The “redshirt” rule is quite different for NCAA Division III athletes than it is for NCAA DI and DII student-athletes and can have major consequences if not known or understood.

NCAA Division III rules require that an athlete be charged with one of their four “seasons of participation” if they participate in a game, or if they practice with their team after the first game of the season – even if they never appear in an actual game against another team during that season.

This happened to a client of ours last year. The athlete’s father contacted us to ask about his son’s redshirt season because he had left the team after just one week of the season.

However, since he continued practicing with the team after the first game, he was charged with a “season of participation” for that season and had three seasons remaining rather than the four that the father thought he had.

Do you Have Questions?

If you have questions about redshirt rules or other eligibility issues for your student-athlete, schedule a confidential consultation online or call us at 913-766-1235.

With NCAA DI & DII spring sport seasons starting up, we’re reminding college athletes and parents that any amount of participation in a game or contest against another team will count as a season of eligibility used.  (The NCAA DIII Redshirt rule is quite different). 

The only way to get that season “over again” is through a hardship waiver if the athlete incurs an injury or illness that is serious enough to be documented by a physician as a “season-ending” injury or illness.

There are also specific limitations for the number of contests that an athlete can participate in and still qualify for a hardship waiver.

To be fully informed on the rules and requirements for a Medical Hardship Waiver, schedule a Waivers & Appeals Consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Frequently, I consult with parents of college athletes about the academic eligibility requirements their athlete needs to satisfy in order to remain eligible at their current school or possibly transfer.

When they tell me “I withdrew from all of my classes prior to the drop/add date for that semester” I cringe. Because while that may have been a good idea from a financial standpoint to avoid paying more tuition than necessary for that semester, it could negatively impact the athlete’s future eligibility at an NCAA university.

The NCAA rules hold a student-athlete accountable for the academic requirements for that semester or quarter (as well as that academic year) when an athlete is registered for a full-time program of studies and “…attends the first day of classes for that term, even if the student-athlete drops to part-time status during that first day of classes.”

Before making decisions or taking actions to drop classes, an athlete should know the academic requirements and repercussions that could result. The academic requirements for a particular student-athlete can differ depending upon the rules of the college division they were previously attending, as well as the college division to which they plan to transfer.

It’s much better to know ahead and prepare than to make a rash or uninformed decision and regret it later. 

For a detailed and confidential explanation of those academic requirements, schedule an Eligibility Issues Consult online or by contacting us at 913-766-1235 or emailing to rick@informedathlete.com.

At the NCAA Annual Convention last week in Anaheim, the Division I Board of Directors and other leadership committees received an update from the committee studying the NCAA rules which will permit athletes to receive compensation for the use of their name, image or likeness (commonly referred to as NIL in social media).

The Board of Directors and leadership committees reaffirmed the following principles that will be used to guide the development of proposed legislation:

  • Student-athletes should not become employees of their schools
  • The rules regarding name, image, and likeness should be transparent and enforceable for all sports equally.
  • These rules should protect the recruiting process, as well as opportunities for women equally to those for male athletes.
  • College athletes should have the same access to opportunities as their peers who don’t participate in college sports as long as fairness in the recruiting process is protected.

Broad legislative concepts are due to be developed and available for discussion and debate within the Division I membership by the end of April.

Actual proposed rule changes which will lay out the specific conditions and guidelines for athletes to receive such compensation will likely not be publicized until late summer or next Fall. Broad legislative concepts are due to be developed and available for discussion and debate within the Division I membership by the end of April.

We will keep you updated as we learn more.

We’ve recently been receiving a number of questions about the rules and academic requirements for a 4-2-4 transfer (from a four-year college to a two-year college, and then transferring to another four-year college).

This type of transfer can be useful for various situations, but here are three of the most common:

  • An athlete wants to leave their four-year college to have a better playing opportunity in their sport and to then be “re-recruited” back to the four-year college level.
  • An athlete needs to focus on their academic responsibilities, raise their GPA, and then return to the four-year college level (perhaps even to the four-year college they previously attended).
  • Or, an athlete simply wants to attend a less-expensive college closer to home while they determine where they want to eventually enroll to earn their four-year degree.

The confusing part about the 4-2-4 transfer rules

The academic requirements and other rules (such as number of semesters required at the two-year college) are different depending upon whether the athlete will end up at the NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III, or NAIA level.

Of course, the natural question then becomes “How do I know what requirements to satisfy if I’m not even sure what college level – let alone the specific college – that I’m going to end up at??”

This is a situation in which one of our confidential consultations can be very helpful to explain these specific rules and the differences between the rules for different divisions. We can also provide a detailed Transcript Review to advise on your athlete’s progress toward satisfying these academic requirements.

