Athletes who transfer from a junior college to an NCAA athletic program should know that there are specific academic requirements that must be satisfied while attending the junior college in order to be eligible in their first year of attendance at an NCAA university.

Those academic requirements will vary depending upon the following factors:

1. Was the athlete a Qualifier or a Non-Qualifier when they graduated from high school?

2. Is the athlete transferring to an NCAA Division I, Division II, or a Division III program?

3. Has the athlete previously attended a four-year college before attending the junior college?

If you have a Junior College athlete who plans to transfer to an NCAA program, schedule a Confidential Eligibility Consult online, or by calling us at 913-766-1235. During the call, we will discuss ALL the things a JUCO student-athlete should know before considering a transfer to a 4-year university so there are no unpleasant surprises.

The NCAA Board of Governors recently received a lengthy 31-page report from the “Federal and State Legislation Working Group” suggesting broad recommendations for new rules that will permit student-athletes to receive compensation for the use of their name, image or likeness.

When approved, student-athletes will be able to accept payment within the NCAA rules for a wide range of activities. However, many details remain to be proposed, discussed and finalized.

Some of the basic guidelines for development of these new rules include:

  • Student-athletes will not be paid for these types of activities by their respective schools or conferences, or by the NCAA.
  • Student-athletes should have the same opportunities as the general student body to be compensated for their particular skills, ability, and name recognition except when there are compelling reasons to the contrary. (Examples: I’m sure that athletes will not be allowed to promote tobacco products, nor will underage athletes be permitted to endorse alcohol products.)
  • Education and progress toward a student-athlete’s degree must continue to be priorities. (Student-athletes will likely be prohibited from missing class to make a personal appearance, record a commercial or participate in any similar activity.)
  • Rules regarding these activities must be able to be enforceable and monitored for compliance with these rules (perhaps the hardest part of this whole concept in my opinion!!!).
  • Student-athletes will not be allowed to affiliate with a professional sports team and will not be allowed to receive compensation based specifically on their athletic performance (no prize money or compensation based on place finish in competition).
  • Rules must protect fairness in the recruitment of prospects or impermissible tampering with currently enrolled student-athletes.
  • A number of states have proposed or passed legislation within their own states to permit student-athletes to receive compensation for endorsement or promotional activities. The NCAA will be working with Congressional representatives to preempt state laws so that there can be consistency for all NCAA member institutions and their student-athletes.

Types of Activities that Will be Permissible for Student-Athletes Within the New Rules (pending approval):

Student-athletes will be allowed to receive compensation for:

  • Promoting local, regional or national businesses through personal appearances, appearing in commercials, or as social media “brand ambassadors.”
  • Modeling or signing autographs.
  • Their own creative endeavors such as acting, singing, or selling their artwork.
  • Giving private lessons or tutoring.
  • Conducting or providing research or class projects for or to private companies.

Much progress still needs to be made on establishing details and receiving feedback from various NCAA constituencies. However, the NCAA Board of Governors remain committed to having the three NCAA divisions prepare specific legislative proposals in time for the January 2021 NCAA Convention.

We will keep you updated as we learn more details and receive additional information.

California State University Chancellor Tim White has announced that their 23-campus system will provide instruction online only this Fall with limited exceptions (such as for lab courses and clinical classes).

As a consequence of that action, the NCAA Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association – which is the athletic home of many Cal State campuses – is suspending athletic competition during Fall 2020.

These announcements have come as a shock to many with those decisions regarding Fall instruction and competition being made so early.

It’s certainly understandable that many Fall Sport student-athletes who are impacted by these decisions are likely wondering what their options are.

Student-athletes who make rash decisions regarding their Fall plans without understanding and considering the eligibility and/or transfer rules could negatively impact their eligibility in the future.

In a confidential consultation, I can explain the NCAA rules and the options that student-athletes should be aware of. Schedule an Eligibility Issues Consult online or by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

There are a couple of unique aspects of NCAA Division III’s granting of an automatic or blanket waiver for spring sport athletes that we want to share with you.

