June 15th is an important date for some college athletes as well as for many high school recruits.

Let’s first review the situations for which June 15 can be important for current college athletes.

It can be important for those who hope to transfer from any four-year college to an NCAA Division II athletic program, as well as for current junior college athletes who were signed to an NJCAA Letter of Intent during the 2021-22 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 by which the athlete must provide written notification to their current school that they want to be entered into the NCAA Transfer Portal. If such an athlete doesn’t provide written notification to their current school by June 15, they will lose out on the opportunity to be eligible for competition in their first year at an NCAA Division II program.

For 4-year college athletes who don’t have access to the NCAA Transfer Portal (such as current NAIA athletes), those 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. Such a request should be sent to their current athletic department via email so that the date of the request can be verified if it becomes an issue.

NJCAA Letter of Intent signees:

For athletes who attended an NJCAA two-year college during the 2021-22 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 2022-23 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.

June 15th can also be an important date for High School recruits

High School recruits in many sports can begin to receive direct recruiting communication from NCAA Division I and Division II coaches as outlined below.

NCAA Division I recruiting information:

June 15 is the first date when most NCAA Division I coaches 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 – 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 does have 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 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.

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 rick@informedathlete.com or call 913- 766-1235.

The annual NCAA Convention was held recently in Indianapolis. While much of the publicity over the last few months regarding the Convention was regarding the work of the Constitution Committee to propose a new draft of the NCAA Constitution, I doubt that work will really impact the day-to-day life of NCAA student-athletes – at least not in the near future.

Here’s a brief rundown of some topics of interest for NCAA DI, NCAA DII, and NCAA DIII.

NCAA DI

For women’s basketball, recruiting rules were revised in several different topic areas, including telephone calls, official visits and the recruiting calendar. Due to the number of changes, contact us directly if you desire information regarding those changes.

In men’s basketball, the number of recruiting-person days (number of total days the men’s coaching staff could be off-campus recruiting) was reduced from 130 to 100. Two coaches recruiting on the same day equals two recruiting-person days.

For both men’s and women’s basketball, a proposal to allow student-athletes to appear in up to four regular season games without being charged with the use of a season of competition was defeated.

Football spring practice opportunities for full contact practice sessions will be reduced. They won’t be allowed on consecutive days during spring practice and won’t be allowed for more than 75 minutes in any practice session (other than a scrimmage).

New guidelines for transfer waivers that were set to go into effect in 2022 will be delayed until January 2023. This means that athletes transferring to a Division I university who need a waiver to be ruled eligible will have a wider range of acceptable reasons and circumstances that can be cited as a factor in the waiver decision as compared to the new waiver guidelines.

Those guidelines – which are now postponed a year – basically limit acceptable waiver reasons as:

  • An athlete has a diagnosed learning disability which was not sufficiently supported at the previous university OR
  • An athlete has faced a “real and imminent health and safety” threat at the previous university.

NCAA DII

The Division II One-Time Transfer Exception was changed to more closely align with the Division I One-Time Transfer Exception. The key aspects of the new Division II rule are:

  • The school from which an athlete is transferring will not have the opportunity to object to the athlete’s transfer.
  • Athletes will be required to view an educational video or online module regarding the transfer rules before their name will be entered into the Transfer Portal.
  • Athletes will be required to provide written transfer notification to their school by June 15 to have the chance to be eligible during the upcoming academic year.
  • A transferring athlete and the head coach at the new school to which they are transferring will be required to certify that they had no direct or indirect contact regarding a transfer prior to the student-athlete entering the Transfer Portal.

NCAA DIII

The proposal which would have had the most direct impact on Division III student-athletes was not voted on, but instead was referred to the Division III Interpretations and Legislative Committee for additional analysis and consideration.

If it had been approved at the Convention, it would have allowed Division III student-athletes to participate in a full season of practice with their team and still claim a “redshirt season” if the athlete did not compete in any games against another university.

As a result, the current Division III rule is still in effect. That rule charges a student-athlete with a “season of participation” even if they only practice with their team beyond the first game of the season but even if they don’t appear in a game against another opponent.

 

If you have questions about any actions taken at the NCAA Convention, contact us directly via e-mail at rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

We recently provided one of our Transcript Review Assessments for a high school athlete who is in the middle of her senior year of high school.

