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.

Social media and media outlets continue to speculate and report on college athletes who they think might be considering a transfer.  This past week, some student-athletes learned that they weren’t going to be the starter at their position and decided that the “grass is greener” at another university.

This time of year, we get many calls regarding potential transfers.  We’re always glad when a student-athlete or their parents call us before they take action because making the wrong decision can have huge negative consequences financially and personally long after the social media outlets stop talking about it. 

Here are a few things to think about before taking action:  

FIRST AND FOREMOST: Is your athlete CERTAIN that transferring is the best decision for them and that they definitely want to leave their current university??

Media reports indicate that there are more than 1000 athletes in the NCAA Transfer Portal (across all sports) and it’s unlikely that all of them will find another college team to transfer to.

Once an athlete submits their name for the NCAA Transfer Portal, it’s possible that they will be removed from their team and will lose their scholarship at the end of the semester. They could lose that opportunity and not find a new one.

Other important considerations:

Participating in organized practices before classes start, even if a student-athlete leaves and withdraws from the school before attending classes, will make them a transfer athlete under the NCAA rules and subject to transfer rules and requirements.

If an athlete has already started attending classes for this semester and is registered as a full-time student, it is rarely a good idea for them to withdraw from classes in the middle of the semester or quarter to transfer elsewhere. Encourage them to at least finish out this current term of attendance.

NCAA Division I athletes should inform their athletic department compliance office in writing or via email that they want to be entered into the NCAA Transfer Portal. Also, while not a specific requirement, it is always best to show the coach the courtesy and respect of informing them of your intentions before sending an email to the compliance office.

Also for Division I athletes, remember that once you tell your school you want to be entered in the Transfer Portal, they have the right to cancel your scholarship at the end of the semester or quarter, even if you were planning to finish out the current school year.  If you are at a Division I program that hasn’t started classes yet for this year (mostly west coast universities), telling them now that you want to be entered in the Transfer Portal before classes begin could mean that you won’t have your scholarship for this upcoming semester or quarter.

Unlike NCAA Division I athletes, NCAA Division II athletes must receive permission from their current coaching staff and athletic department before coaches at other NCAA colleges can speak with them about a possible transfer.

If your coach tells you to sign a “voluntary withdrawal form” as a condition of obtaining permission to contact other schools, remember that signing that form gives your school the right to immediately cancel your scholarship.

Athletes at NAIA athletic programs do not have to request permission from their current coach or school before they inquire with other schools about a transfer opportunity. HOWEVER, those other schools will be required to inform the athlete’s current school that they have been contacted by that athlete. When that happens, the athlete will probably be removed from their current team immediately.

Do You Need Advice?

We have helped thousands of athletes navigate the transfer process to another college. Schedule a transfer consult online or by calling our office at 913-766-1235.

Almost every Fall since we started Informed Athlete back in 2008, 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?”

My first comment is that somebody at that college didn’t do their job as they should have (assuming they received this athlete’s transcript in a timely manner) if they didn’t inform their athlete of her academic deficiency before the semester started.

Had they done so, this athlete could have at least 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 an athlete 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?

We frequently work with junior college athletes to make sure they’re eligible at their NCAA school of choice by doing a college transcript review.

If you are interested in a confidential consultation about your student-athlete’s specific situation, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

High School athletes who are offered 10-15% of a full scholarship by a 4-year college coach might be better advised to not accept the scholarship and instead be a walk-on.

The reason?

They may have more flexibility should they decide to transfer in the future.

The NCAA recently approved a change that will allow walk-on student-athletes to transfer to a Division I program from another 4-year university and be immediately eligible at their new school. In addition, the school that the athlete is leaving will not be allowed to have an objection to the transfer.

This new rule impacts a student-athlete who is:

  • A walk-on athlete from a 4-year college program that awarded athletic scholarships, or
  • A non-recruited athlete from a 4-year college program that doesn’t provide athletic scholarships (such as an Ivy League university).

If you have questions about the transfer rules and how they could impact your athlete in the future, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

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

The academic eligibility requirements are different for NCAA 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.

For more information on eligibility issues that JUCO athletes often face when transferring, you might be interested in reading this article: JUCO Student-Athletes and Eligibility Issues at NCAA Schools.

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.

One of the most commonly encountered roadblocks to a transfer from one school to another is when a student-athlete has eligibility issues. This seems to be especially true when a student-athlete transfers from a junior college to an NCAA school.

