The NCAA Division I Council recently proposed changes to the Division I recruiting timeline that will adjust key recruiting dates in all sports other than football and basketball.  The proposed changes are expected to be voted on in April 2019.

One proposal addressed the sport of men’s ice hockey, while the other proposal addressed all Division I sports except hockey, football and basketball.

Proposal One: Prospects being recruited for men’s ice hockey would be allowed to make unofficial visits to campus to meet with coaches and tour athletic facilities as early as January 1 of the sophomore year of high school if this proposal is approved.

Currently, unofficial visits involving athletic staff are not permissible until September 1st of a prospect’s junior year of high school. The hockey proposal would also permit official visits to Division I campuses beginning August 1 before the start of a prospect’s junior year.

Proposal Two: For all sports other than football, basketball, and men’s ice hockey, the proposed changes would permit prospects to have communication with Division I coaches – whether initiated by the coach or the prospect – starting on June 15 after the sophomore year of high school. Also, the permissible date for official and unofficial visits would be moved one month earlier to August 1 from September 1.

NCAA universities and conferences will be providing feedback to the Division I Council prior to their vote in April, so these proposals could be revised before the final vote. Look for updates in the Spring regarding these proposals as we get closer to April.

For more information about NCAA recruiting rules, visit our website. If you’d like a confidential consult as to how these rules or other rules could impact you or your athlete, schedule a phone or email consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to

Official visits can now be offered by most NCAA Division I sports programs to high school juniors graduating in 2020.

The only Division I sports that can’t yet offer official visits to 2020 high school graduates include:

  • Men’s basketball (not until January 1 of the recruit’s junior year),
  • Women’s basketball (not until the Thursday after the Women’s Final Four), and
  • Football (not until April 1 of the junior year).

For unofficial visits, high school athletes in all Division I sports (other than basketball and football) are not allowed to participate in a campus visit that includes involvement by the athletic department until after September 1 of their junior year.

Previously, there were no restrictions on when an athlete could make an unofficial visit (even as early as 7th or 8th grade) to meet with the coaches or tour athletic facilities.

  • Women’s basketball and football still have no restrictions on the first opportunity for an unofficial visit to a Division I campus.
  • Men’s basketball recruits can’t take an unofficial visit before August 1 at the start of the sophomore year of high school.

If you’d like more information about the changes to NCAA Division I recruiting rules and how they could affect your athlete, contact us at or 913-766-1235.

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

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

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, 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, 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 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.

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 

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