Most colleges are getting ready to start classes for the Fall semester.

A question that we often receive this time of year is whether a student-athlete can withdraw from classes without a “penalty.” They might wish to do this because of second thoughts about their college choice, or due to injury or illness.

If your student-athlete has already started attending their college classes this Fall as a full-time enrolled student, withdrawing from their classes could negatively impact their athletic eligibility now and possibly in the future at their current college, or at a new college that they might transfer to.

Dropping a course later in the term to avoid a failing grade that will hurt the GPA may be OK, but encourage them to finish the semester or quarter before they withdraw or transfer to another college so that they don’t lose all their credits for this term.

To discuss a potential withdrawal situation and how it could impact your athlete, schedule a confidential Eligibility Consult online or contact us at 913-766-1235.

While the NCAA, NAIA, and Junior Colleges offer Medical Hardship Waivers for student-athletes who are injured or become ill, the rules and criteria for each organization varies.  However, the most important factor in a Medical Hardship Waiver request is the medical documentation to substantiate the injury. 

The best case scenario for a student-athlete to be granted a medical hardship waiver is that the medical documentation from the actual time of the injury or diagnosis states that “this athlete is not yet released to return to full competition in their sport” or a similar statement.

When no such physician statement is included and it is unclear whether the injury is serious enough to prevent the student-athlete from competing in their sport, it is much less certain that the waiver will be approved.

The documentation can also be very important in the future if the student-athlete happens to become injured again and misses a second season of competition. In that situation, it would be possible for the student-athlete to obtain an extension of their eligibility “clock” and add another year of eligibility. This is possible when a student-athlete has missed not just one, but more than one season of competition due to injury or illness.

We routinely prepare Medical Hardship Waivers when a college athletic department is not experienced with that process or they don’t have the time or manpower to prepare the waiver.

To discuss your athlete’s specific situation and their opportunity for a Medical Hardship Waiver or even an extension of their eligibility “clock”, contact us at 913-766-1235 or e-mail rick@informedathlete.com.

If you’re the parent of a high school athlete who is focused on being recruited and admitted to their dream school, it may seem a bit odd to already be thinking ahead about the possibility of a transfer to another school at some point in the future.

However, thinking ahead to the possibility of a transfer can be very helpful just in case that time comes.  

Here are a couple of examples of how thinking ahead can be to your high school athlete’s benefit:

-It’s common for student-athletes to start at a college that is quite a distance from home, but then they become “homesick” and want to transfer to be closer. If their original school, and the school the athlete wants to transfer to are in the same conference, there may be conference rules regarding an intra-conference transfer which restrict the athlete’s future eligibility.

-If a student-athlete transfers from their original four-year college to a Division I program in baseball, basketball, football, or men’s ice hockey, they are often required to serve a “year in residence” attending the new college before they can compete for that team. However, if a student-athlete was not on scholarship and was a “non-recruited” athlete at their original school, they will have the opportunity to be immediately eligible at the second university.

For more general information about transfers, visit the Transfers section on our website.

To learn more about recruiting, visit the Recruiting Rules area of our website.

If you are interested in learning how the transfer rules could impact your athlete in the future and would like a personal and confidential consult to discuss these issues, you can schedule online. Or, if you prefer, contact us directly by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

As college athletes are heading back to campus, here is an important reminder to Fall Sport student-athletes: 

Participating in organized practices before classes start, even if you leave and withdraw from the school before classes start, will make you a transfer athlete under the NCAA rules and you will be subject to transfer requirements.

If you are having second thoughts about whether you want to attend the university you’ve chosen and want to know your options, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com  

NCAA Division I student-athletes have a “5-year eligibility clock” during which they can compete for up to 4 seasons.

Student-Athletes at other four-year college divisions must complete their playing eligibility within their first 10 semesters or 15 quarters of full-time enrollment and attendance.

It’s important to remember that a student-athlete triggers the start of their 5-year eligibility clock or uses one of their 10 semesters or 15 quarters when they attend their first class while registered for a full-time course load – even if they drop to part-time status on the afternoon of the first class day!

If you or your athlete have questions about their eligibility “clock” and the impact of dropping to part-time status, please contact us to set an appointment by calling 913-766-1235 or by sending an e-mail to rick@informedathlete.com.

We recently consulted with a student-athlete who was planning to transfer to an NCAA Division II college and learned that she won’t be academically eligible this Fall even though she earned her Associates Degree at her junior college in May.

This student-athlete had not been informed that there are multiple NCAA DII academic requirements that must be satisfied to be eligible when transferring from one college to another and thought the Associates Degree was all that was needed.

Unfortunately, she was also required to earn at least 9 credit hours of transferable degree credit this past Spring at her junior college.

In fact, any NCAA Division II athlete – even one continuing at their same university – must have earned at least 9 credit hours (or 8 if their college was on the quarter system) in the Spring term to be eligible for competition this Fall. For a transfer athlete, those credit hours must be acceptable for transfer credit at the college the athlete is transferring to.

If you’d like more information about the continuing or transfer eligibility requirements, you can schedule a confidential consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or 913-766-1235.