Most of you by now have probably heard about the NCAA “Transfer Portal” that is utilized by NCAA Division I programs to let other NCAA colleges know of an athlete’s intent to transfer.

For NCAA Division II and III programs, however, the use of the Transfer Portal is optional. Also, athletes at those programs will need to request permission from their current coaching staff and athletic department to contact other colleges about a possible transfer.

When you tell your coach that you’re planning to transfer and want to contact other colleges, the coach might remove you from the team, but they can’t automatically take your scholarship UNLESS you sign the voluntary withdrawal form!

If your athletic department wants you to sign a “voluntary withdrawal form” as a condition of being granted permission to contact other colleges, our strong recommendation is DON’T sign it!

Signing such a form would give your college the right to immediately cancel your scholarship if they chose to do so.

Do You Need Help Navigating a Transfer?

If you have questions about transferring from one college to another, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, call us 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com

A head coaching change (whether the coach is fired, or leaves of their own choosing to retire or take a new job) doesn’t change anything about the steps for an athlete to navigate a transfer or about whether an athlete can be immediately eligible at their next college if they choose to transfer.

However, a coaching change in NCAA Division I CAN potentially have an impact on an athlete’s scholarship, or perhaps more accurately, on a scholarship athlete’s opportunity to continue as a member of their team at the university that has the coaching change.

That’s because a new head coach being hired at an NCAA Division I university can tell an athlete “You won’t be a member of this team next season. You can continue on scholarship here at the university until you graduate, but you won’t be a part of this team.”

The NCAA rationale for this rule is that an athlete should have the right to complete their degree at their current university while continuing on scholarship even if the new coaching staff has a “system” for which that current athlete is not a good fit or if the coach tries to “run off” the athlete.

The best example may be a football player who chose their university because the former coaches featured a pass-oriented offense, but the new coaching staff prefers a run-oriented approach.

The downside of this rule is that an athlete in this situation will, in most cases, never be able to continue on the team at their current university. That’s because the benefit to the new coaching staff is that they get to “reclaim” that scholarship to go recruit a new player while allowing the current player to continue on scholarship at the university until they complete their degree.

Do You Have Questions?

If you’d like to have a confidential detailed discussion about the Division I scholarship rules when a coaching change occurs, schedule a scholarship strategies consult online or call 913-766-1235 or email rick@informedathlete.com.

If you’re a college athlete who is struggling in a class (or parent of one), you may be thinking about dropping that class before the final exam. Before doing that, there are a number of things that should be considered:

  • Will dropping the class affect my current eligibility right now? (If it drops you below full-time status, you’ll become immediately ineligible for competition.)
  • Will dropping the class affect my eligibility next semester? (That depends upon your specific situation. For some football athletes, it could even effect your eligibility next Fall.)
  • If I don’t drop the class, but fail it, how might that effect my eligibility? (If your GPA drops too low, you may be ineligible for next semester.)
  • What other implications are there that I’m not thinking about?

In a confidential phone consultation, we can discuss your specific situation and the impact that dropping a course, or possibly staying in it but failing the course, can have on your current and future eligibility. Schedule an Eligibility Consult online, call our office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

If you’re a college athlete who is a few weeks into your winter sport season, currently injured, and not sure what your options are for this season, you may want to contact us to discuss whether you might qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver.

There are specific rules that must be satisfied to receive a Medical Hardship Waiver and those rules vary between the different levels of college athletics.

In addition, for athletes who have the misfortune to miss two different seasons in their sport due to “circumstances beyond their control” it may be possible to receive a waiver for a 6th year of eligibility.

In a private, confidential phone consult, we can discuss the guidelines for obtaining a Medical Hardship Waiver and/or an “extension of eligibility” waiver and advise you on how to request a waiver. Schedule a confidential Waivers & Appeals Consult online, call 766-1235 or write to rick@informedathlete.com.

With the Fall seasons ending, there are a lot of coaching changes being announced in sports such as football, soccer, and volleyball. On just one day this week, I learned of a dozen different coaching changes in various NCAA Division I sports alone!

While a coaching change CAN potentially impact an athlete’s scholarship, a coaching change does NOT change the transfer rules.

An athlete must still follow the same steps to transfer and their eligibility will depend on the same rules and academic requirements regardless of whether their team has had a coaching change.

If you have questions about the steps and academic requirements for transferring from one college to another, schedule a confidential phone consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send me an email to rick@informedathlete.com

We’ve been having a lot of parents ask us about “this rule that we’ve heard about” which would permit their athlete to appear in up to four games and still be able to claim a redshirt season in their sport.

The “Four Game Rule” that these parents are referring to only applies to the sport of football at the NCAA Division I level.

In every other sport, participation during any portion of a game, meet, or match during the regular season will trigger the use of one of an athlete’s four seasons of competition.

Do you need help understanding or navigating the rules?

If you have any questions about the “Four Game Rule” or any other eligibility issues that affect your student-athlete, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consult online or contact us at 913-766-1235 or via email to rick@informedathlete.com.”