The way that NCAA Division III is applying their “blanket waiver” for spring sport athletes due to COVID-19 is that – in effect – the 2020 spring semester “didn’t happen.”

In other words, a Division III spring sport athlete will not be charged with a season of participation during this academic year AND will not be considered to have used one of their 10 semesters (or 15 quarters) of full-time enrollment.

In addition, for those Division III colleges that conduct their conference golf or tennis season in the Fall, those student-athletes will still be able to benefit from the Division III blanket waiver. This is because golf and tennis are officially considered spring sports by the NCAA, even though some conferences conduct those two sport seasons in the Fall.

If you have questions about your remaining eligibility and need objective advice, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Last Friday, the NCAA Division I Council adopted a change to the enrollment requirements for a student-athlete who transfers to a Division I program after having graduated from their previous university.

Under the previous rule, a student-athlete who used a graduate transfer to compete at an NCAA Division I university after receiving their bachelor’s degree must have enrolled in a graduate program or professional school at their new university.

Under the new rule, an athlete who transfers to a Division I university after graduating elsewhere will be able to enroll in a graduate or professional school but will also have the option to pursue a second bachelor’s degree.

It will also be possible to be a non-declared student (if permitted under university rules) as long as the student-athlete is taking a full-time course load “…that would lead to the equivalent of a major or degree.”

This new rule becomes effective this Fall for athletes who transfer to a Division I university after earning their undergrad degree.

Do you Need Advice?

If you have questions about your athlete’s specific situation regarding a Graduate Transfer or any other transfer issue, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

The NCAA has revised the 2020 Freshman Eligibility requirements in light of the impact of COVID-19 on current high school seniors.

These changes are in place only for 2020 high school graduates whose high schools either moved to online instruction or closed down classes for the spring semester. Another factor is the cancellation of ACT and SAT testing opportunities.

The following is a summary of the key factors that will trigger an “automatic waiver” by the NCAA.

Division I:

For 2020 HS Grads to be fully eligible and classified as a Qualifier:

  • Must have earned a 2.30 or higher GPA in 10 or more approved core courses PRIOR TO the athlete’s senior year.
  • Those core courses must include at least 7 courses in the subject areas of English, math and science.
  • Also, no ACT or SAT score will be required.

What about students who don’t satisfy the requirement for at least 10 core courses with at least 7 of those in the required subject areas earned prior to senior year?

  • Those students will be able to use courses completed during senior year as well as this summer, if necessary, to achieve the regular standard requirement of 16 total core courses.
  • Also, any students who are having courses graded as “Pass/Fail” this spring will be able to utilize those courses to achieve Qualifier status.

Division II:

For 2020 HS Grads to be fully eligible and classified as a Qualifier:

  • Must have earned a 2.20 or higher GPA in 10 or more approved core courses PRIOR TO the athlete’s senior year.
  • Also, no ACT or SAT score will be required.

What about students who don’t satisfy the requirement for at least 10 core courses prior to senior year?

  • Those students will be able to use courses completed during senior year as well as this summer, if necessary, to achieve the regular standard requirement of 16 total core courses.
  • Also, any students who are having courses graded as “Pass/Fail” this spring will be able to utilize those courses to achieve Qualifier status.

International Students:

International students with an expected Spring/Summer 2020 graduation date will be fully eligible:

  • By earning 10 or more approved core courses PRIOR TO the athlete’s senior year as long as they have a 2.30 GPA for Division I or 2.20 for Division II.
  • No ACT or SAT score will be required.

However, this adjustment will only apply automatically for international students who are presenting ONLY international academic credentials to the NCAA Eligibility Center. International students who came to the U.S. and were enrolled in a high school here, or who have taken class through a U.S. online school, are NOT included in this scenario.

What about International students who don’t satisfy the requirement for at least 10 core courses prior to senior year or who took courses through some U.S. schools?

  • Students will be able to use courses completed during senior year to achieve the regular standard requirement of earning 16 total core courses.

