We were recently contacted by the parent of a student-athlete who transferred to an NCAA Division II university to play her sport, but was then told she wouldn’t be eligible this Spring because she had not earned enough academic credit hours at her previous college.

This student-athlete had recently transferred to the NCAA DII school after two previous years as a general student at an NCAA DI university.

The student-athlete and her parents scheduled a confidential consultation with me to get an objective opinion and learn what her options were. During the consultation we discussed the details of her situation and the parents asked about the possibility of a waiver.  However, it soon became clear that a waiver would not be necessary because the Division II compliance administrator was applying the wrong set of transfer rules and requirements to this student-athlete’s situation.

I gave a copy of the applicable academic requirements to the student-athlete and her parents and they set up a meeting to share the information with the compliance administrator. They approached the meeting with a congenial attitude and were even-tempered and business-like in their approach. The end result was an apology from the compliance administrator who realized that she had been applying the wrong set of rules for this student-athlete.

As a former NCAA compliance administrator, I know that mistakes can happen but can usually be worked through with the school with a positive outcome which is exactly what happened in this case.

If you are a parent and have concerns about your student-athlete’s eligibility, we can provide accurate information, objective advice, and options available that are in the best interest of your athlete and family. To schedule a private consultation, call our office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

An NCAA Qualifier is a high-school athlete who has satisfied the NCAA academic requirements to be eligible as a Freshman.

If the NCAA Freshman eligibility requirements are not met, the high-school athlete is classified as anNCAA Non-Qualifier.  Reasons for this frequently include:

  • The high-school athlete didn’t take the NCAA required core courses.
  • Low GPA, SAT or ACT test scores.

A high-school athlete who is classified as an NCAA Non-Qualifier:

  • Cannot receive an athletic scholarship during their freshman year unless the requirements for “Academic Redshirt” are met.
  • Will NOT be eligible to compete with the team during their freshman year.
  • Will not be eligible to practice with the team or attend weight training with their team.

High-school athletes who go to a JUCO their freshman year as an NCAA Non-Qualifier:

  • Will NOT be eligible to transfer to a Division I program after just one year.
  • Will have more extensive academic requirements at the JUCO to be immediately eligible upon transfer to a Division I program (more required junior college courses).

If you’re unsure as to whether your high-school athlete is on track to meet the NCAA Freshman Eligibility Requirements, we can discuss your situation in a confidential consultation. Click here to schedule a confidential consultation or call our office at 913-766-1235.

We also offer NCAA Freshman Transcript Evaluations to assess if your student-athlete is on track and if not, we can provide an action plan of what they will need to do to achieve NCAA Qualifier Status.

This past week we received multiple requests from families for options their student-athlete can consider if he or she chooses to withdraw from all classes and leave their college now in the middle of the semester.

We often advise that the student-athlete not leave unless they have a well thought out plan in place.  The plan should include considering their current and future NCAA academic eligibility status, and how it affects their scholarship obligations.   A potential transfer to another school and the steps involved is another important consideration.

We have advised many student-athletes and prepared such a plan so that they don’t damage their future eligibility. When working with student-athletes and their families, the most important aspect of the plan is to review and discuss the academic eligibility requirements that must be satisfied to make sure they will be eligible at their next college.

If you have a student-athlete who is considering leaving their college before the “drop/add date” or one who just wants to plan ahead for a possible transfer at the end of this school year, we can work with and guide you through the transfer process. To schedule your personalized, confidential consultation, call our office at 913-766-1235.

What are the options for an NCAA student-athlete who will have enough credits for their undergraduate degree by the end of the Fall 2019 but will still have eligibility remaining?

An athlete in this situation could:

  1. Graduate at the end of the Fall 2019 term and then continue on during Spring semester as an undergrad pursuing an additional minor or a second baccalaureate degree.
  2. Delay graduation until May or June of 2020 by taking less than 12 hours of coursework.
  3. Graduate at end of the Fall 2019 term and begin a graduate program during the Spring of 2020.

