June 15th is an important date for high school and junior college student-athletes who are hoping to be recruited to play their sport at college and juco levels.

NJCAA Letter of Intent Signees:

For athletes who attended an NJCAA two-year college during the 2023-24 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 2024-25 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.

NCAA Division I Recruiting Information:

June 15 is the first date when most coaches at NCAA Division I programs will be able to 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 – Aug. 1 of junior year
  • Women’s Basketball – June 1 at conclusion of sophomore year
  • Men’s Ice Hockey – Jan. 1 of sophomore year
  • Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse – Sept. 1 of junior year
  • Softball – Sept. 1 of junior year

NCAA Division II Recruiting Information:

For recruiting by NCAA Division II colleges, June 15 is the date when 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.

Do You Have Questions?

For specific questions about the NCAA transfer or recruiting rules, or scholarship agreements and letters of intent, schedule a confidential Scholarship Strategies Consult Online, send an email to us at rick@informedathlete.com or call 913-766-1235.

A high school recruit entering college next Fall might be competing for playing time against athletes with four years of college experience who may still have 2 seasons of eligibility remaining.

Here’s why:

Many college rosters have been and still are overloaded with athletes who were granted an additional year of eligibility during the Pandemic.

During the 2020 calendar year, almost all college athletes were granted an additional year on their eligibility “clock” AND were not charged with one of their four seasons of playing eligibility, even if they played a full season.

That additional year applied to athletes at both two and four-year colleges in the Spring of the 2019-20 academic year and for Fall and Winter sport athletes who competed during Fall 2020 or began their season that semester.

  • This means that many Spring sport athletes (baseball, softball, lacrosse, etc.) who were freshmen on a college roster in the Spring 2020 semester may still have eligibility available for the 2024-25 academic year.
  • AND that freshmen Fall and Winter sport athletes during the 2020-21 academic year (football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, etc.) may still have TWO years of eligibility remaining after this year.

Over the past few months, I’ve received many calls from current college athletes (or parents) asking if it’s possible for them to have another year of eligibility because their recruitment or their early college seasons were negatively impacted.

This has led me to believe that it might be a good idea for some high school recruits to take a gap year after graduation to continue training in their sport while taking part-time college courses to get a start toward their college degree.

Do You Need Assistance?

If you’d like to have a confidential consultation about the possibility of a gap year for your athlete and factors that you may want to take into consideration, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consultation online, or by writing to rick@informedathlete.com.

An athlete who plays on a college club team and later joins an NCAA intercollegiate team will be charged with a season of eligibility if their school has a varsity intercollegiate team in the same sport.

Confused?

Here’s are two examples:

Let’s say that an athlete competes for a club softball team at a major university that also sponsors an NCAA D1 softball team. After a year or two at that university, the athlete chooses to transfer to a D2 or D3 college to join their NCAA softball team.

  • The NCAA will charge the athlete with using a season of eligibility for any season(s) played for the club (or a JV team) at the D1 university.
  • This will also be true if a basketball athlete first competed on their Junior College JV team but then transferred to an NCAA D3 program.

Do you Have Questions?

If you have questions about club team participation in any sport and how it could affect your athlete’s eligibility, contact us at 913-766-1235, at rick@informedathlete.com or schedule an Eligibility Consult online.

With spring sports such as baseball, softball, lacrosse and track starting soon, this is a good time to review the rules if your athlete is considering a redshirt season.

NCAA Division I and II

If an athlete enters a contest (at the varsity or JV level), even if only for one or two minutes or for one or two plays, that athlete will be using one of their four seasons of college eligibility.

Once that happens, their only opportunity to get this season “over again” will be if they suffer a season-ending injury or illness before the midpoint of the season and have not exceeded the limit on the number of games played or dates of competition for their sport.

NCAA Division III

To redshirt at the NCAA Division III level, the athlete must completely remove themselves from the team before the first game or contest of the season. The D3 rules charge a “season of participation” if an athlete is practicing with their team once the season begins, even if the athlete never appears in a game for their team during the season.

NJCAA and CCCAA

Same as NCAA Division I and II

NAIA

The NAIA only charges an athlete with a season of competition if the athlete appears in more than 20 percent of the maximum number of contests or dates of competition in their sport. However, any participation in NAIA-approved postseason will count as a season used.

Do you have questions about redshirting or a medical redshirt?

Schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consult, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Three families recently contacted us because they had just found out that their college freshman athletes aren’t eligible because they didn’t earn 16 “core courses” in high school. 

  • In one case, the athlete was ready to compete for his university but was told just as his season was ready to start that he wouldn’t be eligible this season. 
  • Another athlete who was planning to transfer to an NCAA university this Spring from an NAIA college was told that he will need to attend another semester of college before being able to transfer to the NCAA university. 

In each of these cases, the athlete had believed or been led to believe that they had enough “core courses” on their high school transcript that would qualify for NCAA eligibility. 

Unfortunately, one or more of those courses were not approved by the NCAA or hadn’t even been submitted to the NCAA for consideration by their high school. 

