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 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

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


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.


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

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

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 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 to arrange a confidential consultation session if you’d like to discuss your athlete’s options, or schedule a Scholarship Strategies Consult online.

This post includes the latest updates we have regarding college athletic organizations and the impact on current student-athletes as well as on high school or junior college recruits.

NCAA Spring Sport Competition

All winter and spring championships have been cancelled by the NCAA. Some individual conferences could choose to still conduct a portion of a spring sports schedule, but that seems unlikely given the directive from the CDC to limit the size of any public gathering to no more than 50 people for the next 8 weeks.

In fact, some conferences, such as the Big Ten, have not only banned all competition for spring sports, but have also banned practices and other “organized team activities” for all sports until at least April 6 (at which time the ban will be re-evaluated).

Be sure to check with your athlete’s school or conference by monitoring their website and social media accounts for current updates.

NCAA Additional Season of Eligibility

NCAA leadership has stated that all student-athletes who have participated in spring sports should receive “eligibility relief” from being charged with the use of a season of eligibility. They also stated that “additional issues with NCAA rules must be addressed” and they will be finalizing details in the coming weeks.

However, some coaches and athletic departments may choose to apply this “eligibility relief” selectively.

For example, the parent of a Division I athlete has informed me that the athletic director at that particular university has informed some teams that only seniors will be granted an additional year of eligibility. I’m sure this statement was made in large part due to uncertainty as to whether the NCAA will increase scholarship limits for next year in reaction to athletes being granted another year of eligibility.

Special Note for NCAA DII and DIII Athletes Currently In Their 10th Semester

Those of you familiar with Division II and III know that instead of the “five-year clock” that is used in Division I, the “ten-semester/15-quarter rule” is used by Divisions II and III.

If your athlete is currently in their LAST semester or quarter under this rule and will be granted an additional season of eligibility for next Spring, it is highly likely that they won’t be able to attend college as a full-time student next Fall. This is because they may only be granted one additional semester or quarter and will need to “save it” for next Spring.

I posed that specific scenario to an NCAA staff member last week via Twitter and was told “That is accurate.” It’s possible that things could change in the coming weeks or months but be sure to keep this in mind until I can provide a more detailed update.

NCAA Recruiting

Division I and II coaches are banned from any in-person recruiting activity until at least April 15. No on or off-campus recruiting activity and no official or unofficial visits to campus by recruits during this time.

However, phone calls as well as written and “electronic communication” are still permitted (emails, text messages, social media messages as allowed under the recruiting rules for Division I and II based on a recruit’s sport and year in school).

As a result of the recruiting ban noted above, the NCAA National Letter of Intent can’t be issued to recruits or signed until April 15 at the earliest. NLI’s that had already been issued to recruits and signed prior to March 16 are still valid.

The Division I football signing period which is normally available until April 1 will be extended by 30 days. The Division I basketball signing period which would normally begin on April 15 will be considered during the next few weeks and an update will be provided.

NAIA Current Student-Athletes

All NAIA spring sport seasons are cancelled, as are any remaining winter championships. No spring sport student-athlete will be charged with a season of competition.

“Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance” according to a March 16 release.

NJCAA Student-Athletes & Recruits

The NJCAA announced yesterday afternoon that the Division I and II men’s and women’s NJCAA basketball championships, as well as all spring sports competition and practices, have been cancelled.

On and off-campus recruiting for all NJCAA sports “…will be halted until April 15…” with further consideration at that time.

No spring sport student-athletes will be charged with a year of eligibility. Also, because many student-athletes will be returning for another year that had not been expected, scholarship limits for the 2020-21 season will be increased, with details to be “…vetted by the Eligibility Committee.”

CCCAA Current Student-Athletes

The CCCAA men’s and women’s basketball championships have been cancelled. All spring sports competition as well as practices have been suspended indefinitely.

No determination has been made regarding student-athlete eligibility, but it is a “…central question facing the association.” The CCCAA is working with the NCAA, NAIA, and other associations to determine next steps.

A Special Note for Junior College Athletes

  • If an athlete is currently attending a junior college and receives an additional year of eligibility from the NJCAA or the CCCAA, be aware that the additional year might not be automatically honored by the NCAA (or NAIA) when a junior college athlete transfers to an NCAA or NAIA program.
  • Also, academic eligibility at an NCAA program often depends upon the number of semesters that an athlete attended a junior college as a full-time student. Attending a two-year college for an additional year or semester could possibly have negative consequences on your academic eligibility when you transfer to join an NCAA athletic program.

Advice to Consider

  • Be sure that your athlete maintains their focus on their academic coursework to ensure that they have a chance to be eligible next year. While some athletes may become depressed or lose focus on their academics as a result of losing their season, if they don’t successfully complete their classes this semester, it can damage their eligibility for next year.
  • Some bedrock NCAA and NAIA rules won’t change if your athlete returns for an extra season next year. For one, they will need to be taking a full-time course load to be eligible for practice and competition next year. Will they be willing and able to pay for another year of college if they’ve already graduated and were originally planning to start their post-college life?
  • Because many colleges are moving classes online, make sure that your athlete takes steps to save all of their assignments and can track when an assignment or test was submitted. The last problem you want them to have is an eligibility issue because the professor didn’t receive a test or assignment by the required deadline or didn’t receive it at all.
  • In the very unlikely anticipation that schools might possibly “wipe out” their stats for this season, you may want to take a screenshot or photo of the team’s stat sheet on the athletic website to record how many games your athlete appeared in and how many total games were played by the team this season in case that’s needed for a waiver to get another year of eligibility.
  • Follow the social media page(s) for your school’s athletic compliance office as they will be posting updates for student-athletes at that particular college. (By the way, you can follow us on Twitter @InformedAthlete or on our Facebook page.)
  • If an athlete is currently attending a junior college and receives a waiver for an additional year of eligibility from the NJCAA or the CCCAA, be aware that such a waiver may not be automatically honored by the NCAA (or NAIA) when a junior college athlete transfers to an NCAA or NAIA program. For example, academic eligibility at an NCAA program often depends in part upon the number of semesters that an athlete attended a junior college as a full-time student.

Do you Need Assistance?

If you have questions about how your student-athlete is affected by the current situation, they’re considering a transfer or have questions about their eligibility, we can answer all your concerns and provide options and a scenarios in a confidential consultation.

Schedule a scholarship strategies consult online or by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an email to