If you’re the parent of a high school athlete who is focused on being recruited and admitted to their dream school, it may seem a bit odd to already be thinking ahead about the possibility of a transfer to another school at some point in the future.

However, thinking ahead to the possibility of a transfer can be very helpful just in case that time comes.  

Here are a couple of examples of how thinking ahead can be to your high school athlete’s benefit:

-It’s common for student-athletes to start at a college that is quite a distance from home, but then they become “homesick” and want to transfer to be closer. If their original school, and the school the athlete wants to transfer to are in the same conference, there may be conference rules regarding an intra-conference transfer which restrict the athlete’s future eligibility.

-If a student-athlete transfers from their original four-year college to a Division I program in baseball, basketball, football, or men’s ice hockey, they are often required to serve a “year in residence” attending the new college before they can compete for that team. However, if a student-athlete was not on scholarship and was a “non-recruited” athlete at their original school, they will have the opportunity to be immediately eligible at the second university.

For more general information about transfers, visit the Transfers section on our website.

To learn more about recruiting, visit the Recruiting Rules area of our website.

If you are interested in learning how the transfer rules could impact your athlete in the future and would like a personal and confidential consult to discuss these issues, you can schedule online. Or, if you prefer, contact us directly by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Friday, June 15th was the first day for NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball coaches to begin to place recruiting phone calls and send recruiting correspondence (emails, direct messages, etc.) to high school recruits in the graduating class of 2020.

June 15 was also the first day for coaches in all NCAA Division II sports to begin to recruit high school prospects who will graduate in 2020. These activities can include recruiting phone calls, sending recruiting correspondence, AND also offering official visits to a Division II campus.

If you’d like a complimentary copy, click NCAA Recruiting Calendars, and sign up to receive the most current calendars with a summary of important dates and most current need-to-know recruiting info.

Other ways we help student-athletes and their families navigate through the recruiting process include:

Recruiting Rules Consults  via phone or email

College Visit Consult Packages

Informed Athlete’s Campus Visits Guide

 

I’m often asked by high school student-athletes or parents if it’s possible to “double-sign” with a Junior College and an NCAA institution. Because they are separate organizations, it is possible to sign a letter of intent with a school in each organization.

Since it’s best not to burn any bridges, student-athletes and parents should consider being honest with the schools about the double-signing so that the college coaches don’t get caught off-guard. You never know when you might choose to transfer to that other school that you signed with.

In some sports, primarily football and baseball, double-signing can actually be a good scholarship strategy under the right circumstances:

For example, a high round baseball draft choice may sign a letter of intent with a Junior College as well as with an NCAA school, to keep open the option of playing at the junior college for one year, and then have the opportunity to be drafted again the following year.

In the case of that baseball draft choice in the example above, what will happen in the case of an injury and the athlete is not drafted as hoped? The athlete will want to be eligible to play when he transfers to the NCAA university.

Regardless of the reason that an athlete starts their college career at a junior college, athletes who do this should keep in mind the NCAA eligibility and transfer rules that may apply to them should they end up transferring from the JUCO to an NCAA Division I or II program.

Also, for high school prospects who sign a National Letter of Intent with an NCAA Division I or II program, but decide to enroll in a JUCO instead, remember that the NLI that you signed remains binding upon you until you graduate from the JUCO or until you are released from the NLI by the school that you signed with.

If you have questions about this article or anything else related to recruiting, transfers, scholarships, or eligibility, please call Informed Athlete at 913-766-1235 or send me an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

That term “preferred walk-on” actually means nothing more than whatever that coaching staff intends it to mean.  At one university, a preferred walk-on may be guaranteed a spot on their roster, while at another university, it may only mean that they don’t have to go through an open tryout to join full-squad practice sessions.

What is more important for a preferred walk-on in certain sports is whether they are considered “recruited” to their university team.  This can be an important factor in their opportunity to be immediately eligible if they decide to transfer after a year or two to a Division I program.

For certain sports, it can mean the difference between being immediately eligible for competition and a scholarship at their new university, or serving a “year in residence” before they can compete.

If your athlete has been offered a preferred walk-on status at either an NCAA or NAIA school, and you have questions about what it means and how that could negatively impact a potential transfer opportunity, contact us at rick@informedathlete.com, or call 913-766-1235.

“NCAA Preferred Walk-on” is a term that is frequently seen on social media when a high-school athlete announces that they have accepted a “preferred walk-on” offer from a University’s coaching staff.

