NCAA Division I baseball programs will continue with increased roster size and scholarship limits for the 2023-24 academic year in a somewhat similar manner to the way they have been impacted for the past three years.

The reasons for these increased limits include:

  • Many athletes still having an additional year of eligibility available as the result of the NCAA rulings related to the pandemic.
  • Major League Baseball reducing the size of the MLB Draft from 40 rounds to 20 rounds.
  • The decrease in the number of minor league teams from 162 to 120.

There will be a 40-man limit on roster size for Division I programs during the 2024 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.
  • The additional “counters” (scholarship athletes counting against the team scholarship limit) must be included in the maximum team limit of 11.7 scholarships and must be provided the minimum scholarship value of 25%.

If You Have Questions

About the scholarship rules in baseball or any other sport and how they could impact your student-athlete, schedule a confidential Scholarship Strategies consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call our office at 913-766-1235.

NCAA Division I athletic programs can offer multiyear scholarships to prospects.

The “period of the award” for a multi-year scholarship is in effect from the first academic year in which an athletic scholarship is provided through the final year of scholarship offered, even if there are years in-between in which no scholarship is offered (e.g., 50 percent in year one, zero percent in year two, 50 percent in year three).

If your student-athlete is being recruited by multiple Division I athletic programs, a multiyear scholarship from School A is generally a much better option compared to a one-year renewable scholarship from School B.

The reason is that Division I schools are very limited in the reasons that they can use to take away a scholarship during the “period of the award.” They CANNOT take away a scholarship for these reasons:

  • A student-athlete’s athletic performance or contribution to a team’s success
  • Or any injury, illness or physical or mental health condition.

The Potential Downside:

We have been receiving increasing reports of multi-year scholarship agreements being issued to recruits that may provide a scholarship in the athlete’s first year at a Division I university (50% for example) and then 0% athletic aid in years two, three and four of the athlete’s eligibility.

These types of scholarship agreements are valid and are being issued by coaches because it gives the coach much more flexibility in managing their scholarship dollars.

HOWEVER, we believe these types of agreements place the athlete (and family) in a difficult position on account of:

  • The coach is not required to inform the athlete by July 1 whether the scholarship is being renewed for the next year. That’s because (whether we agree with it or not) the athlete and family should “assume” that there is no scholarship forthcoming after the first year.
  • Because a coach issuing this type of scholarship agreement is under no specific deadline to inform the student-athlete of his or her scholarship status for the next year, the student-athlete may feel forced to enter the Transfer Portal to try to find another scholarship opportunity elsewhere.
  • A Division I coach is allowed to increase a scholarship for a returning student-athlete at any time for any reason (within team scholarship limits). Therefore, the coach has the flexibility to manage his or her scholarship allotments (and to wait until mid to late summer to do so), but the athlete and family can’t properly plan if the coach isn’t communicating the scholarship status for the upcoming year in a timely manner.

My advice is to be aware and wary of these types of scholarship agreements.

If your athlete is in this situation and/or you have questions and would like to discuss how to navigate through scholarship agreements, we can help. Schedule a confidential Scholarship Strategies Consult online, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

NCAA Division I and II student-athletes who were on scholarship this past year should be notified no later than July 1 about the status of their scholarship for the upcoming year.

Once in a while we hear from student-athletes or parents that they didn’t receive a notification that their scholarship was being reduced or non-renewed because the official notification was sent to an old inactive email address or mailed to a physical address where the family no longer resides.

To avoid a delay in notification, confirm that your most current contact info is on file with the Office of Financial Aid.

Not receiving official notification in a timely manner could mean that your student-athlete doesn’t receive information about their right to an appeal hearing and result in missing their deadline to request an appeal.

If your student-athlete’s scholarship is being reduced or not renewed for this next year and you want information and assistance regarding a possible appeal, schedule a confidential Waivers and Appeals consult online or contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or at 913-766-1235.

NCAA Division I

Student-athletes with NCAA Division I programs have two ways that they can potentially qualify for an Extension of Eligibility Waiver to have an additional year of eligibility added to their “five-year clock.”

