The Atlantic Coast Conference recently announced that they are eliminating the league’s intra-conference transfer rule.

This means that while the standard NCAA DI transfer rules still apply to athletes who transfer to a Division I university, ACC athletes who transfer to another ACC school are no longer bound by additional conference restrictions.

Those Conference restrictions previously mandated that student-athletes who transferred from one ACC school to another must serve a year in residence at the new university. The “year in residence” rule applied to student-athletes who were on an athletic scholarship at the first university as well as student-athletes who were recruited to the first university even if they weren’t on an athletic scholarship.

Why This Decision Is Important for All of Division I

The above action obviously has a direct impact only on student-athletes who transfer within the ACC.

However, I believe this decision has a more wide-ranging impact and sets the stage for all student-athletes to have immediate eligibility one time upon transfer to a Division I program from another four-year university (as long as they satisfy academic requirements).

My belief is based on the statement issued by ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips regarding the action taken by the ACC Board of Directors:

“The time has come for all student-athletes to have the opportunity to transfer and be permitted to compete immediately. This decision is in the best interest of our student-athletes as it allows greater flexibility during their collegiate career.”

Commissioner Phillips is an influential voice as the leader of one of the Power Five conferences. He also has served as a past chairperson of the NCAA Division I Council and the first athletic director to serve on the NCAA’s restructured Board of Directors in 2015.

I’m confident that Division I presidents and athletic directors across the country have taken note of Commissioner Phillips’ statement.

Do You Need Help Navigating the Transfer Process?

To arrange a discussion of the NCAA Division I transfer rules, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult to review the rules that will apply to your student-athlete. You can also contact us by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

On Twitter last week, Bryan Fischer, an Athlon Sports Writer and Editor, tweeted that “…NCAA is moving forward with one-time transfers. D1 Council will vote on a waiver to allow one-time transfers for the upcoming year (2021-22) at their April meeting after the Final Four.”

Let’s assume that Mr. Fischer’s info is accurate. This will not actually be a legislative change to the Division I One-Time Transfer rule but will instead be a waiver that will apply only for this upcoming academic year.

While I have not yet seen anything reported about this on the NCAA website or on their social media accounts, I believe that the following conditions will apply for the waiver to be approved:

  • An athlete will only be able to use this waiver on their first transfer from any four-year college and will obviously need to have eligibility remaining.
  • The athlete will need to be academically eligible upon departure from the previous university. That university will need to be able to state that the athlete would be eligible for competition if the athlete was staying at or returning to that university for the upcoming semester or academic year.
  • The Division I university to which an athlete transfers from another four-year university will likely be allowed to automatically approve this waiver as long as the athlete satisfies the conditions listed above and satisfies the academic requirements to be eligible (including meeting the “progress-toward-degree” requirements) at the new university.

For a discussion of this One-Time Transfer waiver, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult to review the transfer rules and academic requirements that will apply to your student-athlete. You can also contact us by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

If your athlete has signed an NJCAA Letter of Intent, or has been offered one by a junior college, I congratulate them on that opportunity!

But here are a few things those athletes should know about the NJCAA LOI:

  • Unlike the NCAA’s National Letter of Intent, an NJCAA LOI can be offered to and signed by a recruit even if no athletic scholarship is being offered to the recruit.
  • Once an athlete signs the LOI, they can’t be contacted by coaches at any other NJCAA college.

What happens if you change your mind after signing the LOI?

If a student-athlete decides after signing the LOI that they don’t want to attend that JUCO, they’ll need to request an NJCAA Letter of Intent Release before coaches at other NJCAA colleges can talk with them about a possible transfer.

A student-athlete who signs an NJCAA Letter of Intent but then chooses to transfer to another NJCAA college will also need to receive an NJCAA Transfer Waiver from the original JUCO that they signed with in order to be eligible.

  • The NJCAA Letter of Intent Release and the NJCAA Transfer Waiver are two separate documents. The first NJCAA college might sign the Release but not the Transfer Waiver.
  • If the student-athlete doesn’t receive the Transfer Waiver from the first NJCAA college, they’ll be ineligible for competition at the new college for one full academic year.

