That depends.

The final decision to transfer must be made by an athlete and family based on a number of factors. But we can help you to consider the pros and cons of a possible transfer by having a confidential discussion of the factors to consider.

Such factors/questions include:

  • Do the rules applying to your sport and situation give you the opportunity to be eligible next year with a new team? (Baseball, basketball, football, and men’s ice hockey can be more difficult.)
  • How many seasons of eligibility do you have remaining?
  • Will you satisfy the academic requirements to be eligible as a transferring student-athlete?
  • Are you transferring to another four-year college, or to a junior college to be re-recruited to another four-year college?

Do you need assistance?

If you want to discuss your specific situation as it relates to these questions and the options your student-athlete can consider, schedule a confidential transfer consultation online or by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com

All current NCAA Division I and II scholarship student-athletes are to be notified no later than July 1 whether their scholarship is being reduced or not renewed for the upcoming year.

If your athlete has not been notified by now, they should definitely contact their coaches and ask.

This is especially important if your athlete has recently changed their email, or your family has moved to a new physical address. Make sure that email and physical addresses that are on file with the Office of Financial Aid for your student-athlete are up-to-date.

Once in a while we hear from student-athletes or parents who say they didn’t receive their required scholarship status notification. Not receiving the official notification in a timely manner could mean that your student-athlete could miss the deadline for an appeal hearing should their scholarship be reduced or taken away.

If your student-athlete’s scholarship is being reduced or not renewed for the coming year, you do have some options.

However, time is of the essence. If you’d like to learn more about pursuing an appeal, we can help guide you through the process. Schedule a Waivers and Appeals consult online, or by contacting us at rick@informedathlete.com or calling 913-766-1235.

Athletes who plan to attend a junior college and then transfer to an NCAA university to be immediately eligible must satisfy specific academic requirements while attending the junior college. 

These academic requirements will vary depending upon a number of factors. Those factors include:

  • Was the athlete an NCAA Qualifier based on their academic record in high school?
  • Is the athlete starting at the junior college as a freshman, or as a transfer from another college – especially if coming from a four-year college to do a 4-2-4 transfer back to another four-year college?
  • How many years or semesters is the athlete planning to attend the junior college? Will the athlete be considered a part-time student for any of those semesters?
  • Is the athlete thinking about attending the junior college beyond their second year of college enrollment?

Academic Eligibility Considerations for Current JUCO Athletes

Current junior college athletes who choose to stay at the junior college level for a second season of playing eligibility next year in their 3rd year of college attendance should keep a few points in mind:

  • Academic eligibility upon transfer to an NCAA program often depends upon the number of semesters that an athlete attended a junior college as a full-time student. Attending a two-year college for an additional year or semester beyond the normal two years could possibly have negative consequences on academic eligibility when a junior college athlete transfers to join an NCAA athletic program.
  • Eligibility upon transfer to an NCAA program also depends upon the number of credit hours earned during the last semester of full-time attendance at the junior college, as well as how many of those credit hours will be accepted as transferable credit at the NCAA university.

Do You Have Questions or Need Objective Advice?

If you have questions or need objective advice regarding your student-athlete’s academic eligibility situation, we can help. Schedule your confidential Eligibility Issues Consultation online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Last week, NCAA Division I baseball programs were granted a “blanket waiver” that will impact their roster size and scholarship rules for the 2020-21 academic year.

  • There will be no roster size limit for Division I programs during the 2021 baseball season.
  • Up to 32 student-athletes will be allowed to receive a baseball scholarship – an increase from the normal limit of 27 in Division I.
  • Coaches will be allowed to renegotiate scholarships to provide less than 25% for 2020-21 with conditions in place for the following year or years of an athlete’s attendance.

This last point is especially important because student-athletes who were on scholarship during the 2019-20 academic year must be notified by NCAA universities no later than July 1 whether their scholarship will be renewed, reduced, or not renewed for the 2020-21 academic year.

If your Division I baseball athlete has been notified of a change to their scholarship for this next year and you have questions or want to know what options are available, schedule a Scholarship Strategies consult online or contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or at 913-766-1235.

June 15th is an important date for high school recruits regarding the opportunity to have contact with NCAA Division I and Division II coaches, and also for current junior college athletes who were signed to an NJCAA Letter of Intent during the 2019-20 academic year.

NCAA Division I Recruiting Information:

June 15th is the first date when most NCAA Division I coaches will be able to place recruiting phone calls and send emails/messages to athletes who have just completed their sophomore year of high school.

