NCAA Division I just passed a new rule effective in the 2018-19 school year that can benefit student-athletes who redshirted in their freshman year and then in a subsequent season are deprived of a season of competition for reasons beyond their or their school’s control (illness, injury, etc).

If a student-athlete meets all the required criteria, they could apply for an Extension of Eligibility Waiver and if approved by the NCAA,  receive a 6th year of competition in their sport.

While this rule has been in place at DII universities, it has previously not been available at DI schools because the redshirt year was not accepted as a reason to extend the clock. With this rule change, the redshirt year is now accepted as a reason to extend the clock.

To learn more about all the required criteria for this new rule and determine if you or your student-athlete are eligible to apply for this Extension of Eligibility, schedule a private consultation with us.  You can schedule online or call our office at 913-766-1235.

Friday, June 15th was the first day for NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball coaches to begin to place recruiting phone calls and send recruiting correspondence (emails, direct messages, etc.) to high school recruits in the graduating class of 2020.

June 15 was also the first day for coaches in all NCAA Division II sports to begin to recruit high school prospects who will graduate in 2020. These activities can include recruiting phone calls, sending recruiting correspondence, AND also offering official visits to a Division II campus.

If you’d like a complimentary copy, click NCAA Recruiting Calendars, and sign up to receive the most current calendars with a summary of important dates and most current need-to-know recruiting info.

Other ways we help student-athletes and their families navigate through the recruiting process include:

Recruiting Rules Consults  via phone or email

College Visit Consult Packages

Informed Athlete’s Campus Visits Guide

 

An NCAA Division I or II athlete who was on scholarship during the 2017-18 academic year must be notified no later than July 1 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.

If your athlete has been verbally informed by the coach that their scholarship is being reduced or won’t be renewed for next year, but has not yet received the official notice described above, 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:

– Athlete is verbally informed by the coach at the end of their season in May that their scholarship won’t be renewed for next year.

-But, the 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 to the athlete until late June.

-When the athlete receives the notice, he/she considers it for a couple of days, and now it’s early July when the athlete wants to request the appeal, but the campus is closed for the July 4th holiday.

-The university may have up to 30 days from receiving the athlete’s request for appeal in which to conduct the hearing (depending upon school policy), 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.

NCAA Division I representatives have voted to change the requirement that an athlete must first obtain permission from their university before coaches at other universities can speak with them about a possible transfer.

The change in the rule does not take effect until October 15.  On that date, the need for “permission to contact” will give way to “Notification of Transfer.”

When this change takes effect, a Division I athlete (one attending a Division I university at the time they decide to transfer) will be able to simply notify their athletic department that they plan to transfer and want to contact other colleges. 

Here’s how this will impact Division I athletes who choose to transfer on or after October 15:

  • The student-athlete will be required to notify their athletic department in writing or via email that they are planning to transfer to another college.
  • The student-athlete’s university will be required to enter his or her name into an official transfer database managed by the NCAA within two business days of the written notification.
  • Once the athlete’s name is in the database, coaches at other colleges can contact that athlete regarding his or her desire to transfer.
  • This new rule does NOT yet change anything about whether the athlete can be immediately eligible upon transfer to a new university.

The athletic scholarship of an athlete providing transfer notification can be cancelled by their university at the end of the semester in which they provide such notification. 

As a result, an athlete giving transfer notification to their Division I university in November, for example, will not be able to retain their scholarship for the Spring even if they’re planning to complete the academic year at their original university.

If you would like more information and assistance regarding the transfer process for your student-athlete, click here to schedule a consultation.

 

I’m often asked by high school student-athletes or parents if it’s possible to “double-sign” with a Junior College and an NCAA institution. Because they are separate organizations, it is possible to sign a letter of intent with a school in each organization.

Since it’s best not to burn any bridges, student-athletes and parents should consider being honest with the schools about the double-signing so that the college coaches don’t get caught off-guard. You never know when you might choose to transfer to that other school that you signed with.

In some sports, primarily football and baseball, double-signing can actually be a good scholarship strategy under the right circumstances:

For example, a high round baseball draft choice may sign a letter of intent with a Junior College as well as with an NCAA school, to keep open the option of playing at the junior college for one year, and then have the opportunity to be drafted again the following year.

In the case of that baseball draft choice in the example above, what will happen in the case of an injury and the athlete is not drafted as hoped? The athlete will want to be eligible to play when he transfers to the NCAA university.

Regardless of the reason that an athlete starts their college career at a junior college, athletes who do this should keep in mind the NCAA eligibility and transfer rules that may apply to them should they end up transferring from the JUCO to an NCAA Division I or II program.

Also, for high school prospects who sign a National Letter of Intent with an NCAA Division I or II program, but decide to enroll in a JUCO instead, remember that the NLI that you signed remains binding upon you until you graduate from the JUCO or until you are released from the NLI by the school that you signed with.