Furthermore, an athlete transferring within the same NJCAA conference from one college to another may be subject to more restrictive requirements.

  • They may not be eligible to compete at their new JUCO for one full academic year after a transfer from another college in the same conference.
  • They also may be prohibited from receiving a scholarship at the new NJCAA college.

Do you Have Questions Before your Athlete Signs an LOI or Need Help Navigating Through a Transfer?

Schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues or confidential Transfer Issues consult online if your athlete has questions/concerns about the rules that will specifically apply to your JUCO transfer student-athlete. You can also contact us by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

We’ve recently written to inform you about the new Transfer Rule being proposed by NCAA Division I, as well as the Name, Image, and Likeness proposals in all three NCAA divisions.

https://informedathlete.com/proposed-new-ncaa-di-transfer-rule/

https://informedathlete.com/ncaa-name-image-and-likeness-legislation-update-overview/

These proposals were originally going to be voted on at the annual NCAA Convention.

However, NCAA President Mark Emmert urged the governing bodies of Division I, II, and III to postpone the votes on these proposals.

There are various factors that have contributed to this delay including:

  • A lawsuit advancing to the US Supreme Court regarding whether the NCAA can limit the benefits that college athletes can receive which are related specifically to their education.
  • Increasing concerns are being shared by university and conference administrators regarding the proposal that a third-party administrator will manage student-athlete information about the “deals” (and compensation) the student-athletes might receive regarding name, image, and likeness.To imagine how a third-party administrator for NIL might work, any of you who have interacted with the NCAA Eligibility Center can think about a similar organization to manage Name, Image, and Likeness information for all NCAA student-athletes and ask yourself whether you think that would be efficient for your athlete.
  • Another reason for the postponement of these votes is the introduction in mid-December of two different bills in Congress that impact NCAA student-athletes. In the following segment of this newsletter, I’ll provide a bit of info about those bills.

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.

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  a student-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 student-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.

I recently saw a post from a college football writer that 190 football players have entered the NCAA Transfer Portal in the past 12 days!

Some of these players may leave behind a scholarship at their current school and end up having nowhere to transfer to! It also wouldn’t be surprising to see a similar proportion of athletes in other sports.

When you consider these NCAA athletes who are being granted an additional year of eligibility taking up roster spots that in a normal time would possibly be going to junior college transfers or incoming high school recruits, there will be potential roster “log jams” in many sports across college athletics.

Athletes will need to carefully consider their options BEFORE entering the Transfer Portal.

In a confidential Transfer Consultation, we will:

  • Discuss how the current situation could affect your student-athlete including pros and cons of various transfer options
  • Describe all the steps and rules involved in the transfer process including possible eligibility issues to be aware of

Schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, call our office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Representatives from the NCAA Division I membership will be voting on proposed “Uniform Transfer Legislation” at the January NCAA Convention.

If approved, this legislation will permit all Division I student-athletes – even scholarship athletes in basketball and football – the opportunity to transfer one time to a new school with the chance to be eligible and not have to sit out from competition in their first year at the new university.

Here are some key points to note about this proposed legislation:

  • Student-athletes transferring to an NCAA Division I program for the 2021-22 academic year will be able to benefit from this rule change.
  • This will be a one-time opportunity that can be used at any point during a student-athlete’s eligibility. It can be used as an undergrad or as a grad transfer, but not both.
  • Student-athletes must be eligible at the time of their transfer.
  • Athletes will not be permitted to compete for two different programs in the same school year.
  • Coaches and athletic departments will not be able to object to the athlete’s transfer.
  • Student-athletes and their new head coach will be required to affirm that recruiting didn’t occur until after the athlete’s name appeared in the NCAA Transfer Portal.
  • Under this proposal, student-athletes will have a deadline to enter the Transfer Portal in order to take advantage of this new rule – May 1 for Fall and Winter sports and July 1 for Spring sports.
  • There will likely be exceptions to those deadlines granted for student-athletes in situations when there is a head coaching change or when an athlete is informed of a scholarship reduction or non-renewal.

