An NCAA Legislative Relief Waiver is used to grant relief from the standard rules imposed in a particular situation.

An For example, when a student-athlete transfers a second time between four-year colleges, their options for immediate eligibility are limited.

In most cases the student-athlete will need to serve a “year in residence” and won’t be eligible to compete during their first year when they transfer to a third four-year college.

In this case, a Relief Waiver is an option that, if approved, could be used to grant relief to the student-athlete from needing to serve a year in residence.

Common reasons that a student-athlete needs a waiver as a 4-4-4 transfer include:

  • The athlete moved home to save money and didn’t consider the athletic reasons for their transfer
  • The athlete wants to improve their grades while they consider where they will transfer next for an athletic opportunity.

We routinely draft eligibility waivers for student-athletes so their schools can submit the documents to the NCAA in an effort to gain eligibility, whether as a 4-4-4 transfer or for other transfer situations.

If you are a student-athlete (or a parent) and would like to how an NCAA Legislative Relief Waiver could possibly help in your particular situation, you can schedule a confidential consultation session online or call us directly at 913-766-1235.

Scholarships from high school booster or hometown civic clubs, or from a parent’s employer are considered by the NCAA as “Outside Scholarships.”

Outside scholarships may not be allowed if:

-the student-athlete’s participation in high school athletics or a club team was a major criteria for the award or

-the donor entity or organization has ties to the university that the student-athlete will be attending.

A student-athlete should verify with their university’s compliance office if a specific “outside scholarship” is permissible within the NCAA rules.

For more general information about scholarships, visit the Scholarship Strategies section on our website.

For questions about outside scholarships and whether your student-athlete can accept them, click on Scholarship Strategies Consult Options. If you prefer, contact us directly by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to

JUCO Student-athletes transferring to NCAA Division I or II programs should keep in mind that there are specific academic requirements that must be achieved to be immediately eligible at an NCAA Division I or II university.

The NCAA academic requirements are different for Division I compared to Division II, and can also depend upon the student-athlete’s status as a “Qualifier” as well as how many semesters they have attended at their JUCO.

There are, however, two NCAA rules/requirements that apply to a junior college transfer regardless of whether they are transferring to a Division I or II university:

-The first is that a JUCO transfer can only use 2 credit hours of Physical Education Activity courses toward the required transferable degree credits, unless the athlete is going to major in Physical Education or another major which calls for additional credit hours in those types of courses.

-The second consistent requirement is that remedial-level courses taken at a junior college can’t be used to satisfy the academic requirements for immediate eligibility when transferring from a junior college to an NCAA university.

If you have questions about the NCAA academic requirements that JUCO student-athletes must meet to be immediately eligible at an NCAA university, click Transfer Consult Options to learn how we can help.

If you’d prefer to schedule a consult directly with our office, call Informed Athlete at 913-766-1235 or send an email to

Here are 3 scenarios that I frequently hear then I’m contacted by student-athletes or their families regarding the transfer process.  In each of these cases, 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 student-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 athletic 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 many student-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 10+ 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 schedule a CONFIDENTIAL phone consult, you can schedule online, call us directly at 913-766-1235 or send an email to

The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate  (APR) is a calculation that was designed to improve the academic standards of NCAA DI sports teams and the progress of NCAA Division I athletes toward graduation.

Each NCAA DI scholarship athlete has two potential “points” that they can earn for their team at the end of each semester that will impact each team’s Academic Progress Rate.

They can earn one “eligibility point” for being academically eligible each semester, and they can also earn the “retention point” if they are returning to their university for the following semester.

When a student-athlete transfers from an NCAA DI university, their team can lose a “retention point” unless the student-athlete has a GPA of at least 2.600.

If a school loses too many retention points, there are various penalties that can result, including not being allowed to re-award scholarships and in the most serious cases, the school may lose opportunities for post-season competition.

The NCAA DI Transfer Working Group has asked the NCAA Committee on Academics to study the impact of the Academic Progress Rate on transfers, and to recommend changes to increase accountability for universities that accept a large number of transfers.

According to a recent press release by the NCAA, the earliest that the NCAA Committee on Academics will begin its review of the Academic Progress Rate guidelines is in October. I will update as I get more information on the progress of the NCAA DI Transfer Working Group.

To learn more about Transfers in general, visit our How we Help Transfers Page.

To discuss the steps for a transfer and the academic requirements involved, contact us directly for a confidential phone or Skype consult by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an email to

We also offer email consults.  To learn more, click Transfers Consult Options.


If a student-athlete appears in competition in the early part of their season but is injured or ill to the point that they are not able to complete their season due to “circumstances beyond their control” it’s quite possible that they might qualify to get their season of eligibility “over again” through a Medical Hardship Waiver.

A Medical Hardship Waiver is possible at most every level of college athletics – from junior college, to NAIA, and to each division of the NCAA – but some colleges don’t have a good procedure in place to make sure that the waiver is submitted in a timely manner.

