If a student-athlete is classified by the NCAA as a Non-Qualifier (based on their high school academic record and their ACT or SAT score), they are prohibited from competition, practice, and an athletic scholarship in their freshman year.

Non-Qualifier status also impacts the academic requirements that a student-athlete must satisfy at a two-year college to successfully transfer if they choose to start their college career at that level before moving on to a four-year university.

A proposed rule being considered by NCAA Division II for the 2021 NCAA Convention in January may change that.

This proposal will allow ALL NCAA DII incoming freshman student-athletes as well as two-year college transfers the opportunity to practice and receive an athletic scholarship in their first year of attendance at a Division II university.

However, while Non-qualifier status athletes would be able to practice and receive an athletic scholarship their first year, they would still be prohibited from competition.
If approved at the NCAA Convention, the rule will benefit Non-Qualifiers first enrolling at a Division II university after August 1, 2021.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on this and other new developments as they happen.  In the meantime, contact us if you have any questions by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

The NCAA Division II Administrative Council recently voted to permit D2 student-athletes to retain a season of eligibility during the 2020-21 academic year if their team can only complete 50% or less of the maximum permissible competition in their sport.

This is similar to action taken recently by NCAA Division III (noted in our newsletter of July 15),

With this waiver approved in advance, a Division II university will be allowed to automatically provide a season-of-competition waiver for their student-athletes as long as the following conditions are satisfied:

  • A team participates in no more than 50% of that sport’s maximum number of games or dates of competition during the 2020-21 academic year as a result of the continuing impact of COVID-19.
  • A student-athlete must be eligible for competition during the season.
  • A student-athlete must use a season of competition to receive the automatic waiver. (A redshirting student-athlete won’t be charged with a season so won’t need the waiver.)

If you would like to discuss how this Division II waiver may impact your student-athlete, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues consultation online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or give us a call at 913-766-1235.

Due to the unique circumstances that are impacting academic calendars and plans for instruction at universities across the country, NCAA Division I leadership has approved a waiver which will permit D1 coaches to require up to 8 hours per week of virtual non-physical activities from their student-athletes through the Fall semester.

Student-athletes who are not on campus but are taking their coursework through online instruction can be required to participate in activities such as team meetings, “chalk talks”, film review, etc. for up to 8 hours per week.

  • Student-athletes must be enrolled as a full-time student in the Fall term in order to participate in these non-physical virtual activities.
  • Coaches must give their athletes at least one day off per week from those activities.

However, Coaches are prohibited from requiring virtual physical activities (such as observing via Zoom or FaceTime an athlete performing a drill or lift). This is due to an NCAA requirement that a sports-safety certified staff member must be physically present during such activities for health and safety reasons.

Do you Have Questions During These Uncertain Times?

As student-athletes and families consider the pros and cons of whether to enroll for the Fall semester if their university will have no in-person instruction and no sports competition, we will answer your questions and be an objective sounding board if you’d like to discuss the pros and cons. Schedule your confidential Scholarship Strategies Consult online or by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or calling us at 913-766-1235.

The NCAA Division II Administrative Committee voted last week to extend the recruiting Quiet Period for coaches in all Division II sports through August 31.

This means that Division II coaches continue to be prohibited from conducting any off-campus recruiting activity through at least the end of August.

They are, however, permitted to call, email or exchange text messages with recruits during a Quiet Period, as well as have face-to-face interaction with recruits and family members during a recruit’s visit to the college campus.

In NCAA Division I, coaches are in a recruiting Dead Period through at least the end of August. No face-to-face conversation is permitted at any location during a Dead Period.

Many coaches are dealing with these recruiting restrictions virtually, by watching live streamed events or through recruiting video.

If you would like to schedule a confidential discussion to review how these recruiting restrictions may impact your prospective student-athlete, schedule a confidential recruiting rules consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or give us a call at 913-766-1235.

Effective August 1, student-athletes at NCAA Division II programs will no longer need to ask for permission from their university to contact coaches at other colleges about a possible transfer.

It has been a somewhat common misconception that all NCAA student-athletes have been able to use the Transfer Portal and that they simply needed to notify their school that they want their name and info entered into the Portal to be able to speak with coaches at other colleges.

But that hasn’t been the case.

That will change for Division II student-athletes starting August 1 when the “notification of transfer rule” takes effect.

Once a Division II student-athlete provides their athletic department with written notification that they want to contact other coaches about a possible transfer, the university will be required to enter the student-athlete’s information into the Transfer Portal within seven calendar days.

It is important to note that once a student-athlete provides transfer notification, the college has the right to take away their scholarship.

This can happen immediately if notification is provided in the summer or between semesters. If notification is given during a semester, the scholarship can be cancelled at the end of that semester.

To make sure you know how this new rule could impact your NCAA Division II student-athlete:

Schedule a confidential Transfer Consultation onlinesend an email to rick@informedathlete.com or give us a call at 913-766-1235.

Last week, the NCAA Division I Council approved a very important change to the scholarship calculation rules that may benefit many student-athletes and families.

For Division I student-athletes who are or will be receiving an athletic scholarship in their sport, most institutional financial aid awards that are based on need or academic merit will be exempt from counting against a team’s scholarship limit starting this Fall.