Potential pitfalls and concerns

  • With a proposed deadline of May 1st for Fall sport athletes in a year when most Fall sports have been shifted to the Spring, student-athletes who are considering a transfer may need to enter the Transfer Portal before their season concludes (unless an exception is granted for this particular situation).
  • The dates noted above could also have a very significant impact for student-athletes who may want to transfer at midyear. An athlete who might be thinking next Fall about a midyear transfer would not be able to use this new rule unless they had already entered the Transfer Portal before May 1 or July 1 (depending upon their sport).

This means that midyear transfers won’t be eligible in their first year at their new school unless the rule is revised or if another exception is established.

  • Also, it’s unclear at this time whether conferences will still impose restrictions or penalties on athletes who transfer from one school to another within the same conference.

If your athlete is considering a transfer and you would like to review and discuss the Transfer rules, purchase and schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online or by calling our office at 913-766-1235.

A head coaching change (due to retirement, job change, or firing) doesn’t change anything about the steps required for a student-athlete to navigate a transfer or about whether they can be immediately eligible at their next college if they choose to transfer.

However, a coaching change in Division I CAN potentially have an impact on an athlete’s scholarship, or perhaps more accurately, on a scholarship athlete’s opportunity to continue as a member of their team at the university that has the coaching change.

That’s because a new head coach being hired at an NCAA Division I university can tell an athlete “You won’t be a member of this team next season. You can continue on scholarship here at the university until you graduate, but you won’t be a part of this team.”

The NCAA rationale for this rule is that an athlete should have the right to complete their degree at their current university while continuing on scholarship even if the new coaching staff tries to “run off” the athlete.

The best example may be a football player who chose their university because the former coaches featured a pass-oriented offense, but the new coaching staff prefers a run-oriented approach.

The downside of this rule is that an athlete in this situation will, in most cases, never be able to continue on the team at their current university.

That’s because the benefit to the new coaching staff is that they get to “reclaim” that scholarship to go recruit a new player while allowing the current player to continue on scholarship at the university until they complete their degree – as long as that current player never participates in football again for their current university.

If you’d like to have a confidential detailed discussion about the Division I scholarship rules when a coaching change occurs, schedule a scholarship strategies consult online or call 913-766-1235 or email rick@informedathlete.com.

It’s common this time of year for us to be asked “If my coach is fired or resigns, does that give me a ‘free’ opportunity to transfer?”

In fact, Vanderbilt University and University of Illinois are a few of the schools who have recently announced football coaching changes.

This prompts me to remind readers that while a coaching change CAN potentially impact an athlete’s scholarship, a coaching change does NOT change the transfer rules.

An athlete must still follow the same steps to transfer and their eligibility will depend upon the same rules and academic requirements regardless of whether their team has had a coaching change.

At the NCAA Division I level, however, a coaching change can potentially have an impact on an athlete’s scholarship if the new coaching staff doesn’t see that athlete as a good fit for the program.

If you have questions about the transfer rules or about your athletic scholarship and want to discuss your athlete’s specific situation, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult or a Scholarship Strategies Consult. You can also send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

Transferring to another school at any time of the year has its challenges. However, midyear transfers to a new university can be especially difficult because a student-athlete often has a short window of time to find a new school and then get enrolled for classes that start in January.

  • In addition, there can be specific rules that determine whether or not a mid-year transfer athlete will have immediate eligibility.
  • And there are also specific academic requirements that the student-athlete must satisfy in the Fall to order to be eligible to compete in the Spring.

Before your student-athlete takes action, make sure they know where they stand and what options they have so they don’t make mistakes that could cause them to lose eligibility or add a financial burden to the family. As an example, an NCAA Division I student-athlete entering the Transfer Portal could possibly lose their scholarship at midyear.

If you or your athlete have questions about a transfer situation and want to know all of the steps and rules involved, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult session online, send and email to rick@informedathlete.com or call 913-766-1235.