At the recent NCAA Convention, Division II delegates approved a change to the “season-of-competition” rule which will be welcome news to student-athletes who transfer to NCAA Division II colleges.

Effective immediately, a student-athlete transferring from any non-Division II school will be subject to the “season-of-competition” rules that were applicable to the college where the athlete previously competed.  This rule can be applied retroactively to the 2018-19 academic year.

In other words, if an athlete was not charged for a season of competition at their previous school – whether other NCAA division, an NAIA, or a junior college – they won’t be charged with a season of competition for that season upon transfer to the Division II college, even if those season of competition rules were not the same.

What exactly does this mean?

Here’s an example of how this rule will be of the most benefit to an athlete transferring from an NCAA DI school to an NCAA II Division school:

  • In NCAA Division I football, an athlete can compete in up to four games and still have that be considered a redshirt season.
  • Under the previous Division II transfer rules, if that football athlete transferred to a Division II college after playing in four games or less, he would have been charged with a season of eligibility used, even though the Division I university from which he transferred would not have charged him with the use of a season.
  • Now, with the new Division II rule effective immediately, the “season-of-competition” rule that applied to that athlete’s participation while he was attending the Division I university will be applied to his remaining eligibility at the Division II level.

Here’s an example of how this rule will be of the most benefit to an athlete transferring from an NCAA DIII school to an NCAA DII School:

First of all, it actually doesn’t change the rules impacting a transfer from a Division III program, but I believe it provides more clarity for such a transfer.

  • A student-athlete at a Division III college is charged with a “season of participation” once they participate in practice or competition during or after the first game of the regular season in their sport.
  • Even if they only practice and train with their Division III team after the first game of the season, but never appear in an actual game or competition against another college during that season, the athlete is still charged with a “season of participation” under the Division III rules.
  • If an athlete in that situation transfers to an NCAA Division II university, that athlete won’t be charged with a “season of competition” for that season in which they only practiced, but were still charged with a “season of participation” due to the Division III rules that applied when they were attending the Division III college. Instead, Division II rules would treat such as season as a “redshirt” season.

Do you have questions?

If you have questions regarding how rule change might affect your student-athlete, or for help in navigating the steps and academic requirements for a successful transfer in any sport, 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 request permission to contact other colleges about a transfer?” Certainly, this will depend upon a number of factors.

Here are important things NCAA DI athletes should consider before entering 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 an 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 sometimes result in the athlete’s scholarship being immediately cancelled.

Do you Need Help Navigating the Transfer Process?

Contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or 913-766-1235 to schedule a consultation call regarding the factors an athlete should consider before taking action and the steps and rules involved with a transfer to another university.

Walk-on baseball athletes at the NCAA Division I level should assess their chances to make the 35-man roster if there were more than 35 guys practicing with the team in the Fall practice period.

Some coaches will keep 36-38 guys practicing with the team and not make those final cuts down to 35 until the end of January.

I believe that’s unfair and unethical to keep a player “hanging on” in hopes of making the 35-man roster and then having no options for the Spring to go elsewhere if they are cut.

Do you Need Confidential Advice & Guidance?

If you or your athlete are in this situation, we can discuss your situation, answer your questions, and provide transfer eligibility options for you to consider.

Schedule a confidential consult online, or by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

One of our clients recently shared their son’s personal experience as a baseball transfer and granted permission for us to share it anonymously with our readers.

Many of you have had your own transfer experience, but this is the first time that we’ve received this level of detailed feedback about going through a transfer. We thought some of you may find this of interest:

“Hi Rick,

Just wanted to update you on son’s transfer status:

XXXX was admitted to XXXX as a mid-year baseball transfer last week. He is excited to say the least. Arm health permitting he is eligible to play in Spring 2020.

Below are some take-aways from son’s very quick mid-year transfer experience:

– His original school did a good job getting him on NCAA Transfer Portal, no issues there.

-Transfer Portal brought significant interest from numerous D2’s and even JUCOs, maybe 15-20 over course of 2-weeks. I believe only one D1 contacted him through the portal. 

– Most traction came from son reaching out to programs who saw him before his surgery. They were all willing to bank on him getting back to his pre-surgery low-90s.

– Within the first 5-days he had target interest from five D1s and multiple high academic D3s. 

– Had offers from several schools.

– Committed to D3 XXX and with coach support was admitted Early Decision earlier this month.

– The transfer process was quick, with fall baseball ending in late October and mid-year transfer application deadlines being November 1 for schools that offer mid-year transfer.

That’s it, Rick. Thanks for all your counsel.”

Need Advice?

Considering a transfer to another school can be extremely stressful and so overwhelming that many student-athletes quit their sport altogether and sometimes they drop out of school.

We understand the frustration, anger, fear and insecurities that often result.  It doesn’t have to be that way – Rick Allen can help guide you through the process.

Schedule a confidential Transfer Consult Online or call us at 913-766-1235 to set your confidential session with Rick.

Most of you by now have probably heard about the NCAA “Transfer Portal” that is utilized by NCAA Division I programs to let other NCAA colleges know of an athlete’s intent to transfer.

For NCAA Division II and III programs, however, the use of the Transfer Portal is optional. Also, athletes at those programs will need to request permission from their current coaching staff and athletic department to contact other colleges about a possible transfer.

When you tell your coach that you’re planning to transfer and want to contact other colleges, the coach might remove you from the team, but they can’t automatically take your scholarship UNLESS you sign the voluntary withdrawal form!

If your athletic department wants you to sign a “voluntary withdrawal form” as a condition of being granted permission to contact other colleges, our strong recommendation is DON’T sign it!

Signing such a form would give your college the right to immediately cancel your scholarship if they chose to do so.

