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’ve been receiving lots of questions about the rules and academic requirements for a 4-2-4 transfer (from a four-year college to a two-year college, and then transferring to another four-year college).

This type of transfer can be useful for various situations, but here are three of the most common:

  • An athlete wants to leave their four-year college to have a better playing opportunity in their sport and to then be “re-recruited” back to the four-year college level.
  • An athlete needs to focus on their academic responsibilities, raise their GPA, and then return to the four-year college level (perhaps even to the four-year college they previously attended).
  • Or, an athlete simply wants to attend a less-expensive college closer to home while they determine where they want to eventually enroll to earn their four-year degree.

The confusing part about the 4-2-4 transfer rules

The academic requirements and other rules (such as number of semesters required at the two-year college) are different depending upon whether the athlete will end up at the NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III, or NAIA level.

Of course, the natural question then becomes “How do I know what requirements to satisfy if I’m not even sure what college level – let alone the specific college – that I’m going to end up at??”

This is a situation in which one of our confidential consultations can be very helpful to explain these specific rules and the differences between the rules for different divisions. We can also provide a detailed Transcript Review to advise on your athlete’s progress toward satisfying these academic requirements.

Have Questions & Need Help?

NCAA 4-2-4 Transfers can be useful for various situations but can be confusing to navigate without assistance.

For help in navigating the academic requirements and rules and strategies for successful 4-2-4 transfers, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com

We are often asked during a phone consultation “What is the best time for our son or daughter to inform their coach and school that they want to transfer?” Certainly, this will depend upon a number of factors.

Here are important things to consider before an athlete enters their name into the Transfer Portal:

  • Did the athlete sign a National Letter of Intent with this college, and how long have they been enrolled there?
  • Has the athlete already started competing during their season and triggered the use of a season of eligibility? (Or, for NCAA Division III athletes, have they continued practicing with their team even if they are not playing in games for their college?)
  • Is there an injury or illness involved which might permit them to receive a medical hardship waiver?
  • Is the athlete planning to finish out the academic year at their current college, or would they prefer to leave at the semester?
  • Do they want to retain their athletic scholarship through the conclusion of the academic year?
  • Does the athlete feel that it’s more important for them to finish out their current season with their teammates or do they want to get started right away on being able to contact coaches at other colleges?

What frequently happens once an athlete requests placement in the Transfer Portal

Once a student-athlete tells their coach they’re planning to transfer, they are often removed from the team. In addition, sometimes, the athlete will be asked to sign a form stating that they are voluntarily withdrawing from their team. Signing a withdrawal form can result in the athlete’s scholarship being immediately cancelled.

Do you Need Help Navigating the Transfer Process?

Schedule a confidential Transfers consultation online or call us at 913-766-1235.  In a confidential consultation, we’ll discuss your student-athlete’s current situation, the factors that should be considered before taking action, and the steps and rules involved with a transfer to another university.

NCAA Division I or II athletes who are thinking about putting their name in the Transfer Portal before the next semester or quarter begins should consider these things:

For NCAA Division I Student-Athletes

When an athlete submits their name for the Transfer Portal during the period between terms, their university has the right to cancel the athlete’s scholarship before the next term begins.

If the athlete is planning to stay at their current university this Spring while exploring other opportunities for next Fall, this could potentially have devastating financial consequences.

For NCAA Division II Student-Athletes

The rule is a bit different. The school doesn’t have the right to immediately cancel the athlete’s scholarship before the next term begins as long as the athlete is academically eligible and is fulfilling any other athletic responsibilities that their coach and athletic department expect of them.

However, if the athlete doesn’t want to continue practicing and working out with their team after putting their name in the Transfer Portal, a Division II university would have the right to immediately cancel the athlete’s scholarship if their coach or athletic department interpret their actions as quitting their team.

Do You Have Questions?

If your athlete is considering a transfer and you would like to review and discuss the Transfer rules, you can schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online. You can also send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

This article is written to give junior college athletes a heads-up to potential eligibility issues that can create huge problems if they plan to transfer to an NCAA school.

And even worse, if the eligibility issue isn’t discovered until AFTER the JUCO transfer has already started attending an NCAA school, the athlete won’t be eligible to compete in their first year at the new university.

My advice to avoid these headaches and problems is to be clearly informed and knowledgeable about the academic requirements they must meet in order to transfer to an NCAA school.

Please keep in mind that student-athletes who start their college career at a junior college can have differing academic requirements when it comes time to transfer to an NCAA school.

For example:

  • Was the Junior College Student-Athlete a “qualifier” or “non-qualifier” coming out of high school? The answer to this will affect what a junior college transfer athlete must achieve academically to be eligible to compete at an NCAA DI or DII school.
  • How many semesters did the Junior College Student-Athlete attend the junior college as a full-time student?
  • Was the Junior College Student-Athlete required to earn their Associates Degree to be academically eligible upon transfer to an NCAA school?

These are the types of issues that can derail a Junior College Student-Athlete’s athletic and academic career and end up costing them personally and financially.

If a Junior College Transfer Athlete has not satisfied all necessary NCAA academic requirements BEFORE they begin attending their new university, they won’t be able to compete during their first academic year of attendance and may also not be qualified to receive an athletic scholarship!

Knowing your eligibility status ahead of time can allow a student-athlete to make the adjustments that are needed to avoid disappointment and possibly financial problems down the road.

If you are a Junior College Transfer Athlete (or parent of one) and you are uncertain about your NCAA academic eligibility status, Informed Athlete can help:

If you have questions, contact Rick Allen 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.

