All current NCAA Division I and II scholarship student-athletes are to be notified no later than July 1 whether their scholarship is being reduced or not renewed for the upcoming year.

If your athlete has not been notified by now, they should definitely contact their coaches and ask.

This is especially important if your athlete has recently changed their email, or your family has moved to a new physical address. Make sure that email and physical addresses that are on file with the Office of Financial Aid for your student-athlete are up-to-date.

Once in a while we hear from student-athletes or parents who say they didn’t receive their required scholarship status notification. Not receiving the official notification in a timely manner could mean that your student-athlete could miss the deadline for an appeal hearing should their scholarship be reduced or taken away.

If your student-athlete’s scholarship is being reduced or not renewed for the coming year, you do have some options.

However, time is of the essence. If you’d like to learn more about pursuing an appeal, we can help guide you through the process. Schedule a Waivers and Appeals consult online, or by contacting us at rick@informedathlete.com or calling 913-766-1235.

Last week, NCAA Division I baseball programs were granted a “blanket waiver” that will impact their roster size and scholarship rules for the 2020-21 academic year.

  • There will be no roster size limit for Division I programs during the 2021 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 2020-21 with conditions in place for the following year or years of an athlete’s attendance.

This last point is especially important because student-athletes who were on scholarship during the 2019-20 academic year must be notified by NCAA universities no later than July 1 whether their scholarship will be renewed, reduced, or not renewed for the 2020-21 academic year.

If your Division I baseball athlete has been notified of a change to their scholarship for this next year and you have questions or want to know what options are available, schedule a Scholarship Strategies consult online or contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or at 913-766-1235.

Last week, NCAA Division I leaders extended the recruiting Dead Period for all Division I coaches through the end of July due to continued COVID-19 concerns.

Division I coaches are limited to recruiting by phone, text, email, and other messaging, as well as looking at film and by speaking with high school, junior college and/or club coaches.

Meanwhile, Division II coaches entered a recruiting Quiet Period on June 1.

This means that although the Division II coaches are still restricted from conducting any off-campus recruiting activities, they can conduct sports camps and clinics, invite recruits to campus and have in-person recruiting conversations, as long as those interactions take place on campus.

As the parent of a high school or junior college recruit, how should you or your athlete approach this situation?

Some suggestions:

  • Check out opportunities in your state or region to participate in recruiting camps or showcase events this summer. Because coaches can’t leave campus to conduct recruiting, they will be relying more than ever on the word of event organizers and junior college or smaller college coaches on who were the top players at each event.
  • Attend recruiting/skills camps that may be offered at junior colleges or small colleges in your area. Don’t discount the information that junior college coaches may share with NCAA coaches. Also, don’t discount the possibility of starting off your college career at a junior college to improve your skill level, or to gain strength and speed, so that you can then be recruited by NCAA programs from a junior college.
  • Create a recruiting video that you can send out to coaches.
  • Prepare an athletic resume that you can send to coaches along with a recruiting video. Highlight not only your athletic skills and abilities, but also your academic performance and any leadership or other extra-curricular activities you’ve been involved in.
  • Set up a page for your athlete on one of the recruiting websites that permit you to create your own page and profile.

Here are some of the ways that we can provide objective guidance and information to help you and your athlete navigate through this current challenging environment.

  • We can explain the academic requirements that your athlete will need to satisfy to be eligible to compete at the college level, as well as the transfer academic requirements if they want to start off at the junior college level, or just take part-time courses at the beginning of their enrollment.
  • We can explain the differences in the rules regarding athletic scholarships at the various college levels so that you are prepared if an offer of a scholarship is made to your athlete.
  • For a spring sport recruit who may be faced with overcrowded college rosters this next year, we can also explain the rules and implications of taking a gap year after high school graduation. That option may provide some benefits both athletically to gain size and strength and improve skill level, as well as academically to take part-time course work while postponing the start of the athlete’s eligibility clock.

