My available time for consultation calls will be limited while I’m attending the seminar, but I’ll be checking phone and email messages and will respond when I can.  You can leave a message at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

If An NCAA Division I or II student-athlete has been on an athletic scholarship during the 2017-18 year, they must be notified no later than July 1st if their scholarship will be reduced or not renewed for the 2018-19 academic year.
The official notification must come from the university’s financial aid office, and must include information about the opportunity to appeal the reduction or cancellation.

While the rules do give coaches and athletic departments until July 1 to make their final decisions, most coaches will inform student-athletes on athletic scholarships during end-of-the-year or end-of-the-season one-on-one meetings.

If your athlete has been verbally informed by the coach that their athletic scholarship is being reduced or won’t be renewed for next year, I suggest that you request information about the hearing opportunity as soon as possible.
Otherwise, if you wait to receive the official notification from the financial aid office, you could be waiting until near the end of July before a campus committee hears your appeal.

Here’s an example of how much delay could occur if you wait to request a hearing opportunity:

  • Student-Athlete is verbally informed by the coach at the end of their season in early May that their athletic scholarship won’t be renewed for next year.
  • But, the student-athlete is waiting for the written notification, and assumes that it may come after final exams, so doesn’t act on the word from the coach. The official notice actually isn’t sent until late June.
  • When the student-athlete receives the notice, he/she considers it for a couple of days, and now it’s early July when the student-athlete wants to request the appeal, but the campus is closed for the July 4th holiday.
  • The university has up to 30 days from receiving the student-athlete’s request for appeal in which to conduct the hearing, so it’s now late July or early August before the hearing takes place and a ruling is determined.

Obviously, not much time to plan for the 2018-19 school year!!!
Contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com if you have questions about scholarship reductions or non-renewals.

An NCAA Division I scholarship rule, which was implemented last year, applies specifically when there has been a coaching change during the current academic year or leading into the new academic year.

In this situation, a student-athlete can continue on scholarship at their Division I university to complete their degree even if the new coach doesn’t invite them back next season and if they choose not to transfer.

With calls we’re getting, this rule is apparently being used in ways that were not intended, and you need to be aware of this if you find yourself in this situation.

Some Division I coaches, when newly hired, are taking advantage of this rule to remake their rosters. They will tell athletes “Hey, you can continue to go to school here on scholarship until you receive your degree, but you no longer have a spot on the team and will never play here.”

We can provide a confidential consultation to discuss your options if this happens to you or someone you know. Send an e-mail to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

I have received several calls regarding coaches at Power Five universities (those in the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, and PAC-12, plus Notre Dame), telling student-athletes that their athletic scholarships aren’t being renewed for next year.
Here are some key points to keep in mind if this situation could apply to you:

  • If you received an athletic scholarship in your first year attending a Power Five university (and if the scholarship was signed after January of 2015), a coach is limited in their ability to take away your scholarship.
  • The coach can’t take the scholarship away if you have an injury or illness impacting your ability to compete in your sport, and they can’t take the scholarship away just because you didn’t perform in your sport up to their expected standards.
  • However, the coach CAN take away your scholarship if you’ve lost your academic eligibility, had a student misconduct issue, or have violated team or athletic department rules or policies.

A student-athlete needs to be very careful that they have not violated a team or athletic department rule or a school conduct policy.  If a coach at a Power Five university wants to cancel your athletic scholarship, this is the most likely way for them to do so, other than just telling you that you won’t see playing time if you stay, and then hoping you will choose on your own to transfer to another university.

If your student-athlete has been verbally informed by the coach that their athletic scholarship is being reduced or won’t be renewed for next year, I suggest that you contact your compliance director to request information about the hearing opportunity as soon as possible.

Because each student-athlete’s situation most likely has some unique circumstances involved, we can provide a confidential phone consultation to discuss non-renewals and options to consider including your rights in such a situation and assisting with preparation for a hearing.

Contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com to schedule a confidential consultation.

For NCAA Division I student-athletes, their GPA is increasingly becoming an important factor if they want to transfer to another college or university to continue their college athletic career. This is because a student-athlete leaving a Division I program can cost the program an APR point, which can end up being quite significant.

APR, in NCAA terminology, refers to the Academic Progress Rate. NCAA Division I athletic teams must have a sufficient APR in order to be eligible for postseason play.

To determine each team’s APR, each student-athlete on an athletic scholarship is “worth” two points at the end of each term – the eligibility point and the retention point. If the student-athlete is eligible for the next term, and stays at their school for the next term, they have “earned” two points for their team for that semester. If an athlete is eligible for the next term, but chooses to transfer to another school, their team will lose the retention point.

However, a university can receive an “adjustment” from the NCAA and won’t lose an APR retention point if the athlete transferring to another four-year college has a GPA of at least 2.600.

How is this important to the student-athlete themselves?
Increasingly, I am hearing that some Division I coaches have been denying “permission to contact” for student-athletes who have requested permission to talk to other four-year colleges about a possible transfer unless the student-athlete has a GPA of at least 2.600.

So, a Division I athlete with a 2.500 GPA, for example, could be academically eligible to compete the next season if they were staying at their current school, and could meet the transfer eligibility requirements to be immediately eligible at another four-year college.

But they could be denied permission to speak with coaches and athletic staff at another college about a possible transfer because their GPA is below 2.600 and their current team could lose an APR retention point.

What’s the “takeaway” for Division I student-athletes (and parents) to remember?
Your GPA is obviously important for eligibility and to maintain academic scholarships, but is becoming increasingly important, especially if you want to transfer to another four-year college at some point in the future.

If you are considering a transfer and you would like to discuss your options, contact Rick Allen at 913-766-1235 or rick@informedathlete.com for a private consultation. We’ve helped thousands of athletes and parents to understand the rules and steps in the transfer process. We can help you evaluate your options and navigate the transfer process with complete confidentiality.