While many high school coaches and guidance counselors do a good job of advising their athletes about college academic and athletic opportunities, we frequently hear about high school athletes who “fell through the cracks.” 

In those situations, it’s common to hear that the coaches thought that advising on NCAA eligibility was the responsibility of the high school guidance office, while the guidance counselors thought it was the coach’s responsibility because the student was a member of their athletic team.  

Do you have concerns as to whether your athlete has completed the required courses so they will be eligible?

If you’re the parent, relative or coach of a high school athlete who wants to compete in college, don’t let them be the victim of a situation as described above. In a confidential consultation, we will discuss your athlete’s particular situation and answer any questions you have regarding eligibility status and other issues. We can also provide a High School Transcript Review to ensure your athlete is on track to be eligible or advise/provide options as to what is needed to get them back on track. Contact us about these services by calling 913-766-1235 or writing to rick@informedathlete.com.

A question that we often receive early in the school year is whether an athlete can withdraw from some or all of their classes without an eligibility “penalty.” Common reasons that an athlete might want to withdraw include second thoughts about their college choice, or due to an injury or illness.

If your athlete has already started attending their college classes this Fall as a full-time enrolled student, I hope you’ll keep the following in mind:

  • Withdrawing from just one class may not harm their eligibility if they will still be carrying a full-time course load. However, in most cases, withdrawing from all of their classes will negatively impact their eligibility now and also in the future at their current college or at a new college that they may transfer to.
  • Dropping a course later in the term to avoid a failing grade that will hurt the athlete’s GPA may be OK, but you should encourage them to finish the semester (or quarter) if possible, instead of withdrawing from their courses. If they withdraw from all courses, they’ll lose all their academic credits for this term which can impact future eligibility.

To discuss a potential withdrawal situation and how it could impact your athlete’s eligibility, schedule an Eligibility Consult online, e-mail rick@informedathlete.com or call our office at 913-766-1235.

At their meeting in late June, the NCAA Division I Council introduced a proposal to reduce the Transfer Portal Windows at the end of each sport season from 60 days to 30 days.

  • This proposal was recommended because data gathered over the past year showed that most athletes enter the Transfer Portal in the early days of each Transfer Window.
  • Various Division I committees, including the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, will review the proposal and gather feedback from their constituents before a final vote is considered at the October meeting of the Council.

On another item regarding transfers, Softball athletes should be aware of a new Division I rule that goes into effect this year.

  • A softball athlete who transfers to a Division I university at midyear will NOT be allowed to be immediately eligible for the Spring season at their new university. The athlete will be allowed to practice with their new team but won’t be eligible for competition until the following Fall term.

If you would like confidential assistance navigating the steps and rule for a transfer to another college or university:

Schedule a Confidential Transfer Consultation online or you can contact us directly at rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235

Every year in August or September after classes have started, we are contacted by college student-athletes who have been told that they won’t be eligible for competition. By then, it’s too late to consider other options that may be possible.

If you are transferring to a new college or enrolling as a freshman – especially if you are doing so as a non-recruited walk-on:

  • Contact the athletic compliance office to confirm that you have satisfied ALL of the academic requirements to be eligible for competition in your first year of attendance.

DON’T wait until the last minute, do this ASAP! Why?

  • Because staff members who are responsible for certifying athletes’ eligibility will likely be focusing more attention on those incoming athletes who have been actively recruited by the coaching staff as scholarship athletes or as “preferred walk-ons.”
  • If you have not satisfied the academic requirements to be eligible in your first year at that university, it may be too late to consider possible options (such as taking additional summer courses, postponing your enrollment or returning to junior college for one more semester.)

It’s very important to:

  • Know the academic requirements your athlete will need to satisfy to be eligible at their new university as a transfer or as an incoming freshman.
  • Get confirmation in writing from the school that your athlete has satisfied all requirements to be eligible.

Do You Need Help?

We can discuss your athlete’s current situation, explain the academic requirements for eligibility in a confidential Eligibility Issues consultation, and we can even review your athlete’s high school or junior college transcript to inform whether they are on track to satisfy the eligibility requirements. Schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consultation online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

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.

After classes have started, we are frequently contacted by student-athletes who have been told that they are not eligible for competition. It’s then too late to consider other options that could have been possible.

If you are transferring, enrolling for the first time or coming in as a non-recruited walk-on, MAKE SURE you contact the compliance office of the college you are transferring to or enrolling in to confirm that you have satisfied ALL the academic requirements to be eligible for competition in your first year of attendance.

Staff members who are responsible for certifying athletes as eligible will most likely be focusing more attention on those incoming athletes who have been actively recruited by the coaching staff as scholarship athletes or as “preferred walk-ons.”

It’s important to do this BEFORE you begin full-time enrollment at the university when it will be too late to consider possible options (such as taking additional summer courses, postponing your enrollment or returning to junior college for one more semester).

Do You Have Questions?

We can explain the academic requirements for eligibility in a confidential Eligibility Issues consultation, and we can also review your athlete’s high school or junior college transcript to inform whether they are on track to satisfy the eligibility requirements. Contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.