What exactly is an NCAA Preferred Walk-on?  That term actually means nothing more than whatever that coaching staff intends it to mean.
At one university, an NCAA Preferred Walk-on may be guaranteed a spot on the team roster, while at another university, it may only mean that the athlete doesn’t have to go through an open tryout to participate in early Fall practices after classes begin.

What is more important for an NCAA Preferred Walk-on is whether they are considered “recruited” to their university team.
This can be an important factor in their opportunity to be immediately eligible if they decide to transfer after a year or two to a Division I program.  For certain sports, it can mean the difference between being immediately eligible for competition and a scholarship at their new university, or serving a “year in residence” before they can compete.

If you have questions about the definition of a “recruited” athlete and how that may impact a potential transfer opportunity, contact us at rick@informedathlete.com, or 913-766-1235.

Spring-sport athletes (and their parents) on Division III teams should keep in mind that the “redshirt” rule is quite different for Division III than it is for NCAA Division I and II athletes.

NCAA Division I and II 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, that will be considered a “redshirt” year for that athlete because they didn’t compete against another team.

However, NCAA Division III 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 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 had practiced with the team after the start of the season, he was still charged with a “season of participation” for that season, and had three seasons remaining rather than the four that the father thought he had.
For a consultation regarding the redshirt rules and guidelines, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

If you’re a high school recruit competing for an athletic scholarship offer, have you defined your college experience expectations? 

Do you want to compete at the highest level possible and try to win a championship for your team – whether that’s a conference, regional, or national championship?

Or, will you be completely happy if you’re enjoying college, making lifelong friendships, and possibly participating on a junior varsity college team to stay physically active and spend more time with some of your new friends?

Many colleges at both the NCAA and NAIA level use their athletic teams to boost their enrollment numbers. 

But, some programs take that even a step further by adding junior varsity teams to the athletic program.  Those coaches might recruit you to join their teams with the opportunity of being promoted to the varsity level at some point in your college career, but they may primarily be looking to just boost college enrollment.

Don’t get me wrong – if you will be happy being on the JV team and not having as many commitments on your time as you would have with practice and travel commitments of a varsity program, then that’s great.

The point I want to make is to be sure you ask – especially at smaller colleges – if they have both a varsity and junior varsity team in your sport, and where the coach sees you fitting into the program.  As the article that I’ve linked below describes, the coach may be more interested in your participation to boost college enrollment rather than for the talent that you can provide to help their team win.
http://blog.naia.org/index.php/2017/11/06/goshen-college-boosting-recruitment-with-junior-varsity-athletics/

If you’re a high school recruit and have questions, click here to learn how to schedule a confidential consult or contact us directly at 913-766-1235.

I have been asked my opinion about the NCAA Division I Coaching Scandal regarding the news that four NCAA DI assistant college basketball coaches have been arrested on charges of corruption and bribery in allegedly using funds from shoe company contracts (directly or indirectly) to entice recruits to enroll at their universities.

This morning I sent out an email to our newsletter subscribers and after receiving alot of feedback, I’m posting it on our website as well.

I have many thoughts on this topic given my many years as a compliance director at two major NCAA universities, as well as a consultant to athletes and families through InformedAthlete.com: 

The Division I men’s basketball programs are just the tip of the iceberg, I believe.  This investigation could easily continue for another year if not more, and could stretch into other sports programs.

One reason I believe this will involve other sports is the increasing contracts that coaches are signing in many sports.  It’s very common for the coaches’ salary to come in part from their shoe or apparel deals.

If you’re a high-level recruit, you should be aware that when you are asked to answer the “amateurism” questions in the NCAA Eligibility Center, the NCAA may be looking at your answers as to any travel teams you played on, and the companies or businesses that sponsor those teams, with much more scrutiny.

It was just reported that NIKE’s EYBL summer basketball organization has been issued subpoenas for documents and employee records.

Any athletes (or families of athletes) who accepted enticements or benefits from coaches or shoe companies will almost certainly be ruled ineligible!  

It’s only human nature for a prospect to sign with the coaching staff (particularly the coach who was the “lead recruiter” for a prospect) whom they feel most comfortable with and have the best “connection” with.

College sports – especially at the major Division I level – is a BIG business.  Except, when it’s your son or daughter who is a collegiate student-athlete, its personal! 

Those coaches are influenced by entities ranging from the major shoe companies to the local businesses that sponsor the coach’s weekly radio show or provide them with the use of a “courtesy car.” They do not always have the best interests of the athlete as their primary focus.

