As college athletes are heading back to campus, here is an important reminder to Fall Sport student-athletes: 

Participating in organized practices before classes start, even if you leave and withdraw from the school before classes start, will make you a transfer athlete under the NCAA rules and you will be subject to transfer requirements.

If you are having second thoughts about whether you want to attend the university you’ve chosen and want to know your options, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com  

JUCO Student-athletes transferring to NCAA Division I or II programs should keep in mind that there are specific academic requirements that must be achieved to be immediately eligible at an NCAA Division I or II university.

The NCAA academic requirements are different for Division I compared to Division II, and can also depend upon the student-athlete’s status as a “Qualifier” as well as how many semesters they have attended at their JUCO.

There are, however, two NCAA rules/requirements that apply to a junior college transfer regardless of whether they are transferring to a Division I or II university:

-The first is that a JUCO transfer can only use 2 credit hours of Physical Education Activity courses toward the required transferable degree credits, unless the athlete is going to major in Physical Education or another major which calls for additional credit hours in those types of courses.

-The second consistent requirement is that remedial-level courses taken at a junior college can’t be used to satisfy the academic requirements for immediate eligibility when transferring from a junior college to an NCAA university.

If you have questions about the NCAA academic requirements that JUCO student-athletes must meet to be immediately eligible at an NCAA university, click Transfer Consult Options to learn how we can help.

If you’d prefer to schedule a consult directly with our office, call Informed Athlete at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com

Here are 3 scenarios that I frequently hear then I’m contacted by student-athletes or their families regarding the transfer process.  In each of these cases, the NCAA Division I student-athlete was planning to transfer and was ready to, or already had, resigned from their team, and in one case, the student-athlete had already withdrawn from classes at his current college.

Read further to learn what happened:

Case A:
The student-athlete made up his mind to transfer, and requested permission from his coach to contact other schools.  He informed the coach that he was going to finish out the semester in school, but wasn’t going to continue as a team member in team practice.
Result:  He called me the next day to ask about the rules when he found out that his athletic scholarship was being cancelled immediately, potentially costing him and his family thousands of dollars.  At that point, it was too late to help him. 

Case B:
The student-athlete learned through a friend of an opportunity at another college, and withdrew from his classes to pursue this other opportunity. Unfortunately, he had already begun attending classes for this semester at his current school.
Result:  The family contacted me to confirm that if he didn’t complete this semester where he was, that he wouldn’t be eligible next Fall at the new college.  He did indeed have to get re-admitted to classes for this semester at his current school and complete this semester.

Case C:
The father of a student-athlete sent this e-mail:
“He is still there, enrolled for the Spring semester, but called me tonight and plans to resign from the team tomorrow and request permission to transfer.  If he resigns from the team, is the school still obligated to pay his room and board payments after his resignation through the end of the semester?  He thinks they would since he signed a one year scholarship.”
Result: Because this father contacted me prior to his son’s conversation with the coach to fully understand the consequences of his son’s plan and discuss how to properly handle this situation, he saved nearly $5000 in room and board benefits that his son would have lost had he resigned from his team.

It’s always better and less expensive to understand the rules and how they apply to your situation BEFORE costly mistakes are made! 

In 2 of the above cases, if the parent or student-athlete had contacted me BEFORE they took action, I could have advised them on how to handle the situation and helped save them potentially thousands of dollars and/or alot of stress that resulted.

In the 3rd case, I was able to head off a negative outcome by alerting the parent and student-athlete to what would happen if the student-athlete quit the team in the middle of the semester.  We then discussed how to navigate through the rest of the semester to result in the student-athlete’s ultimate desired outcome.

I have worked on both sides of the cases related above.  In my 26+ years of working on major DI college campuses as the Director of Compliance, I’ve had to inform many student-athletes that their scholarships were cancelled after they quit the team.

One of the reasons we started Informed Athlete was to help student-athletes and their families avoid situations like this.

In my 10+ years of advising student-athletes and their families through Informed Athlete, I’ve helped hundreds of student-athletes avoid situations where this type of thing happens, saving them thousands of dollars and all kinds of stress.

In order to help you understand the rules and how they apply to your unique situation, I recommend a private phone consultation.

We’ll discuss your situation, answer any questions, and we’ll review the rules that apply and what is/isn’t permissible.  I’ll also give you options as to the opportunities that might be available to your athlete. Many times both the parent(s) and the student-athlete are on the call and I coach the student-athlete on how to approach and what to say to the coach.