The following Division I sports are the only ones that have a date other than June 15 as the earliest date for placing recruiting calls and sending emails/messages to prospects:

  • Baseball – Sept. 1 of junior year
  • Women’s Basketball – Sept. 1 of junior year
  • Football – Sept. 1 of senior year except for one call between Apr. 15 and May 31 of junior year
  • Men’s Ice Hockey – Jan. 1 of sophomore year
  • Lacrosse – Sept. 1 of junior year
  • Softball – Sept. 1 of junior year

Regarding calls placed by high school recruits TO Division I coaches, the dates listed above are the same EXCEPT that coaches in the sports of baseball, basketball, and football can accept incoming calls and talk to recruits who call them at any time.

NCAA Division II Recruiting Information:

For recruiting by NCAA Division II colleges, June 15 is the date when coaches in ALL sports can start to contact recruits who have completed their sophomore year via phone, email, or direct message services.

Division II coaches in all sports can also accept incoming calls and talk to prospects who call them at any time.

NJCAA Letter of Intent Signees:

For athletes who attended an NJCAA two-year college during the 2019-20 academic as a Letter of Intent signee: June 15 is also the date by which notification of renewal of the Letter of Intent for the 2020-21 academic year is supposed to be provided by their college.

An NJCAA athlete not signed to a new scholarship by June 15 (which is supposed to be in the form of a new Letter of Intent) becomes recruitable by any other NJCAA college starting on June 16.

For specific questions about recruiting rules, Letter of Intent, or scholarship agreements, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

I recently consulted with the parent of an NCAA Division I baseball player who has been told by his coach that he won’t have a spot on the roster next season.

This is a player who was highly recruited by multiple “Power Five” programs and is on a large baseball scholarship.

The coaching staff coerced the athlete into submitting his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal even though he didn’t want to transfer. In an hour-long exit meeting where it was the player meeting with all three baseball coaches, they continually told him “you need to transfer” and “you won’t play here.”

Athletes in this type of situation should make sure that they know exactly what it means to submit their name into the Transfer Portal and the possible consequences of doing so.

  • That’s because doing so may hurt the athlete’s chances for approval of a waiver to be immediately eligible at another Division I program as a transfer athlete.
  • It could also hurt their chances if they later choose to appeal the loss of their scholarship.

Schedule a confidential Transfer Consult to discuss ALL things that your student-athlete should know and be prepared for in case a situation like this should happen. We have 3 ways to set up a consult:

  • Call us at 913-766-1235 to set a time.
  • Send an email to rick@informedathlete.com and include a few times that are convenient for you.

If you are a college athlete who plans to take summer courses from a college or university other than the one where you were enrolled this past semester, you should keep these points in mind:

  • If you are taking the summer course to gain additional credit hours toward your degree requirements, check with your academic advisor to confirm that the course can be transferred back to your current college or university and will count toward your degree requirements.
  • If you are taking the summer course to improve your GPA, contact your academic advisor or call the Office of the Registrar at your college or university to ask whether the summer course will impact your GPA, or whether it will only impact the credit hours you need for your degree. Such policies can vary from one college to another.

If you were on scholarship during the regular academic year, there is no requirement that your university provide a summer school scholarship.

  • If you were a scholarship athlete during the 2019-20 academic year, your scholarship from that university won’t cover summer courses taken from a different university.
  • In fact, your scholarship may not cover summer courses taken from the same university you attended during 2019-20. That’s because a scholarship for summer school is a separate agreement from your academic year scholarship.

Do you Have Questions?

If you have questions regarding how summer courses may impact your eligibility, especially if you will be transferring to a new college this Fall, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues consult online, or by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or calling us at 913-766-1235.

During the call, Rick will review the eligibility rules that specifically pertain to your athlete and answer your questions. He’ll discuss the options that are available depending on the situation – including the possibility of an academic eligibility or extension of eligibility waiver.

All information shared is private and confidential. Nothing is shared with schools, coaches, or anyone else unless you specifically make a request.

As I was planning this week’s newsletter, I was preparing to write an article about the number of college sports programs that are being eliminated. Most, if not all, of these sports programs are being dropped at least in part due to the financial impact of COVID-19 on athletic department budgets and on overall college enrollment at many institutions.

Then, I opened the sports section of our local newspaper and an Associated Press sportswriter had already researched and written an article on this topic.

Here’s a link to that complete article:

https://bit.ly/2Xl0oOt

As of the writing of that AP article, the following number of sports programs have been dropped at each four-year college level.