  • If the athlete missed one season of competition due to a season-ending injury or illness, AND If they also missed one other season simply due to being redshirted by the coaching staff.
  • OR If the athlete missed two different seasons of competition due to a season-ending injury or illness.

The redshirt year can occur in any year of the athlete’s college enrollment as long as the athlete also missed a different season due to an injury, illness or other circumstance beyond their control (such as a death or serious illness in the family).

NCAA Division II

The information stated above for Division I is the same for Division II with one key difference.

That difference is that if the athlete is using a redshirt year as one of the two seasons that they are referring to in a request for an Extension Waiver, the redshirt year must have occurred in “…their initial year of full-time collegiate enrollment at any institution…”

Do You Need Professional, Objective Advice?

If you have questions about this type of waiver or any other waivers for additional years or for immediate eligibility, schedule a Waivers and Appeals Consult online or contact us directly at 913-766-1235 or rick@informedathlete.com.

Division I Transfer Portal Windows are closing soon for the 2023 Spring sports listed below:

  • Women’s Beach Volleyball: June 14
  • Men’s Golf: June 17
  • Lacrosse: June 21
  • Tennis: June 15
  • Women’s Water Polo: June 15

To learn and understand how all the steps and rules involved in a transfer will impact your student-athlete, schedule a confidentialTransfer Consult online.

For current college athletes including:

  • Student-Athletes who hope to transfer from any four-year college to an NCAA Division II athletic program,
  • Current junior college athletes who were signed to an NJCAA Letter of Intent during the 2022-23 school year.

4-4 Transfers hoping to transfer to an NCAA D2 program:

For athletes currently at an NCAA school and who want to be eligible this Fall upon transfer to an NCAA D2 program:

  • June 15 is the deadline that the athlete must provide written notification to their current school that they want to be entered into the NCAA Transfer Portal.
  • If the student-athlete misses the June 15 deadline, they will lose out on the opportunity to be eligible for competition in their first year at an NCAA Division II program (unless a waiver is approved for the athlete to be eligible).

For 4-year college athletes who don’t have access to the NCAA Transfer Portal (such as current NAIA athletes):

  • Student-athletes should make sure they request written permission from their current school to be allowed to contact NCAA Division II programs about a possible transfer no later than June 15. The request should be sent to their current athletic department via email so that the request date can be verified if it becomes an issue.

NJCAA Letter of Intent signees:

For athletes who attended an NJCAA two-year college during the 2022-23 academic year as a Letter of Intent signee:

  • June 15 is the date by which notification of renewal of the athlete’s Letter of Intent for the 2023-24 academic year is supposed to be provided by their college.
  • An NJCAA athlete who isn’t signed to a second-year 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.

High School Recruits

NCAA Division I

June 15th is the first date when most coaches at NCAA Division I programs can 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 – June 1 at conclusion of sophomore year
  • Football – Sept. 1 of senior year except for one call from 4/15 to 5/31 of junior year
  • Men’s Ice Hockey – Jan. 1 of sophomore year
  • Lacrosse – Sept. 1 of junior year
  • Softball – Sept. 1 of junior year

Football has an exception to the above date regarding emails sent to prospects. Those can be sent to prospects beginning September 1 of a prospect’s junior year in high school.

NCAA Division II

June 15th is the date when NCAA DII coaches in ALL sports can start to contact recruits who have completed their sophomore year of HS via phone, email, or direct messaging.

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

NOTE about the June 15 recruiting date: For any of you who may have requested and viewed our recruiting calendars for June and July, you’ll see change from June 14 to June 15 as to the classes of high school recruits who will be able to receive recruiting phone calls from NCAA Division I and Division II coaches.

Do you have questions or need objective advice?

For specific questions about the NCAA transfer or recruiting rules, or scholarship agreements and letters of intent, contact us by calling 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Here are some tips and reminders for athletes who have already signed with a college sports program for the upcoming year, as well as for those who may currently be in the recruiting process.