I came across a sports media report a few days ago that 131 football players from Bowl Subdivision programs have entered the NCAA Transfer Portal since August 1.

The report didn’t include this info but it would be interesting to know how many of those entered the Portal before their season started compared to how many have entered the Portal in the middle of their season.

That report also noted that Florida State has the most football players in the Transfer Portal with 5, while Air Force, Colorado State and Syracuse all have 4 players in the Portal.

We’ve been receiving a large number of inquiries about the Transfer Portal recently.

We know that the number of athletes entering the Portal will be increasing for many sports over the next few weeks, especially as Fall sports move closer to the end of their season.

A recent article published to our website, When is the Best Time For An Athlete To Enter The NCAA Transfer Portal?, lists 4 things to consider before an athlete files a request.

If your athlete is considering a Transfer and wants to be prepared to enter the Portal at the end of their season or even before, schedule a Transfer Consultation online or contact us via rick@informedathlete.com or 913-766-1235.

Here are a few things a student-athlete should consider before entering the NCAA Transfer Portal:

  • Do you want to finish out the current season with your teammates, especially if your team has an opportunity for post-season competition?
  • Or are you are very unhappy with your current situation, and want to start contacting coaches at other schools as soon as possible regarding a potential transfer?
  • Are your planning to transfer at the end of the Fall semester, or do you want to stay at your current school through the end of the academic year?
  • Are you concerned about the possible loss of your athletic scholarship?

If your athlete is considering a transfer and unsure about when to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal or has questions regarding the steps in a transfer, schedule a Transfer Consult online, rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

Student-athletes who transfer from a two-year to a four-year college are commonly referred to as a “2-4 transfer,” while those who transfer from one four-year college to another are referred to as a “4-4 transfer.”

In most of those 2-4 or 4-4 transfer situations, a student-athlete will have the chance to be eligible for competition in their first year at the new college as along as the academic requirements for a transfer to the NCAA or NAIA university have been satisfied.

However, when an athlete has transferred more than one time, the rules and academic requirements can be more difficult to navigate.

The more times that an athlete transfers from one college to another, the greater the odds are that the athlete won’t be eligible in their first year at the new college. In fact, many of these student-athletes are often given misleading information or don’t have a complete understanding of the transfer rules.

They often learn after arriving at their new university that they won’t be eligible to compete their first year.

I’ve spoken to several families of 4-4-4 transfers who find themselves in this situation.

Had they known the transfer rules and requirements for their specific situation in advance, they would have been prepared and possibly made better and more informed decisions as they navigated through their transfer process.

Of course, the best situation is if you and your athlete are prepared and knowledgeable about how to navigate successfully ahead of time.

However, if your athlete has recently transferred and learned they won’t be eligible this year, we can discuss their specific situation and advise about possible options available to them. Schedule a confidential Waivers & Appeal Consult online to learn what options are available at this point and how to move forward.

If your athlete is considering a transfer and wants to know what their options are before making the decision, we can help. Schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online and we’ll review and discuss best steps to take before proceeding with a transfer.

To learn more about these and other services we offer, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Almost every year, we receive emails similar to the one below two or three weeks AFTER an athlete has started attending classes at their new college:

“I transferred to this new college but wasn’t informed until two weeks into this semester that I didn’t meet the academic requirements to be eligible this year. What options do I have now that I’ve already started attending classes?”

Assuming the university received this athlete’s transcript in a timely manner, someone should have reviewed and notified this athlete of her academic deficiency before the semester started.

Had they done so, this athlete would have had the option to go back to her previous junior college for one more semester to take the necessary courses for eligibility, or she could have considered other options.

Now her options are limited and more complicated:

  • By waiting until two weeks into the semester to inform the athlete of her status, she is stuck at that college and is now ineligible for this academic year. She must now work to earn her academic eligibility to be able to compete next year at this college.
  • Also, because most transferring athletes must be academically eligible when they leave their current school in order to be immediately eligible as a transfer to an NCAA member school, she either needs to stay at this school and work to earn her eligibility there, OR
  • If she chooses to transfer to another NCAA college before she regains eligibility where she is, she may be ineligible for her first academic year at the next college.
  • Another option is that she could possibly transfer to an NAIA college where it would be possible to regain eligibility after one semester.

How can an athlete AVOID this type of situation?

Make sure you are certified academically eligible by the school you are transferring to before classes begin.

In fact, I suggest that you request confirmation in writing prior to the start of classes that the athletic compliance office can confirm that you’re eligible to compete this year! This way, if something goes wrong and you’re later told that you aren’t eligible, you at least have documentation of what you were told that could possibly be beneficial in a waiver situation.

How frequently does this type of thing happen?

More frequently than you would think. These are the type of situations I hate because they could easily be prevented.

How can you prevent this from happening to your athlete?

For “2-4” transfers from a two-year college to a four-year college or “4-2-4” transfers (four-year college to two-year college to second four-year college), there are specific academic requirements that must be completed in order to be immediately eligible.

With a college transcript review, we will:

  • Inform you of the current NCAA transfer requirements,
  • Compare courses you’ve taken with the academic requirements for a transfer athlete,
  • Inform you of any specific subject requirements or limitations for your transfer situation, and
  • Review consequences and options for your situation based on completed courses, deadlines, and any rules that apply specifically to certain sports (such as mid-year transfers in Division I baseball or basketball)

If you have questions about the transfer and eligibility requirements, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consult, or would like to discuss how a college transcript review can help your athlete, contact us by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.