If you have questions, concerns, or are confused about what to do and how to navigate the recruiting process, we can help you understand and provide scenarios and options for what is in the best interest of your athlete. Schedule a private and confidential Scholarship Strategies Consultation online or by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

The term “APR” for NCAA purposes refers to the calculation of the Academic Progress Rate for each Division I team.

The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate was designed to improve the academic standards of Division I student-athletes and their teams by focusing attention on those programs that have an excessive number of student-athletes losing their academic eligibility, leaving a program with seasons of eligibility remaining, or both.

  • Each DI scholarship athlete has 2 potential points that they can earn for their team at the end of each semester that will impact each team’s APR rate.
  • They can earn one “eligibility point” for being academically eligible each semester, and they can also earn one “retention point” if they are returning to their university for the following semester.

To try to keep things somewhat simple, if the APR for an NCAA sports team falls below 930 (team earned less than 93% of their possible APR points for their team) over a rolling four-year period, that team will be banned from postseason eligibility.

It was recently announced that 15 NCAA Division I teams will be ineligible for postseason play during the 2020-21 academic year due to low APR scores. Those teams are:

· Alabama A&M: men’s basketball, men’s track and field, women’s soccer

· Alabama State: men’s basketball

· Coppin State: women’s track and field

· Delaware State: men’s basketball

· Grambling State: men’s track and field

· Howard: football

· McNeese State: football

· Prairie View A&M: football

· Southern: men’s cross country, men’s track and field

· Stephen F. Austin: baseball, football, men’s basketball

If you have an athlete or know an athlete who had plans to participate for one of these teams next year and will be negatively impacted by this action, schedule a confidential scholarship strategies consultation to explore the athlete’s options, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

NJCAA

Athletes who signed an NJCAA Letter of Intent with an NJCAA member two-year college for their freshman year are to be notified no later than June 15 if they are going to be signed to another NJCAA Letter of Intent for their sophomore year.

If they are NOT signed to a new NJCAA Letter of Intent by June 15, they become recruitable by any other NJCAA member college starting June 16.

NCAA

For athletes on a sport scholarship at an NCAA Division I or Division II university, athletic departments have until July 1 to inform scholarship athletes about the status of their scholarship for the following academic year. The majority of coaches and athletic programs won’t wait that long and will usually inform athletes at the end of the school year.

If your athlete has not been informed regarding the status of their scholarship and their school year has ended, encourage them to ask about that.

Waiting until July 1 to find out that their scholarship has been reduced or cancelled, and then going through the appeal process will leave them very little time to find another college to transfer to if that becomes necessary.

If you have questions or need objective advice about your athlete’s scholarship status for next year, schedule a confidential scholarship strategies consult online, or call 913-766-1235.

With some universities experiencing coaching changes as the academic year winds down, I thought it would be good to address some of the common questions we receive from athletes and families when that happens.

Does a coaching change give me a “free” transfer to another university?

A coaching change (whether the coach is fired or leaves of their own choosing) doesn’t change anything about the steps to follow in a transfer or about whether an athlete can be immediately eligible at their new college upon transfer.

However, there is an exception to this for certain sports in circumstances when a coach leaves during the summer after an incoming recruit has arrived on campus.

Does a coaching change affect my scholarship?

When a head coaching change occurs at the NCAA D1 level, it is possible for the new coach to deny a returning athlete a spot on the roster. The university would be required to continue the athlete’s scholarship as long as the athlete makes satisfactory progress toward their degree. However, if the athlete wishes to continue competing in their sport, they will need to transfer in order to do so.

Does a coaching change void my NLI commitment?

When a high school or junior college recruit signs a National Letter of Intent, they are signing with the university rather than with a particular coach. While some schools will grant an NLI release after a coaching change, that’s not always the case.

Do you have Questions?

If you have questions about a coaching change and how your athlete’s scholarship or eligibility might be affected, purchase and schedule a confidential Scholarship Strategies Consult online, or call us at 913-766-1235.