For help in navigating the academic requirements and rules for a successful transfer, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

If you’re a college athlete who is struggling in a class (or parent of one), you may be thinking about dropping that class before the final exam. Before doing that, there are a number of things that should be considered:

  • Will dropping the class affect my current eligibility right now? (If it drops you below full-time status, you’ll become immediately ineligible for competition.)
  • Will dropping the class affect my eligibility next semester? (That depends upon your specific situation. For some football athletes, it could even effect your eligibility next Fall.)
  • If I don’t drop the class, but fail it, how might that effect my eligibility? (If your GPA drops too low, you may be ineligible for next semester.)
  • What other implications are there that I’m not thinking about?

In a confidential phone consultation, we can discuss your specific situation and the impact that dropping a course, or possibly staying in it but failing the course, can have on your current and future eligibility. Schedule an Eligibility Consult online, call our office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

We’ve been having a lot of parents ask us about “this rule that we’ve heard about” which would permit their athlete to appear in up to four games and still be able to claim a redshirt season in their sport.

The “Four Game Rule” that these parents are referring to only applies to the sport of football at the NCAA Division I level.

In every other sport, participation during any portion of a game, meet, or match during the regular season will trigger the use of one of an athlete’s four seasons of competition.

Do you need help understanding or navigating the rules?

If you have any questions about the “Four Game Rule” or any other eligibility issues that affect your student-athlete, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consult online or contact us at 913-766-1235 or via email to rick@informedathlete.com.”

We recently consulted with a student-athlete who transferred to an NCAA Division II university only to learn that she would not be academically eligible this year even though she earned her Associates Degree at her junior college during the summer.

  • This student-athlete had not been informed that there are multiple NCAA academic requirements that must be satisfied to be eligible when transferring from one college to another.
  • She thought that the completion of her Associates Degree was all that she needed to be eligible as a transfer.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t informed that she was also required to earn at least 9 credit hours of transferable degree credit during her last semester at the junior college.

She didn’t have enough credit hours that were accepted as transfer credit to the Division II university and therefore wasn’t eligible to compete during her first year in the Division II program.

The 9-Hour Rule is applicable to ALL NCAA DII Continuing and Transfer Athletes

In fact, any NCAA Division II athlete – even a continuing student-athlete at their same university – must earn at least 9 credit hours (or 8 if their college is on the quarter system) in the preceding term of full-time attendance to be eligible the following term.

For a transfer athlete, those credit hours must be acceptable for transfer credit at the college the athlete is transferring to.

Do you Need Help Navigating the Eligibility Requirements?

If you’d like more information about the continuing or transfer eligibility requirements, you can schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

College athletes who are struggling in a class and are thinking about dropping a class before a final exam should stop and consider a few things before they take action:

  • Will dropping the class affect my current eligibility right now? If it drops you below full-time status, you’ll be immediately ineligible for competition.
  • Will dropping the class affect my eligibility next semester? That depends upon your specific situation. For some football athletes, it could even affect your eligibility next Fall.
  • If I don’t drop the class, but fail it, how might that affect my eligibility? If your GPA drops too low, you may be ineligible for next semester.

What other implications are there that I’m not thinking about?

In a confidential phone consultation, we will discuss your specific situation and the impact that dropping a class or possibly staying in it but failing the course can have on your current and future eligibility.

Schedule your Eligibility Issues Consult online or call our office at 913-766-1235.

We were recently contacted by a family whose son is a 2020 HS grad and hasn’t yet taken the ACT or SAT test.

The athlete and his family were not aware of how important his ACT or SAT test score is in the recruiting process.

Here’s why:

While athletic ability is important, an athlete’s NCAA eligibility status is a top consideration for many college recruiters. More coaches might be interested if they know a recruit’s ACT or SAT test score so they have an idea of their NCAA eligibility status and opportunity to be admitted into their university.

Some college athletic departments don’t allow an athlete to make an official visit to their campus if the athlete doesn’t have an ACT or SAT score on file (even though it’s not a requirement under the NCAA rules).

Upcoming ACT & SAT Test Deadlines

The deadline to register for the December ACT and SAT tests is fast approaching. November 8 is the regular registration deadline for both the December 7 SAT test and the December 14 ACT test.

There is a late registration period available for each test, but there will be an additional late fee required at the time of registration. Also, those registering late may not be able to get into their first choice of test location.

The late registration period for the December 7 SAT test is November 9-26, while the late period to register for the December 14 ACT test is November 9-22.

Do you have questions about your athlete’s eligibility status?

For questions about recruiting or academic eligibility requirements for NCAA or NAIA, schedule a confidential eligibility issues consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.