I recently saw a post from a college football writer that 190 football players have entered the NCAA Transfer Portal in the past 12 days!

Some of these players may leave behind a scholarship at their current school and end up having nowhere to transfer to! It also wouldn’t be surprising to see a similar proportion of athletes in other sports.

When you consider these NCAA athletes who are being granted an additional year of eligibility taking up roster spots that in a normal time would possibly be going to junior college transfers or incoming high school recruits, there will be potential roster “log jams” in many sports across college athletics.

Athletes will need to carefully consider their options BEFORE entering the Transfer Portal.

In a confidential Transfer Consultation, we will:

  • Discuss how the current situation could affect your student-athlete including pros and cons of various transfer options
  • Describe all the steps and rules involved in the transfer process including possible eligibility issues to be aware of

Schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, call our office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Representatives from the NCAA Division I membership will be voting on proposed “Uniform Transfer Legislation” at the January NCAA Convention.

If approved, this legislation will permit all Division I student-athletes – even scholarship athletes in basketball and football – the opportunity to transfer one time to a new school with the chance to be eligible and not have to sit out from competition in their first year at the new university.

Here are some key points to note about this proposed legislation:

  • Student-athletes transferring to an NCAA Division I program for the 2021-22 academic year will be able to benefit from this rule change.
  • This will be a one-time opportunity that can be used at any point during a student-athlete’s eligibility. It can be used as an undergrad or as a grad transfer, but not both.
  • Student-athletes must be eligible at the time of their transfer.
  • Athletes will not be permitted to compete for two different programs in the same school year.
  • Coaches and athletic departments will not be able to object to the athlete’s transfer.
  • Student-athletes and their new head coach will be required to affirm that recruiting didn’t occur until after the athlete’s name appeared in the NCAA Transfer Portal.
  • Under this proposal, student-athletes will have a deadline to enter the Transfer Portal in order to take advantage of this new rule – May 1 for Fall and Winter sports and July 1 for Spring sports.
  • There will likely be exceptions to those deadlines granted for student-athletes in situations when there is a head coaching change or when an athlete is informed of a scholarship reduction or non-renewal.

Potential pitfalls and concerns

  • With a proposed deadline of May 1st for Fall sport athletes in a year when most Fall sports have been shifted to the Spring, student-athletes who are considering a transfer may need to enter the Transfer Portal before their season concludes (unless an exception is granted for this particular situation).
  • The dates noted above could also have a very significant impact for student-athletes who may want to transfer at midyear. An athlete who might be thinking next Fall about a midyear transfer would not be able to use this new rule unless they had already entered the Transfer Portal before May 1 or July 1 (depending upon their sport).

This means that midyear transfers won’t be eligible in their first year at their new school unless the rule is revised or if another exception is established.

  • Also, it’s unclear at this time whether conferences will still impose restrictions or penalties on athletes who transfer from one school to another within the same conference.

If your athlete is considering a transfer and you would like to review and discuss the Transfer rules, purchase and schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online or by calling our office at 913-766-1235.

A head coaching change (due to retirement, job change, or firing) doesn’t change anything about the steps required for a student-athlete to navigate a transfer or about whether they can be immediately eligible at their next college if they choose to transfer.

However, a coaching change in 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 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 – as long as that current player never participates in football again for their current university.

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.

It’s common this time of year for us to be asked “If my coach is fired or resigns, does that give me a ‘free’ opportunity to transfer?”

In fact, Vanderbilt University and University of Illinois are a few of the schools who have recently announced football coaching changes.

This prompts me to remind readers that 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 upon the same rules and academic requirements regardless of whether their team has had a coaching change.

At the NCAA Division I level, however, a coaching change can potentially have an impact on an athlete’s scholarship if the new coaching staff doesn’t see that athlete as a good fit for the program.

If you have questions about the transfer rules or about your athletic scholarship and want to discuss your athlete’s specific situation, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult or a Scholarship Strategies Consult. You can also send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.