NCAA coaches and athletes have limitations on the amount of time that can be required each week for “Countable Athletically Related Activities” (commonly referred to as “CARA” hours).

  • In normal times, those limitations on CARA hours will vary depending upon whether a sport is “in-season” or “out-of-season.”
  • However, due to COVID-19, all sports are now considered to be “out-of-season.”

Because of this situation, NCAA Division I recently issued the following two updates on the amount of time each week that coaches can require of their student-athletes.

  • To allow Division I student-athletes uninterrupted time to study and prepare for final exams, all countable athletically related activities are prohibited from one week before the start of that university’s final exam period through the conclusion of final exams.
  • Also, with the exception of the final exam restriction noted above, all sports can require up to 8 hours per week of virtual non-physical countable activities (such as film review, chalk talk, team meetings) through May 31 in order to keep athletes engaged and to be aware of their mental health during these challenging times. Each coaching staff must provide at least one day off per week that is free of any required activity.

If you have questions about this or other issues related to your athlete’s scholarship, schedule a confidential scholarship strategies consult online, by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com

As of April 15, 2020, the NCAA National Letter of Intent signing period has now re-opened after being closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It will be permissible for all NCAA Division I & II sports programs – including Division I basketball and football – to offer a National Letter of Intent and an official scholarship agreement at any time from April 15 through August 1.

If you have questions about your NLI and scholarship agreement and what it means, want an explanation of the difference between Division I and Division II scholarships or have other questions in general, we can provide a confidential phone consultation to discuss.

Schedule a Scholarship Strategies Consult online, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

On April 1st, the NCAA announced that they are extending the recruiting “Dead Period” for all Division I and II sports programs through May 31.

As a reminder, that means:

  • There can be no face-to-face personal recruiting activity between coaches and recruits or families.
  • Coaches can’t leave campus for any recruiting observations.
  • Coaches cannot invite recruits to visit campus.

However, It is still permissible for recruiting to be conducted by phone, text, email or through social media.

National Letter of Intent

NLI Signing opportunities will resume on April 15th for NCAA Division I and II programs.

All NCAA sports programs – including Division I basketball and football – will be allowed to offer a National Letter of Intent and an official scholarship agreement at any time from April 15 through August 1.

(In a normal year, Division I football can only offer a National Letter of Intent until April 1, while Division I basketball must cease offering an NLI in mid-May.)

Do You Need Help?

Contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com to arrange a consultation session if you’d like to discuss your athlete’s options, or schedule a Scholarship Strategies Consult online.

The NCAA Division I Council has voted to permit all NCAA Division I spring sport student-athletes to treat this season as a redshirt year.

  • Spring sport student-athletes who would have exhausted their college eligibility this spring will also have the opportunity to return next year for another season if they so choose.
  • However, the Council did NOT grant another season of eligibility for Division I winter sport student-athletes since those teams were able to compete through their regular season.

Flexibility Options for Funding Scholarships

The Council provided scholarship flexibility options for NCAA DI programs due to potential funding concerns. Many schools have already committed scholarship funds to recruits who will be enrolling next Fall.

This flexibility will only apply to spring sport student-athletes who would have exhausted their eligibility this season.

  • They will be allowed to receive a scholarship next year that won’t count against their overall team limit.
  • Also, coaches will not be required to provide an athletic scholarship at the same level that a student-athlete received this year.
  • In the sport of baseball, which is the only spring sport that has a mandated roster limit (35), teams will be permitted to exceed that roster limit by the number of athletes returning who would have exhausted their eligibility this season.

Impact on Transfer Athletes

So far, Division I has not clearly stated if they will honor an additional season of eligibility for an athlete who transfers from another university after having received another season where they were. I expect that they will do so just as Division II is doing (NCAA Division II Eligibility COVID-19 Update) but that hasn’t been specifically stated at this point.

Do You Need Help?

Contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com to arrange a confidential consultation session if you’d like to discuss your athlete’s options, or schedule a Scholarship Strategies Consult online.