To schedule a CONFIDENTIAL phone consult, you can schedule online, call us directly at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com

The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate  (APR) is a calculation that was designed to improve the academic standards of NCAA DI sports teams and the progress of NCAA Division I athletes toward graduation.

Each NCAA DI scholarship athlete has two potential “points” that they can earn for their team at the end of each semester that will impact each team’s Academic Progress Rate.

They can earn one “eligibility point” for being academically eligible each semester, and they can also earn the “retention point” if they are returning to their university for the following semester.

When a student-athlete transfers from an NCAA DI university, their team can lose a “retention point” unless the student-athlete has a GPA of at least 2.600.

If a school loses too many retention points, there are various penalties that can result, including not being allowed to re-award scholarships and in the most serious cases, the school may lose opportunities for post-season competition.

The NCAA DI Transfer Working Group has asked the NCAA Committee on Academics to study the impact of the Academic Progress Rate on transfers, and to recommend changes to increase accountability for universities that accept a large number of transfers.

According to a recent press release by the NCAA, the earliest that the NCAA Committee on Academics will begin its review of the Academic Progress Rate guidelines is in October. I will update as I get more information on the progress of the NCAA DI Transfer Working Group.

To learn more about Transfers in general, visit our How we Help Transfers Page.

To discuss the steps for a transfer and the academic requirements involved, contact us directly for a confidential phone or Skype consult by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

We also offer email consults.  To learn more, click Transfers Consult Options.

 

Since July 1st was the deadline for student-athletes to be informed whether their scholarship would be reduced or not renewed for the upcoming school year, we have been contacted by a number of families about the appeal process.  One of the key questions they have is whether it is “worth it” to pursue the appeal.

Each athlete and family must decide this based on the factors unique to their situation, but here’s a few things to consider:

Is it more important for you to have a chance to compete in your sport, or stay at your school on scholarship?  You might win your appeal, but the coach may be angry with you for appealing and might “take it out” on you.  The coach might even bar you from playing and might not even allow you on the team.  In addition, if you’re not kept on the team, the athletic department may require you to serve as a student worker in the department in exchange for your scholarship.

How close are you to finishing your degree?  If you have only one year left to finish your degree, you’ll likely have to take additional courses to earn your degree if you transfer to another college.  For example, you might end up taking 135 or 140 credit hours for a degree which normally requires 120 credit hours.

What points can you cite to support your case in an appeal hearing? For example, Have you been an excellent student at your school, had a leadership position on your team, or had any misconduct or disciplinary issues?

If you’d like to discuss the appeal, and whether you should pursue that option, contact us for a consultation. I can help you determine whether to pursue an appeal, and if so, we’ll discuss the best strategy, and discuss the strongest points to make during an appeal hearing.

Should you decide to transfer rather than appeal, I can walk you through the transfer process to ensure your transition to a new school is as smooth as possible.

To schedule an appointment, call my office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com. 

NCAA Division I representatives have voted to change the requirement that an athlete must first obtain permission from their university before coaches at other universities can speak with them about a possible transfer.

The change in the rule does not take effect until October 15.  On that date, the need for “permission to contact” will give way to “Notification of Transfer.”

When this change takes effect, a Division I athlete (one attending a Division I university at the time they decide to transfer) will be able to simply notify their athletic department that they plan to transfer and want to contact other colleges. 

Here’s how this will impact Division I athletes who choose to transfer on or after October 15:

  • The student-athlete will be required to notify their athletic department in writing or via email that they are planning to transfer to another college.
  • The student-athlete’s university will be required to enter his or her name into an official transfer database managed by the NCAA within two business days of the written notification.
  • Once the athlete’s name is in the database, coaches at other colleges can contact that athlete regarding his or her desire to transfer.
  • This new rule does NOT yet change anything about whether the athlete can be immediately eligible upon transfer to a new university.

The athletic scholarship of an athlete providing transfer notification can be cancelled by their university at the end of the semester in which they provide such notification. 

As a result, an athlete giving transfer notification to their Division I university in November, for example, will not be able to retain their scholarship for the Spring even if they’re planning to complete the academic year at their original university.

If you would like more information and assistance regarding the transfer process for your student-athlete, click here to schedule a consultation.

 

There continues to be great interest in the discussions of the NCAA Division I Transfer Working Group and whether they will change the rules regarding possible immediate eligibility as a transfer athlete to a Division I university.