I have seen cases where the head coach of a sport thought it was the responsibility of the sports medicine staff to prepare the medical hardship waiver, while the sports medicine staff thought the responsibility was on the coach to inform the compliance office of an athlete’s need for such a waiver.

Don’t let your athlete lose valuable time and possibly their eligibility status if it’s unclear what office or staff member is responsible for getting the Medical Hardship Waiver prepared and submitted.

If you want to know if your athlete qualifies for a Medical Hardship Waiver, contact us for a confidential consultation to explain the rules and guidelines for a waiver, and to describe how the process should work. Contact us at 913-766-1235, or send an email to

To schedule a private consultation or email consultation online, click Waivers & Appeals Consult Options.

This time of year we frequently get calls regarding student-athletes who are having second thoughts and want to de-commit from the college where they’ve signed an athletic scholarship or made a commitment to.

The most common reason that a student-athlete wants to de-commit from the school they signed with is because the coach that recruited them has left for a job at another school.

In these situations, we strongly advise the student-athlete to decide what they want to do BEFORE the semester starts.

There are a few important reasons for this:

  • If your student-athlete starts attending classes and then wants to leave, it could potentially cost thousands of dollars in withdrawal fees, dorm charges, etc.
  • Starting the semester and then withdrawing could also result in zero credit hours on their transcript for the semester.  This will damage their eligibility for the spring semester at their current college or at another college as a transfer student.
  • When a student-athlete starts attending classes, it triggers the start of their “five-year clock” if they are currently (or hope to be in the future) a Division I athlete.  If they are a DII or DIII athlete, it will be counted as using one of their 10 semesters of full-time enrollment.

If your student-athlete is wanting to de-commit and you’d like to discuss possible options and consequences, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to

To learn more about confidential phone consults or email consults, click Scholarship Strategies Consult Options.


Since July 1st was the deadline for student-athletes to be informed whether their scholarship would be reduced or not renewed for the upcoming school year, we have been contacted by a number of families about the appeal process.  One of the key questions they have is whether it is “worth it” to pursue the appeal.

Each athlete and family must decide this based on the factors unique to their situation, but here’s a few things to consider:

Is it more important for you to have a chance to compete in your sport, or stay at your school on scholarship?  You might win your appeal, but the coach may be angry with you for appealing and might “take it out” on you.  The coach might even bar you from playing and might not even allow you on the team.  In addition, if you’re not kept on the team, the athletic department may require you to serve as a student worker in the department in exchange for your scholarship.

How close are you to finishing your degree?  If you have only one year left to finish your degree, you’ll likely have to take additional courses to earn your degree if you transfer to another college.  For example, you might end up taking 135 or 140 credit hours for a degree which normally requires 120 credit hours.

What points can you cite to support your case in an appeal hearing? For example, Have you been an excellent student at your school, had a leadership position on your team, or had any misconduct or disciplinary issues?

If you’d like to discuss the appeal, and whether you should pursue that option, contact us for a consultation. I can help you determine whether to pursue an appeal, and if so, we’ll discuss the best strategy, and discuss the strongest points to make during an appeal hearing.

Should you decide to transfer rather than appeal, I can walk you through the transfer process to ensure your transition to a new school is as smooth as possible.

To schedule an appointment, call my office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to 

When a Junior College Student-Athlete transfers to an NCAA school and there are eligibility issues, it can create roadblocks to the transfer.

Student-Athletes who start their college career at a junior college have differing academic requirements when it comes time to transfer to an NCAA school.

For example:

-Was the Junior College Student-Athlete a “qualifier” or “non-qualifier” coming out of high school?  The answer to this will affect what a junior college transfer athlete must achieve academically to be eligible to compete at an NCAA DI or DII school.

-How many semesters did the Junior College Student-Athlete attend at the junior college?

-Was the Junior College Student-Athlete required to get their Associates Degree before they were ruled academically eligible to transfer to an NCAA school?

These are the types of things that frequently derail a Junior College Student-Athlete’s athletic and academic career and end up costing them personally and financially.

If a Junior College Transfer Athlete has not satisfied all necessary NCAA academic requirements BEFORE starting classes this Fall, they won’t be able to compete for their university during the 2018-19 academic year and may also not be qualified to receive an athletic scholarship!

Knowing for certain ahead of time can allow a student-athlete to make the adjustments that are needed to avoid disappointment and possibly financial problems down the road.

If you are a Junior College Transfer Athlete (or parent of one) and you are uncertain about your NCAA academic eligibility status, Informed Athlete can help:

-Go to Informed Athlete Eligibility Issues page for general information or How We Help Consults for personalized assistance.

-Click on Informed Athlete’s College Transcript Review Service to learn how you can get an assessment of your transcripts to make sure you’re on track to be eligible when you transfer.

If you have questions, contact Rick Allen at 913-766-1235 or send an email to