NCAA Division I Dead Period extended again! The recruiting “Dead Period” prohibiting in-person recruiting in all Division I sports has now been extended through May 31. This means that no official or unofficial visits to Division I campuses are permissible until after May 31 at the earliest. Division I coaches will be limited to phone, video, or electronic communication with recruits.

For a free copy of the current NCAA Recruiting Calendars, go here:  https://informedathlete.com/services/ncaa-recruiting-calendars/

Recruiting Tip for All College Levels:

When talking to student-athletes or their parents we often hear “The assistant coach that recruited me is no longer with the school.”

Because we hear those comments so often, we suggest that athletes who are being recruited spend as much time as possible with the head coach when visiting a campus. After all, the head coach is the one who decides who will be in the starting lineup.

To learn more about Recruiting Rules, visit our webpage:  https://informedathlete.com/how-we-help/recruiting-rules/

For tips and suggestions to improve your recruitment or for questions about NCAA recruiting rules, schedule a Recruiting Rules Consult Online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

Due to unique circumstances with the pandemic, 2020-21 Fall/Winter and 2020 Spring Sport athletes at all levels will not be charged the use of a season of competition. In addition, many of these athletes have been granted an additional year or semesters on their eligibility “clock.”

For NCAA Division I, those benefits have not been extended to spring sports for this 2021 spring season and I don’t expect them to be. I believe the NCAA doesn’t want to overcrowd spring rosters even further by granting D1 spring sport athletes yet another “free” season of competition.

For that reason, let’s review the requirements for a Division I athlete to receive a Medical Hardship Waiver if a situation arises that your athlete becomes injured or ill to the point that they aren’t able to complete their season.

To qualify for a Division I Medical Hardship Waiver:

  • The athlete can’t have participated in more than 30% of the number of games or dates of competition in their sport.
  • The athlete also must not appear in a contest after the midpoint of the season.
  • The athlete must have contemporaneous documentation from a medical professional that their injury or illness prevents them from being able to continue participating in their season.

If you have questions about the Medical Hardship Waiver, schedule a confidential Waivers and Appeals consultation online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call 913-766-1235.

On Twitter last week, Bryan Fischer, an Athlon Sports Writer and Editor, tweeted that “…NCAA is moving forward with one-time transfers. D1 Council will vote on a waiver to allow one-time transfers for the upcoming year (2021-22) at their April meeting after the Final Four.”

Let’s assume that Mr. Fischer’s info is accurate. This will not actually be a legislative change to the Division I One-Time Transfer rule but will instead be a waiver that will apply only for this upcoming academic year.

While I have not yet seen anything reported about this on the NCAA website or on their social media accounts, I believe that the following conditions will apply for the waiver to be approved:

  • An athlete will only be able to use this waiver on their first transfer from any four-year college and will obviously need to have eligibility remaining.
  • The athlete will need to be academically eligible upon departure from the previous university. That university will need to be able to state that the athlete would be eligible for competition if the athlete was staying at or returning to that university for the upcoming semester or academic year.
  • The Division I university to which an athlete transfers from another four-year university will likely be allowed to automatically approve this waiver as long as the athlete satisfies the conditions listed above and satisfies the academic requirements to be eligible (including meeting the “progress-toward-degree” requirements) at the new university.

For a discussion of this One-Time Transfer waiver, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult to review the transfer rules and academic requirements that will apply to your student-athlete. You can also contact us by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

I recently saw a tweet from a recruiting service about a basketball recruit that said:

“What are you waiting on coaches? [Athlete’s name] is putting up big numbers! Who else needs to tell you numbers don’t lie?”

When I see something like this on social media, I feel the urge to call it what it is – totally misleading!

If you have a recruiting service telling your son or daughter that “It’s all about the numbers that you put up” my advice would be to walk away instead of paying the fee that the recruiting service will charge you.

  • Many college coaches – especially in team sports like baseball, basketball or football – aren’t overly impressed by just “the numbers” because your numbers can vary greatly depending upon the level of competition you were playing against when you put up those numbers.
  • There is much more that coaches take into consideration, such as recommendations from high school or club coaches, academic performance, work ethic, and how a recruit handles adversity.
  • Coaches will also evaluate a recruit’s natural ability and their technique (example: how does an offensive lineman run block compared to their pass blocking technique). Is the athlete versatile enough to play multiple positions for us?

To prospects and parents who are managing their own recruitment, I often recommend that the athletic profile they send to a coach should include examples of their leadership skills, their work ethic, and how the recruit sees themselves helping that college team compete for championships!

Do You Have Questions?

Most of you who come to our website and receive our newsletters know that we’re not a recruiting service, meaning we don’t promote prospective student-athletes to college coaches.

Our focus is ONLY on what is in the best interest for the student-athlete and their family.

To do this, we provide confidential consultations and services regarding recruiting strategies, athletic scholarships, freshman eligibility rules and requirements, and more so that athletes and families are fully informed and can make the best decision for their particular situation.

If you have questions about the recruiting rules or are interested in tips to improve your recruiting opportunities, schedule a confidential Recruiting Rules Consultation online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

Every year we receive calls from frustrated parents telling us that their incoming freshman or transfer student-athlete was not informed until AFTER they started attending classes that they are NOT be eligible to compete in their first year.

For example:

I recently heard from a parent who told me that their athlete (who was transferring from one college to another) was told by the coach and academic advisor last summer that all was in order and that the athlete would not have any problem being eligible at the new college.

However, approximately two weeks after the athlete started attending the new college – and AFTER it was too late to consider a possible “Plan B” – the athlete was informed that he/she is not eligible because not enough academic credits from the previous college were accepted as transferable to the new college.

Why does this happen?

This seems to happen most often for prospects or transfer athletes who are walking on to their college team rather than being recruited with a scholarship. I believe the reason is because the coaching staff – and by extension other offices at the college – aren’t as “invested” in making sure that the athlete will be fully eligible.

Another situation in which we sometimes hear of this happening is when an athlete is enrolling at a college or university where they may have just one compliance staff member responsible for all the compliance duties for all the coaches and athletes of that college. And I get it!! I used to be in that same situation early in my career!

It’s only natural that when there is one compliance person for all of the athletic teams at a university that this individual will need to prioritize their work responsibilities. That often means that the certification of eligibility for Fall sports at the start of the school year will take priority and that eligibility certification for winter and spring sports will take a “back seat.”

What can you do about this? Be Informed!

Contact us for a confidential consultation so we can discuss the academic requirements that your athlete will need to satisfy to be eligible as an incoming recruit or as a transfer athlete. We can also review your athlete’s classes to make sure they are on track to be eligible. If they’re not, we can tell you what your athlete needs to do so they WILL be eligible.

It’s SO much easier to make adjustments BEFORE than to find out AFTER THE FACT and have to make major changes. In my years working at two major DI schools, I encountered some athletes who simply gave up when they realized the difficulty of what they had to do before they could be ruled as eligible.

In the meantime

One thing that I advise all incoming recruits and transfer athletes to do is request confirmation of their eligibility in writing a few weeks before they are due to start classes at the new university. While receiving “bad news” even at that point would be stressful, at least it might be possible for your athlete to consider another option.

Such options might possibly include returning to their previous junior college to take another semester of coursework, or to attend a semester of college only as a part-time student while taking some additional coursework to make sure you have enough academic credits that will be acceptable as transfer credits to the new college.

Do You Need Confidential Advice?

Schedule an Eligibility Issues Consult online for a confidential discussion of the rules and academic requirements that will apply to your student-athlete. You can also contact us by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.