Unfortunately, I learned at the recent NCAA Seminar that the Group is finding “…no consensus around a uniform transfer rule.”

Furthermore, “Membership feedback and opinions on the Transfer Working Group itself shows wide range of factors that should inform transfer eligibility.”

In addition, the separate Commission on College Basketball has been asked to provide input to the Transfer Working Group, as has each of the Division I Conferences following their recent Conference meetings.

The NCAA stated in one session that it is “Unlikely the Transfer Working Group will recommend potential solutions prior to the 2018-19 academic year.”

If your athlete is considering a transfer, it’s important that you understand the rules that will apply to their situation. We can help advise and guide you through what is often a very stressful process.  Give us a call at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick @informedathlete.com.

For NCAA Division I student-athletes, their GPA is increasingly becoming an important factor if they want to transfer to another college or university to continue their college athletic career. This is because a student-athlete leaving a Division I program can cost the program an APR point, which can end up being quite significant.

APR, in NCAA terminology, refers to the Academic Progress Rate. NCAA Division I athletic teams must have a sufficient APR in order to be eligible for postseason play.

To determine each team’s APR, each student-athlete on an athletic scholarship is “worth” two points at the end of each term – the eligibility point and the retention point. If the student-athlete is eligible for the next term, and stays at their school for the next term, they have “earned” two points for their team for that semester. If an athlete is eligible for the next term, but chooses to transfer to another school, their team will lose the retention point.

However, a university can receive an “adjustment” from the NCAA and won’t lose an APR retention point if the athlete transferring to another four-year college has a GPA of at least 2.600.

How is this important to the student-athlete themselves?
Increasingly, I am hearing that some Division I coaches have been denying “permission to contact” for student-athletes who have requested permission to talk to other four-year colleges about a possible transfer unless the student-athlete has a GPA of at least 2.600.

So, a Division I athlete with a 2.500 GPA, for example, could be academically eligible to compete the next season if they were staying at their current school, and could meet the transfer eligibility requirements to be immediately eligible at another four-year college.

But they could be denied permission to speak with coaches and athletic staff at another college about a possible transfer because their GPA is below 2.600 and their current team could lose an APR retention point.

What’s the “takeaway” for Division I student-athletes (and parents) to remember?
Your GPA is obviously important for eligibility and to maintain academic scholarships, but is becoming increasingly important, especially if you want to transfer to another four-year college at some point in the future.

If you are considering a transfer and you would like to discuss your options, contact Rick Allen at 913-766-1235 or rick@informedathlete.com for a private consultation. We’ve helped thousands of athletes and parents to understand the rules and steps in the transfer process. We can help you evaluate your options and navigate the transfer process with complete confidentiality.

From the emails and the phone calls we receive, there is a lot of interest in the possibility of NCAA Division I transfer rule changes– especially in the sports of baseball, basketball, football and men’s ice hockey where athletes are often required to serve a “year in residence” at their new university before they can represent their new school in competition.

At the current time, the only proposed change in the NCAA Division I transfer rules is one that would eliminate the requirement that an athlete must receive “permission to contact” from their current university before coaches at other universities could speak with the athlete or his/her family or representative regarding a possible transfer.

The change – if approved – would result in the athlete only being required to provide written “notification of transfer” to their university that they are planning to transfer and then their name would be added to a database of transferring athletes.  Once an athlete’s name is added to the database (to be managed by the NCAA) coaches at other universities could contact them regarding a transfer.

The earliest date for this proposed change to be voted on is in April but could be delayed until June so that other transfer rule changes can be voted on as a “package.”

There is no proposed change “in the mix” at this time regarding immediate eligibility for a transferring athlete in the specific sports named above.  We’ll have updates in future newsletters when there are new developments regarding transfers.

In the meantime, if you want to be proactive and prepared for a possible transfer, contact us for a consultation at rick@informedathlete.com or 913-766-1235. 

If you’re a four-year college athlete (or the parent of one) considering a transfer to another school, are you properly prepared to approach your coach and know what to expect?  Are you confident that you know what to say, and more importantly, what NOT to say?

In our CONFIDENTIAL Consultation, we’ll guide you through all the steps, and inform you of the rules and academic requirements to give you the best opportunity to be immediately eligible at the next university. We’ll also inform you of your rights if your coach tries to block your transfer or places limits on the other universities that you can contact.

If you need guidance in navigating the steps to a successful transfer, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.