Do You Need Help Navigating a Transfer?

If you have questions about transferring from one college to another, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, call us 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com

With the Fall seasons ending, there are a lot of coaching changes being announced in sports such as football, soccer, and volleyball. On just one day this week, I learned of a dozen different coaching changes in various NCAA Division I sports alone!

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 on the same rules and academic requirements regardless of whether their team has had a coaching change.

If you have questions about the steps and academic requirements for transferring from one college to another, schedule a confidential phone consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send me an email to rick@informedathlete.com

We recently consulted with a student-athlete who transferred to an NCAA Division II university only to learn that she would not be academically eligible this year even though she earned her Associates Degree at her junior college during the summer.

  • This student-athlete had not been informed that there are multiple NCAA academic requirements that must be satisfied to be eligible when transferring from one college to another.
  • She thought that the completion of her Associates Degree was all that she needed to be eligible as a transfer.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t informed that she was also required to earn at least 9 credit hours of transferable degree credit during her last semester at the junior college.

She didn’t have enough credit hours that were accepted as transfer credit to the Division II university and therefore wasn’t eligible to compete during her first year in the Division II program.

The 9-Hour Rule is applicable to ALL NCAA DII Continuing and Transfer Athletes

In fact, any NCAA Division II athlete – even a continuing student-athlete at their same university – must earn at least 9 credit hours (or 8 if their college is on the quarter system) in the preceding term of full-time attendance to be eligible the following term.

For a transfer athlete, those credit hours must be acceptable for transfer credit at the college the athlete is transferring to.

Do you Need Help Navigating the Eligibility Requirements?

If you’d like more information about the continuing or transfer eligibility requirements, you can schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

At the NCAA Convention in January 2020, NCAA Division II colleges and universities will be voting on a proposal to implement the “Transfer Portal” with governing rules similar to those now used at NCAA DI Universities.

If approved, the proposal will not take effect until August 2020 and will benefit student-athletes who choose to transfer during or after the 2020-21 academic year. Also, once a Division II student-athlete submits their transfer notification, their college would have 7 calendar days to submit their name into the Transfer Portal.

At recent NCAA meetings in Atlanta, there were differing viewpoints of whether this proposal should be implemented.

  • The Division II Management Council, a committee consisting of Division II athletic administrators from campuses and conference offices, voiced their support,
  • The Division II Presidents Council voted to oppose the proposal.

We’ll see how this plays out at the NCAA Convention and I’ll report back to you after the vote in January.

If you have questions about transferring from one college to another, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, or contact us at 913-766-1235 or rick@informedathlete.com.

When an NCAA DI athlete is considering a transfer to another DI university, there are 2 basic steps in the process.

Step 1:

Submit a written request to be entered into the Transfer Portal.

Prior to the establishment of the NCAA DI Transfer Portal last year, a student-athlete was required to get the permission of his/her coach for a request to speak to other schools. The coach could deny an athlete’s request for permission to speak with all other schools. The coach could also restrict an athlete from talking to particular schools.

This changed in October 2018. Now a student-athlete is required to submit a written request to their compliance office asking to be entered into the Transfer Portal. However, they should inform their coach before contacting the compliance office.

Step 2:

The school the athlete is leaving may be able to object to the student-athlete being immediately eligible at their next school. The student-athlete will then need to sit out a year of competition unless an appeal or a waiver is approved.

Why does a school do this?

There are several reasons that the original school can object. One of the reasons is when the student-athlete’s GPA is under 2.60.

When a transferring athlete has a GPA of 2.60 or higher, their team can receive an APR (Academic Progress Rate) “adjustment” so that they won’t lose the retention point for that athlete. As a result, that team’s APR won’t be negatively impacted by the athlete’s transfer.

To learn more about how the APR can affect an athlete’s transfer, here’s a link to an article on our website: https://informedathlete.com/how-the-academic-progress-rate-apr-can-affect-an-athletes-ncaa-transfer/

Does the transfer athlete have any options?

If the school to which the athlete is transferring agrees to file for a NCAA waiver, they have the potential to be ruled immediately eligible depending on whether the NCAA approves it.

Do you need help?

If your athlete is considering a transfer and their GPA is a concern or you have other questions, we can discuss your specific situation and help you develop a plan to navigate through the process.  Schedule a confidential consult online or call our office at 913-766-1235.

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

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 the “retention point” if they are returning to their university for the following semester.

As an example, the 27 scholarship players on a Division I baseball team can earn 108 APR “points” in an academic year (the “eligibility point” and the “retention point” for each semester, so 27 players x 2 points, x 2 semesters = 108).

If 7 players don’t stay in the program or aren’t eligible to return in the Fall, there will be 7 “points” lost for that team (108 potential points – 7 lost = 101).  101 divided by 108 is 93.5, so that team’s APR would be 935.

When a student-athlete transfers from a Division I university to another 4-year university, their team can lose a “retention point” unless the athlete has a GPA of at least 2.60.

The reason?  When a transferring athlete has a GPA of 2.60 or higher, their team can receive an APR “adjustment” so that they won’t lose the retention point for that athlete. As a result, that team’s APR won’t be negatively impacted by the athlete’s transfer.

If a team loses too many retention points and the team’s APR drops below 930, there are various penalties that can be imposed including not being allowed to re-award scholarships.  In the most serious cases, the school may lose opportunities for post-season competition.

If the team’s APR is already hovering near the 930 level that can result in penalties, it’s possible that the athletic department may object to the athlete’s immediate eligibility at their next university by requiring that they serve a “year in residence” unless their GPA is at least 2.600 or higher.

To discuss the steps for a transfer and the academic requirements involved, schedule a confidential consult online or by calling us at 913-766-1235.