Under the NCAA rules for Division I that have been in place for many years, when an athlete was receiving both an athletic and an academic or a need-based scholarship from their university, the combined total value of both or all scholarships had to be counted against the team limit in that sport.

That is unless the student-athlete had academic credentials to permit the academic or need-based aid to be exempt from the calculation.

Those academic credentials are/have been:

  • A cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.50 on a 4.00 scale (or a college GPA of at least 3.00 for a continuing athlete to exempt the renewal of an academic scholarship).
  • Ranked in the top 10 percent of the athlete’s high school graduating class.
  • A minimum ACT sum score of at least 105.
  • A minimum SAT score of 1200 (critical reading and math) for SAT tests taken before March 1, 2016, or a minimum SAT score of 1270 (critical reading and math) for tests taken on or after March 1, 2016.

With the new rule taking effect on August 1 of this year, academic scholarships will be exempt from counting against team scholarship limits regardless of whether an athlete achieved the standards noted above. Most need-based financial aid awards will also be exempt. This is basically the same rule that was approved for NCAA Division II two years ago.

If you have questions and want to discuss the impact of this new rule on your athlete ,schedule a confidential Scholarship Strategies consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

In some of our recent newsletters, we’ve been suggesting that athletes and families who are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 may want to skip attending college this Fall semester or this year.

Some have expressed concern about their university’s plan for instruction and/or the possible impact on their competitive eligibility if they don’t have a full sports season – or no season at all.

At levels other than NCAA Division I, athletes can preserve one or more semesters or quarters that will count against the 10-semester or 15-quarter eligibility “clock” if they’re not taking classes at all or are only taking a part-time course load.

However, in fairness, that’s only looking at things from an athletics perspective.

There may be other reasons why student-athletes should consider NOT skipping a semester or year of attendance – including having to possibly re-apply for admission or triggering student loan payments.

The link below will take you to a recent article explaining some reasons “Why Missing College This Fall is a Bad Idea.”


If you’d like to discuss the pros and cons of your athlete not attending college this Fall, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues consult online or by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Coaches in NCAA Division I programs may be in a recruiting Dead Period through the end of August, but that hasn’t stopped them from recruiting and seeking commitments from talented high school athletes. You can see posts every day on social media about “offers” that recruits are receiving.

While Division I coaches can’t leave campus to conduct recruiting activity and can’t have face-to-face interaction with recruits or parents/families during a Dead Period, that doesn’t mean that you can’t visit a campus of your own choosing to walk around the campus and get a sense of what it might be like to attend a particular university.

If you have questions about the recruiting rules, you may want to consider booking a confidential recruiting rules consult.

During the consult, we will review the recruiting rules that pertain specifically to your athlete and answer any questions that you have about the recruiting process, campus visits, eligibility, National Letter of Intent and Scholarships.

If the situation warrants, we will also discuss any other resources or services that might be helpful for making the best decision for your family.

Schedule a confidential Recruiting Rules Consult online, or by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or calling us at 913-766-1235.

Recent action taken by NCAA Division III leadership will permit D3 student-athletes to retain a season of participation for the 2020-21 academic year if their team can only complete 50% or less of the maximum permissible competition in their sport.

For those of you who may not know, Division III rules do not recognize a “redshirt” season for a student-athlete in the same way that NCAA Division I and II do.

In Division III, an athlete uses one of their four “seasons of participation” if they as much as just practice with their team on or after the day that begins their sport season – even if they never appear in an actual game for their team during that season.

With this blanket waiver in place, a D3 student-athlete will not be charged with one of their four seasons of participation for the 2020-21 academic year if their team is not able to compete in at least 50% of the maximum competitions or dates of competition that are permissible in their sport.

The Division III Administrative Committee noted that “The proactive blanket waiver allows student-athletes to make informed enrollment decisions prior to the academic year.”

If you would like to schedule a confidential discussion to review how this blanket waiver may impact your student-athlete, as well as how the season of participation rule overlaps with the Division III rule limiting participation to 10 semesters or 15 quarters of attendance, schedule a confidential waivers and appeals consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or give us a call at 913-766-1235.

Updated 7/17/17 – The Trump administration has agreed to rescind rules it issued last week barring international students from being in the U.S. if they were taking classes only online, a rare reversal by the government on immigration policy.

This past week the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) issued a “modification” to F-1 Visa status that could have a huge impact on international student-athletes (and their coaches and teams).

Effective for the Fall 2020 semester, “non-immigrant students” who are taking their college courses through an entirely online delivery method will not be permitted to remain in the US.

According to Monday’s press release from ICE, “Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status.”

As most of you know from our previous communications with you as a client or as a newsletter subscriber, while the ICE statement seems to read as if “transferring is easy – no big deal”, that’s obviously not the case!!

An international student-athlete transferring on short notice will find it extremely difficult to find another college that has scholarship money available for an unexpected transfer.

This decision by ICE will have very serious implications for those international student-athletes who are currently here in the US, or plan to arrive in the US, and then possibly learn that their university will only be providing instruction via online courses.

We can’t predict whether the NCAA will provide a special waiver for international student-athletes who will be impacted by this decision. But we can discuss options that international student-athletes can consider and how those options will impact their future athletic eligibility.

Schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues consultation online, or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.