This athlete is short of having the required number of core courses to be eligible as a freshman and won’t be eligible for NCAA Division I if the athlete can’t change her course selection for this semester.

This athlete’s father informed us that he learned about the NCAA academic eligibility requirements from our website, not from their high school guidance office.

If you’d like to ensure that your high school athlete is on pace to meet the academic requirements to be eligible as a freshman at an NCAA Division I or II university, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consult online.

We’ll discuss your student-athlete’s current situation, talk about all the academic eligibility requirements, and if needed, suggest a Freshman Transcript Review Assessment. You’re also welcome to call our office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com

It’s the time of year when the NCAA is starting to publicize proposed rule changes that will be voted on at the annual NCAA Convention in January. I’ll highlight those that will likely be of most interest to student-athletes and families.

Division I

The Division I Council has introduced a proposal to reduce the number of official visits a men’s basketball recruit can take to a Division I university from five to three during each of three periods:

  • Junior year of high school.
  • Senior year of high school.
  • After high school graduation (for a transfer or during a prep school year for example).

The proposal would also reduce the length of official visits in men’s basketball to 36 hours from 48. Members of the Council believe many student-athletes are taking official visits simply because they can and not because they intend to attend a school.

Division II

If approved, the Division II transfer rules will be revised to more closely align with the Division I transfer rules. Perhaps the most important revision would be that a Division II coach or athletic department would not be able to object to a student-athlete’s opportunity to be eligible in their first year at their new university.

The Division II transfer rules would be revised to:

  • Require a transferring student-athlete to view an NCAA-produced educational video before an institution may enter the student-athlete’s information into the NCAA Transfer Portal;
  • Eliminate the previous institution’s ability to object to use of the one-time transfer exception;
  • Require the new head coach and the student-athlete to certify in writing that they had no direct or indirect contact about a possible transfer prior to the student-athlete entering the Transfer Portal;
  • Establish June 15 as the date by which a student-athlete must enter the Transfer Portal to utilize the one-time transfer exception (not applicable to midyear transfers); and
  • Permit institutions to reduce or cancel an athletics aid agreement previously signed for the next academic year.

Division III

The Division III Presidents Council is supporting a proposal that would change the current “season of participation” rule to specify that only actual competition against another institution would trigger the use of a season.

  • A student-athlete would be charged with the use of a season of eligibility if the student-athlete competes at any point during the traditional season in their sport.

Please note that these rule changes are not currently planned to take effect until next June. We will be updating you and confirming the approval of these proposals when that occurs.

In the meantime, if you have questions about any of these proposals, contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

The NCAA Division I Council has approved a temporary one-year waiver to increase the annual scholarship signing limit for Football only.

The Chair of the Football Oversight Committee stated that this decision was made because “…schools should have temporary flexibility to help address possible roster depletion due to transfers.”

The one-year waiver will permit Division I football programs to sign up to 7 more recruits than the normal standard limit (25 for FBS schools and 30 for FCS schools) to REPLACE current team members who transfer out of the program after this current semester.

    • For example, if four football players transfer out from a Division I FBS program at the end of this semester, that program will be permitted to sign up to 29 incoming recruits rather than the normal annual limit of 25 signees.
    • The overall total scholarship limits for Division I football programs will remain the same, however. Those limits are 85 for FBS football programs and 63 scholarship equivalencies for FCS programs.
    • D1 schools will be able to sign replacements for transfers who depart their school on or after the last day of the school’s Fall term or Dec. 15th, whichever is earlier.

December 15th is the first day of the early National Letter of Intent signing period for Division I football programs.

If you have questions about the scholarship limits or rules in football or any other sport, contact us at 913-766-1235 or write to rick@informedathlete.com.

October 15th opens up opportunities for recruitable athletes in all NCAA Division I sports to take additional official visits to DI schools:

Up to 5 official visits can be taken prior to October 15th and 5 more official visits can occur after October 15th.

Athletes who qualify include:

  • Current four-year college athletes who are planning to transfer to an NCAA D1 program.
  • Athletes who have completed high school, but may have chosen to take a gap year and have delayed their college enrollment, or
  • Two-year college athletes.