NCAA Division I – 19

NCAA Division II – 47

NCAA Division III – 19

NAIA – 12

Student-athletes who were members of these teams or who had been recruited by these teams as incoming freshmen are stuck in a very unfortunate situation. If they choose to transfer to find a new team at another college, they don’t have much time to select a new college before classes begin this Fall.

For student-athletes who participate in spring sports, they face the additional challenge of trying to find another team when rosters may already be overloaded due to all college spring sport athletes being granted an additional year of eligibility after their seasons were cut short due to COVID-19.

These student-athletes – especially those at NCAA Division II, Division III, or NAIA – may want to consider taking off a semester or year from school, or only taking a part-time course load for a period of time, to have more time to consider their options.

We can discuss these possible options and explain the pros and cons to consider before your athlete makes a rush decision. All information you share and we discuss is private and confidential. Our focus is what is in your athlete’s best interest only.

Schedule your Eligibility Issues consult online or by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

If you were an NCAA Division I or II student-athlete who received an athletic scholarship during the 2019-20 academic year, you should receive official word about your 2020-21 scholarship status no later than July 1st.

A few things you should know:

This official notification must be issued by the university’s financial aid office rather than from the athletic department (although previous notification may have been provided by a coaching staff or athletic department).

The official notification must be in writing (or via email) and state whether your scholarship will be renewed at the same level, reduced, or not renewed for the next academic year.

If an athlete’s scholarship is being reduced or not renewed for the upcoming academic year, the notification is also required to let them know:

  • Of their right to a hearing,
  • The steps they need to follow to request a hearing
  • The deadline for requesting a hearing.

If you have been notified that your scholarship has been reduced or cancelled and you want a hearing, we can help you understand what happens during a hearing and help you prepare for the hearing so you can make an effective appeal.

Schedule a confidential Waivers and Appeals Consult online or by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or calling us at 913-766-1235

Last week, NCAA Division I leaders extended the recruiting Dead Period for all Division I coaches through the end of July due to continued COVID-19 concerns.

Division I coaches are limited to recruiting by phone, text, email, and other messaging, as well as looking at film and by speaking with high school, junior college and/or club coaches.

Meanwhile, Division II coaches entered a recruiting Quiet Period on June 1.

This means that although the Division II coaches are still restricted from conducting any off-campus recruiting activities, they can conduct sports camps and clinics, invite recruits to campus and have in-person recruiting conversations, as long as those interactions take place on campus.

As the parent of a high school or junior college recruit, how should you or your athlete approach this situation?

Some suggestions:

  • Check out opportunities in your state or region to participate in recruiting camps or showcase events this summer. Because coaches can’t leave campus to conduct recruiting, they will be relying more than ever on the word of event organizers and junior college or smaller college coaches on who were the top players at each event.
  • Attend recruiting/skills camps that may be offered at junior colleges or small colleges in your area. Don’t discount the information that junior college coaches may share with NCAA coaches. Also, don’t discount the possibility of starting off your college career at a junior college to improve your skill level, or to gain strength and speed, so that you can then be recruited by NCAA programs from a junior college.
  • Create a recruiting video that you can send out to coaches.
  • Prepare an athletic resume that you can send to coaches along with a recruiting video. Highlight not only your athletic skills and abilities, but also your academic performance and any leadership or other extra-curricular activities you’ve been involved in.
  • Set up a page for your athlete on one of the recruiting websites that permit you to create your own page and profile.

Here are some of the ways that we can provide objective guidance and information to help you and your athlete navigate through this current challenging environment.

  • We can explain the academic requirements that your athlete will need to satisfy to be eligible to compete at the college level, as well as the transfer academic requirements if they want to start off at the junior college level, or just take part-time courses at the beginning of their enrollment.
  • We can explain the differences in the rules regarding athletic scholarships at the various college levels so that you are prepared if an offer of a scholarship is made to your athlete.
  • For a spring sport recruit who may be faced with overcrowded college rosters this next year, we can also explain the rules and implications of taking a gap year after high school graduation. That option may provide some benefits both athletically to gain size and strength and improve skill level, as well as academically to take part-time course work while postponing the start of the athlete’s eligibility clock.

If you have questions, concerns, or are confused about what to do and how to navigate the recruiting process, we can help you understand and provide scenarios and options for what is in the best interest of your athlete. Schedule a private and confidential Scholarship Strategies Consultation online or by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.