NCAA DI

  • Coaches can offer one-year renewable athletic scholarships, or multi-year scholarships which are specifically written to cover multiple academic years. Be sure to note which type of offer your athlete is signing – especially if in their recruiting pitch they are saying that “your scholarship will not be reduced or cancelled as long as you maintain academic eligibility and don’t violate team rules or misconduct policies.” Too many coaches don’t honor their word.
  • For athletes who are in the position of having multiple colleges recruiting them and can “negotiate” a scholarship offer, a multi-year scholarship offer is obviously an advantage, but especially so at Division I universities that are NOT in one of the “Power Five” conferences.
  • A scholarship can only be reduced or cancelled “during the period of the award” under specific NCAA guidelines.
  • Athletes who were on an athletic scholarship the preceding academic year must be notified in writing not later than July 1 regarding the status of their scholarship for the following year.
  • A National Letter of Intent is not the same thing as a scholarship agreement issued by a university.

NCAA Division II

  • Coaches are not permitted to offer an athletic scholarship for more than one year at a time. They may say that the scholarship will be renewed each year, but there is no requirement that they do so since the rules specifically limit an athletic scholarship to no more than one year.
  • A scholarship can only be reduced or cancelled “during the period of the award” under specific NCAA guidelines.
  • Athletes who were on an athletic scholarship the preceding academic year must be notified in writing not later than July 1 regarding the status of their scholarship for the following year.
  • A National Letter of Intent is not the same thing as a scholarship agreement issued by a university.

NAIA

  • All forms of institutional financial aid received by a student-athlete count against the maximum team limit in their sport. However, aid provided to athletes with strong academic standing may be exempt from counting against team scholarship limits based on their academic performance. Those criteria vary between entering freshman and currently-enrolled athletes.

NJCAA

  • An NJCAA Letter of Intent is the same thing as a scholarship agreement IF a scholarship is offered.
  • An NJCAA Letter of Intent can be issued without an athletic scholarship.
  • A Letter of Intent from an NJCAA college is in effect from August 1 to July 31.
  • Renewal of a Letter of Intent for the following year must be given in the form of a new NJCAA Letter on or before June 15.
  • An athlete not given a second-year Letter of Intent by June 15 becomes recruitable by other NJCAA colleges on June 16.

If You Have Questions

For specific scholarship questions, schedule a confidential scholarship strategies consult online, send an email to us at rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

An NCAA Division I 2023 Spring Sport athlete who wants to be eligible at another Division I program next year must notify their current school that they want to enter the Transfer Portal during the Periods listed below.

  • Baseball: May 30-July 13
  • Women’s Beach Volleyball: May 1-June 14
  • Men’s Golf: May 4-June 17
  • Women’s Golf: April 27-June 10
  • Lacrosse: May 8-June 21
  • Women’s Rowing: May17-June 30
  • Softball: May 15-June 28
  • Tennis: May 2-June 15
  • Outdoor Track and Field: May 19-July 2
  • Men’s Volleyball: April 24-June 7
  • Women’s Water Polo: May 2-June 15

Do You Have Questions?

Considering a transfer to another school can be very stressful and frustrating. To learn all the steps and rules involved in a transfer, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call our office at 913-766-1235.

Now that most Spring sport seasons have concluded, many coaching changes will be taking place.

For Division I athletes, a change in head coach may result in a change to an athlete’s scholarship situation – even in a situation where your athlete has a four-year “guaranteed” scholarship that can’t be reduced for athletic or medical reasons.

When a Division I university hires a new head coach, he or she may tell athletes currently on the team that they can continue attending their university until they graduate, but they won’t be allowed to play for or even be a member of that team in their remaining years.

This rule was originally intended to benefit athletes who were near the completion of their degree and were more interested in staying at their university to graduate than if they were to instead transfer to continue playing if a new coach were to cut them from the team.

However, we are seeing some newly hired head coaches use this rule against even freshman athletes who may have redshirted during their first year. In that case, many athletes will choose to transfer rather than give up their goal of playing at their current school in order to complete their degree.

Do you Need Advice?

If your athlete has been put in this situation and would like to discuss the options that they can consider to be fully informed and not make a rash decision, schedule a confidential Scholarship Strategies Consult online, contact us via e-mail at rick@informedathlete.com or call our office at 913-766-1235.