PLEASE NOTE: There are requirements for each of these options that are specific to the individual’s academic situation. To learn more, schedule a confidential consult to discuss your student-athlete’s situation with Rick Allen and learn whether or not one of these options is possible.

Spring-sport NCAA DIII student-athletes should keep in mind that the NCAA DIII Redshirt Rule is quite different than it is for NCAA DI and DII athletes.

NCAA DI and DII athletes can practice with their team all the way through the end of the season and as long as they do not appear in an actual game representing their university against another team, it will be considered a “redshirt” year.

However, NCAA DIII athletes will use one of their four “seasons of participation” 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.

This happened to a client of ours – a Division III baseball player – a few years ago. 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 had already practiced with the team after the start of the season, he was still charged with a “season of participation” and had 3 seasons of eligibility remaining rather than the 4 the father thought he had.

If you’ve got questions about NCAA Redshirt Rules and Guidelines, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

Current NCAA Division I student-athletes are required to have earned at least 6 credit hours during the fall semester (or quarter) in order to be eligible for the spring semester (or winter quarter).

In the sport of Division I football, athletes are required to have earned at least 9 semester or 8 quarter hours of academic credit during the fall term in order to be eligible for the complete 2019 football season. (Athletes who did not satisfy that requirement are ineligible for the first four games of the 2019 season, but have the opportunity to regain eligibility for at least two of those four games and possibly all four.)

Current Division II student-athletes in all sports are required to have earned at least 9 credit hours during the fall semester (or quarter) in order to be eligible for the spring semester (or winter quarter).

If you have questions about the NCAA academic eligibility requirements, especially for an athlete who must make up a deficiency to regain their eligibility, schedule a confidential eligibility consult or email consult online, or contact us at 913-766-1235 or by emailing rick@informedathlete.com.

During a recent client consultation, I looked at the athletic website for their college, where I noticed that the college has a Junior Varsity basketball team.

If you or an athlete you know is playing on their college’s junior varsity team – even if they never practice with the varsity or dress in uniform for the varsity games – be aware that the athlete will be using one of their four seasons of eligibility. This is true of four-year college and two-year college programs.

To discuss the NCAA eligibility rules and how they may impact you or your athlete, schedule a confidential consultation online, e-mail rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

If you’re a college athlete who is struggling in a class, 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 your consult online, or call our office at 913-766-1235.

If an NCAA DI or DII student-athlete’s sport is baseball, softball, lacrosse, women’s water polo, women’s beach or men’s volleyball, they are allowed to participate in competition during the Fall portion of the season without using one of their four seasons of eligibility.

However, if that same student-athlete DOES compete in their regular season, they WILL be charged with a year of eligibility used.

If the student-athlete DOES NOT compete in their regular season, they WILL NOT be charged with a season of eligibility.

Also, under revised Division I rules, this exception can be applied retroactively if an athlete was previously charged with a season of competition for only Fall participation in the above sports.

Please note that these rules do not apply to NCAA DIII student-athletes. Contact us if you have questions about redshirting in Division III.

If you are or have a student-athlete who you think may be able to receive an additional season of eligibility due to the retroactive application of this rule, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

If you’re a high school athlete, are you sure that you’re on track to meet the NCAA academic requirements to receive an athletic scholarship and compete as a freshman?

The freshman academic eligibility requirements recently changed for NCAA Division I and Division II.

It’s very important to know the academic requirements that you’ll have to meet to be eligible for athletic scholarships, competition, or even practice during your freshman year.

Also, if you’re planning to start off at a junior college before moving on to a four-year college, it’s important to know that the academic requirements for a 2-4 transfer (two-year college to four-year college) to be eligible are different depending upon your Qualifier or Non-Qualifier status when you finish high school, as well as what level of four-year college you’re transferring to.

If you’d like us to review your high school transcript to make sure that you’re on pace to meet the NCAA academic requirements, contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or call 913-766-1235 to sign up for our Freshmen Eligibility and Transcript Review service.