If you have questions about how these adjustments may impact your student-athlete, purchase and schedule an Eligibility Issues Consult online, or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

High school athletes must satisfy the NCAA academic requirements to be certified as a Qualifier and be eligible to compete and receive an athletic scholarship in their freshman year at an NCAA Division I or Division II university.

High schools shifting to online instruction or taking other action due to COVID-19 could have a negative impact on a recruit’s opportunity to satisfy the academic requirements for Division I and Division II eligibility.

As of the date of this post,  the NCAA Eligibility Center has not yet issued any official changes or adjustments to these academic requirements. However, the Eligibility Center will be conferring with NCAA Division I and II governing committees and is expected to release information on possible changes soon.

High school recruits and families should be aware that the NCAA freshman academic requirements to be certified as a Qualifier are also important if your athlete is planning to attend a two-year college before transferring to an NCAA university.

Recruits who are not certified as an NCAA Qualifier by the Eligibility Center will have more extensive academic requirements to satisfy while attending a two-year college in order to be eligible when they transfer to an NCAA university.

Do You Have Questions?

If you are concerned about the impact of online instruction on your academic eligibility, we offer confidential phone consultations. We’ll answer all your questions, discuss the possible impact on your athlete’s eligibility due to COVID-19, and suggest options for your athlete to consider. Schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues consult online here, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Junior College Athletes have been granted another year of eligibility by the NJCAA just as current NCAA athletes have.

If a junior college athlete who was already in their second season THIS YEAR returns to their school for another year to play what will be their second season of eligibility, there could be potential academic eligibility repercussions when they want to transfer on to a 4-year college.

  • 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 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.

If your junior college athlete is in this situation and needs assistance, we can review and discuss the academic eligibility requirements and options available in a confidential phone session.  Schedule your confidential Eligibility Issues Consultation online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

The NCAA Division I Council has voted to permit all NCAA Division I spring sport student-athletes to treat this season as a redshirt year.

  • Spring sport student-athletes who would have exhausted their college eligibility this spring will also have the opportunity to return next year for another season if they so choose.
  • However, the Council did NOT grant another season of eligibility for Division I winter sport student-athletes since those teams were able to compete through their regular season.

Flexibility Options for Funding Scholarships

The Council provided scholarship flexibility options for NCAA DI programs due to potential funding concerns. Many schools have already committed scholarship funds to recruits who will be enrolling next Fall.

This flexibility will only apply to spring sport student-athletes who would have exhausted their eligibility this season.

  • They will be allowed to receive a scholarship next year that won’t count against their overall team limit.
  • Also, coaches will not be required to provide an athletic scholarship at the same level that a student-athlete received this year.
  • In the sport of baseball, which is the only spring sport that has a mandated roster limit (35), teams will be permitted to exceed that roster limit by the number of athletes returning who would have exhausted their eligibility this season.

Impact on Transfer Athletes

So far, Division I has not clearly stated if they will honor an additional season of eligibility for an athlete who transfers from another university after having received another season where they were. I expect that they will do so just as Division II is doing (NCAA Division II Eligibility COVID-19 Update) but that hasn’t been specifically stated at this point.

Do You Need Help?

Contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com to arrange a confidential consultation session if you’d like to discuss your athlete’s options, or schedule a Scholarship Strategies Consult online.

The NCAA Division II Administrative Committee has confirmed the following eligibility updates as a result of COVID-19:

For student-athletes who were granted an additional season of eligibility at a Junior College, NAIA, or another NCAA Division, those athletes will be able to transfer to an NCAA Division II program and their eligibility status will be honored.

Current senior athletes at a Division II university who choose to return for another season next year can receive an athletic scholarship which will be exempt from counting against team limits during the 2020-21 academic year.

  • That exemption will only apply, however, for student-athletes who remain at their current university.
  • An athlete who receives an athletic scholarship upon transfer to an NCAA Division II program from another university must have that scholarship counted toward team scholarship limits for the 2020-21 academic year.

If your student-athlete needs accurate, objective information on how this affects their eligibility and options, schedule a confidential Eligibility Consult online or contact Rick Allen by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.