HOWEVER,

  • If you are a currently enrolled two-year college student-athlete,
  • Were a Non-Qualifier for Division I (based on your high school academic performance)
  • And are in your first year as a full-time student at a two-year college,

You’re not allowed to take an official visit to a Division I university until you complete your freshman year at the two-year college.

Have Questions & Need Advice?

Schedule a confidential Recruiting Rules Consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call our office at 913-766-1235.

We’re getting questions asking what it means if a recruiting service promotes themselves as “NCAA-approved” and/or feature the official NCAA logo on their website.

Here are the facts:

  • The ONLY sports that are required to subscribe and receive information about recruits from an NCAA-approved recruiting service are NCAA DI Football and DI Men & Women’s Basketball programs.
  • The Recruiting Service must be pre-approved by the NCAA before they can provide information to NCAA DI Football and Basketball coaches under very strict guidelines established by the NCAA.
  • This does NOT mean that the service has been recommended or endorsed by the NCAA for high school athletes and parents to sign up for that recruiting service.

Also, if you come across a recruiting service website that features a quote from an NCAA Division I or II coach recommending that service, beware.

Coaches who promote recruiting services or recruiting websites that claim to be endorsed by an NCAA coach are violating NCAA rules.

As with any other business, some recruiting services are better than others, and you may have a very good experience in using a particular service.

But don’t be swayed by the label of “NCAA-approved” – especially if your sport is NOT basketball or football – since those are the only sports for which such approval is required before an NCAA Division I coach can access their information.

Do you Have Questions or Need Advice?

If you have questions about this or any other topic pertaining to recruitingeligibility issues, scholarship strategies, or transfer situations, contact us for further information at 913-766-1235 or rick@informedathlete.com

NCAA Division I coaches in the sports listed below can engage in the specified recruiting activities beginning September 1st of a recruit’s junior year in high school.

Baseball – Coaches can call and can send text messages, email or other direct correspondence (mailings, instant messages, etc.) They can also provide official and unofficial visits to HS juniors.

Women’s Basketball – Coaches can call and can send text messages, email or other direct correspondence (mailings, instant messages, etc.)

Football (both FBS and FCS) – Coaches can send text messages and emails or other direct correspondence.

Lacrosse – Coaches can call and can send text messages, email or other direct correspondence. They can also provide official and unofficial visits to HS juniors. Sept. 1 is also the first date when these coaches can accept incoming calls from HS juniors.

Softball – Coaches can call and can send text messages, email or other direct correspondence. They can also provide official and unofficial visits to HS juniors. Sept. 1 is also the first date when these coaches can have off-campus contact with HS juniors and can accept incoming calls from them.

If you have questions about the recruiting rules for these or any other NCAA sports, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235. You can also schedule a confidential Recruiting Rules Consult online for an in-depth conversation regarding your athlete’s specific situation.

NCAA Division I baseball programs will continue to be impacted by special NCAA rulings regarding their roster size and scholarship rules for the 2021-22 academic year in a somewhat similar manner to the way they were impacted during this season.

  • There will be a 40-man limit on roster size for Division I programs during the 2022 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.
  • Coaches will be allowed to renegotiate scholarships to provide less than 25% for 2021-22 with conditions in place for the following year or years of an athlete’s attendance.

The previous sentence is especially important for baseball student-athletes who were on a multi-year scholarship during the 2020-21 academic year. In a “normal” time, DI baseball scholarship athletes must receive at least 25% scholarship.

If your Division I baseball athlete has been notified of a change to their scholarship for this next year and you desire detailed information regarding their options, schedule a confidential Scholarship Strategies consult online, contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or call 913-766-1235.

If a prospective student-athlete is being recruited by multiple Division I athletic programs and has an opportunity to “negotiate” for a multiyear scholarship from School A compared to a one-year renewable scholarship from School B, they should consider doing so.

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.” Those reasons may not include a student-athlete’s athletic performance or contribution to a team’s success or any injury, illness or physical or mental health condition.

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 you or your athlete have questions about how to navigate through various scholarship offer situations, we can help.  Schedule a confidential scholarship strategies consult and we will explain how your student-athlete could be impacted in various situations.  With this information, you can make an informed decision that’s in your athlete’s and your family’s best interest.