If you have questions about this article or anything else related to recruiting, transfers, scholarships, or eligibility, please call Informed Athlete at 913-766-1235 or send me an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

There continues to be great interest in the discussions of the NCAA Division I Transfer Working Group and whether they will change the rules regarding possible immediate eligibility as a transfer athlete to a Division I university.

Unfortunately, I learned at the recent NCAA Seminar that the Group is finding “…no consensus around a uniform transfer rule.”

Furthermore, “Membership feedback and opinions on the Transfer Working Group itself shows wide range of factors that should inform transfer eligibility.”

In addition, the separate Commission on College Basketball has been asked to provide input to the Transfer Working Group, as has each of the Division I Conferences following their recent Conference meetings.

The NCAA stated in one session that it is “Unlikely the Transfer Working Group will recommend potential solutions prior to the 2018-19 academic year.”

If your athlete is considering a transfer, it’s important that you understand the rules that will apply to their situation. We can help advise and guide you through what is often a very stressful process.  Give us a call at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick @informedathlete.com.

For NCAA Division I student-athletes who are currently on a multi-year scholarship or recruits who are considering a DI multi-year scholarship offer, here are 6 things you should know:

-NCAA Division I is the only level of college athletics that CAN offer a multi-year scholarship. While they can do so, very few Division I coaches and teams actually do offer multi-year scholarships. Many are prohibited from doing so by their athletic department policies.

-Always be sure to read the fine print on the back of the athletic scholarship agreement to understand the conditions under which a coach is allowed to either cancel the scholarship in the midst of the academic year or not renew it for the following year.

-Make sure your student-athlete shares any team or athletic department team rules and conduct policies so you are aware of the means by which a coach  may try to take away a scholarship if your athlete is not performing as expected.

-A scholarship that is touted by a coach as a multi-year scholarship, but provides NO scholarship in the first year, is NOT a valid multi-year scholarship.

-A multi-year scholarship may be renegotiated during the period of the scholarship award. BUT, the renegotiation must result in an increase in the total amount of the scholarship provided.

-If a proposed restructuring of a multi-year scholarship doesn’t result in an overall increase, it is not permissible.

If you have questions about multi-year and athletic scholarships and how they affect your student-athlete, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com to schedule a confidential consultation.

For high school student-athletes who plan to play a sport at an NCAA Division I or II university, it’s important to remember some key points if you receive a scholarship from your high school, local civic club, parent’s employer, or other organization.  Local organizations providing these scholarships should also keep these key points in mind.

The NCAA considers any financial aid for an athlete that comes from a source other than their family, or the college or university they are attending, to be “financial aid from outside sources.”

There are two categories of aid from outside sources:  “no relationship to athletics ability,” and “aid from an established and continuing program” to aid students.

Here are some key points regarding outside scholarships:

No relationship to athletics ability:
If a scholarship program, such as through a local civic club or through the business where an athlete’s parent is employed, requests or encourages an applicant to include their athletic participation or achievements as part of the application process, it can’t be classified in this category.  The organization that awards the scholarship may be asked to confirm that it did not consider athletics participation or achievements in selecting the athlete who is awarded the scholarship.

Financial aid from an established and continuing program to aid students:
If a scholarship program considers the athlete’s athletics participation and achievements among the criteria for awarding the scholarship, and especially if applicants or nominees are required to be an athlete in order to be considered for a scholarship, then that scholarship will automatically be considered to be in this category.

Student-athletes can accept scholarships from an organization in this situation without consequence, as long as the donor organization does not restrict the athlete’s choice of college he or she attends, and there can’t be a direct connection between the donor organization and the college. Otherwise, the scholarship would have to be counted toward the team scholarship limit in that sport, as if it were awarded to the athlete by the coaching staff.

Scholarships in this category should be sent to the financial aid office of the college the recipient will be attending so that the aid will be properly tracked for NCAA limits.

Athletes attending an NCAA Division I or II university will likely be asked to indicate on a form for their athletic department whether they are the recipient of an outside scholarship.  In addition, the awarding organization may be asked to provide a copy of their application or nomination form and a list of criteria for the scholarship.

If you have questions about the application of the rules on outside financial aid awards or other questions about athletic scholarships, call Rick Allen at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

That term “preferred walk-on” actually means nothing more than whatever that coaching staff intends it to mean.  At one university, a preferred walk-on may be guaranteed a spot on their roster, while at another university, it may only mean that they don’t have to go through an open tryout to join full-squad practice sessions.

What is more important for a preferred walk-on in certain sports is whether they are considered “recruited” to their university team.  This can be an important factor in their opportunity to be immediately eligible if they decide to transfer after a year or two to a Division I program.

For certain sports, it can mean the difference between being immediately eligible for competition and a scholarship at their new university, or serving a “year in residence” before they can compete.

If your athlete has been offered a preferred walk-on status at either an NCAA or NAIA school, and you have questions about what it means and how that could negatively impact a potential transfer opportunity, contact us at rick@informedathlete.com, or call 913-766-1235.