You need to research the schools and the coaches just as much as they are researching you (your athletic ability, your academic standing, your social media activity, etc.)

It’s easy for a recruit to be swayed by the “arms race” in college athletic facilities and amenities, and sign with a university that has the newest facilities and the most game-day uniform options, but is that going to have any impact on the education you receive or the lifelong friends you can make at your college?

As an example, while our son certainly enjoyed the opportunity to compete in college baseball in one of the major conferences and play in front of some large college baseball crowds, the season that may have been the most “fun” for him was his senior year with a Division II program where they played with a common goal of reaching the post-season rather than what round they would be drafted.

My advice to student-athletes (and their parents):  Choose a college not just for the relationship you believe you will have with the coaching staff, but consider also whether you will still be happy at that university if you were to become hurt and no longer able to participate in your sport.

  • Can you be happy with the size of the campus and the number of students in a large freshman-level class?
  • Are there things to do in the community if many of the students go home on the weekends?
  • Will you be happy if you can’t go home very often, or if your family won’t be able to attend many of your games?

Almost 10 years ago, we started Informed Athlete because we saw so many high school and college athletes and families making bad decisions and struggling because of poor advice and incorrect information regarding NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA rules.

Through the years, our goal has remained the same:  
To help guide student-athletes and their parents as they navigate through challenges related to transfers, waivers & appeals, eligibility issues, and recruiting rules by providing accurate information and advice so that the student-athlete and their family can make an informed decision that is in their best interest!

If you have any questions or need advice, please call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com. 

A recruiting coach’s job is to sell their school in the best light possible.
YOUR job as a recruit or parent of a college recruit is to have as much accurate information as possible to make a decision that is based on what is the best fit for you!

Many athletes make their choice based on incomplete or inaccurate info received during the recruiting visit and then later come to regret their decision and want to transfer.
A transfer from one university to another can be extremely stressful and also very costly if a scholarship isn’t available at the next college, and if some academic credits won’t transfer to the next university.
In almost 10 years of working with college athletes and their families as well as many years prior to that as a Division I compliance director, we’ve learned that many transfers occur because an athlete or family didn’t know what to expect, which questions to ask, or what to look for when they were making campus visits.
Our Informed Athlete’s Comprehensive Guide to Campus Visitsincludes:

  • The rules regarding official and unofficial visits for athletic recruiting
  • Walks you “behind the scenes” and gives you a real-life example of what you can expect during a campus visit
  • Includes questions to ask and things to look for when making those campus visits so you can make a more informed decision.

Click here to get your copy via email
so you can make the most of your campus visits
and make an informed decision!  

We also offer Recruiting Advisory Consult Calls where you can ask questions regarding anything related to the recruiting process, including preparing for your official and/or unofficial campus visits and reviewing what you learned during the visit, discuss any scholarship or walk-on offers that were made, etc.

As always, anything you share is held in very strict confidence!  Informed Athlete’s is only concerned with what is in the athlete’s best interest!

Give our office a call at 913-766-1235 to schedule an appointment with Rick!

I recently talked to the dad of an athlete who had withdrawn from her university (where she had an athletic scholarship) because the coursework got to be too much for her and she was struggling in her classes.

He told me his daughter was diagnosed with an education-impacting disability (or learning disability) in high school and did well academically at that level with proper accommodations.  However, during the college recruiting process, they did not inform the coaches about her need for assistance.

This is very common because athletes and sometimes their parents think it makes them look weak and therefore, don’t want to share such information with a college coach.  You can imagine what their reasoning is:

  • Will the coach view me differently because of my disability?
  • Will they withdraw their scholarship offer?
  • Will they try to force me to transfer to another college after I’m already a member of their team?

It’s understandable that families wrestle with such questions. But if you’re in this situation or know of someone who is, here are a couple of things to consider.

  • When making a campus visit, be sure to stop in or, better yet, schedule time with the Academic and Student Support Services offices to ask about services offered for learning disabilities.
  • Be honest and up front with the coaching staff during the recruiting process.  While you might find out that, yes, they do appear to be showing reduced interest and might withdraw their scholarship offer, would it not be better to find out the character of the coaches and their true concern for your athlete during the recruiting process rather than after the athlete has started their college career at that college?

If you have questions regarding recruiting visits and how to approach a coach about potential accommodations for learning disabilities and other recruiting issues, call Informed Athlete at 913-766-1235 to schedule a consult.  All consultations are private and confidential.