Student-Athletes who start their college career at a junior college have differing academic requirements when it comes time to transfer to an NCAA school.

For example:

  • Was the 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 a student-athlete attend at a junior college?
  • Was the student-athlete required to earn their Associates Degree before they were ruled academically eligible to transfer to an NCAA school?

These are the types of things that frequently derail a Junior College student-athlete’s athletic and academic career and end up costing them personally and financially.

If a student-athlete has not satisfied all necessary academic requirements BEFORE starting classes this Fall, they won’t be able to compete for their university during the 2019-2020 academic year and may also not be qualified to receive an athletic scholarship!

Knowing the academic requirements for certain 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 uncertain about your eligibility status, Informed Athlete can help!

  • Book a PERSONAL PHONE OR SKYPE CONSULT when answers to your questions require more information and are more complex or an EMAIL CONSULT if you need quick, simple answers to concise questions.

Scholarship student-athletes (in sports other than baseball, basketball, football, and men’s ice hockey) who wish to transfer to an NCAA Division I program and be immediately eligible at their new school must meet two conditions:

  • The athlete must be academically eligible at the school they are transferring from.
  • The athletic department your athlete is leaving must not have an objection to the transfer.

A common question from many parents we have consulted with has been “How will my athlete know whether their school is filing an objection?”

And my answer has been that the school is required to provide an appeal opportunity. But until now, there has not been a clear answer as to how the student-athlete officially learns whether their previous school has approved or denied their request.

NCAA DI Schools Must Now Provide Written Notification to the Student-Athlete

At the recent NCAA Rules Seminar, it was explained that NCAA Division I athletic programs that have an objection to a student-athlete using the One-Time Transfer Exception are now required to provide written notification directly to the student-athlete and that they have the right to an appeal hearing when their original school objects to the transfer.

This is a very positive change because these transfer notification forms are entered into the Transfer Portal which is not accessible to student-athletes. Previously, student-athletes were sometimes blindsided by finding out late in the transfer process that their school was objecting to their transfer.

Do you Have Questions?

If you need personal assistance, schedule a confidential transfer consultation online or call us at 913-766-1235.

The NCAA’s DI transfer rule change will help qualified DI non-scholarship student-athletes to be immediately eligible in their first season at a new university.

At the recent NCAA Rules Seminar in Indianapolis, I got additional clarification which I’m sharing in this blog post.

Walk-on/Non-recruited Transfer Exceptions

An athlete transferring to a Division I university next Fall as an undergraduate will have the chance to be immediately eligible if:

  • The athlete’s previous four-year college provided athletic scholarships in their sport, but the athlete has not received an athletic scholarship, OR
  • The athlete’s previous four-year college did not provide athletic scholarships, and the athlete was not “recruited” by the previous four-year college.

There is one aspect of this change that has NOT received much publicity at all, but is one that has previously been a concern for many of our clients:

The university these athletes will be leaving WILL NOT BE ABLE TO OBJECT to the athlete being immediately eligible next year at their new university.

However, it IS necessary to be academically eligible at the time you leave your previous university in order to receive an athletic scholarship in your first year at a new Division I university.

Do you have questions?

If you have questions about the changes to the NCAA Division I transfer rules, contact us at 913-766-1235 or via e-mail at rick@informedathlete.com

As of August 1, 2019, these NCAA DI Transfer Rules will go into effect:

Walk-on/Non-Recruited Transfer Exceptions

A student-athlete transferring to a Division I university next Fall as an undergraduate can possibly be immediately eligible if:

  • Their previous four-year college provided athletic scholarships in their sport, but the athlete has not received an athletic scholarship, OR
  • Their previous four-year college did not provide athletic scholarships, and the athlete was not “recruited” by that college.

Student-Athletes in position to benefit from this change will still need to be academically eligible at their new university.

Also, while these changes have received lots of publicity in social media, there is one aspect of this change that has NOT received much publicity at all.

The university that these athletes are transferring from WILL NOT be allowed to object to the athlete being immediately eligible next year at their new university (a condition of the One-Time Transfer Exception which I have shared with many of our clients)!

Graduate Transfer Exception

An athlete transferring as a graduate student to an NCAA Division I university in the sports of baseball, basketball, football, and men’s ice hockey next Fall will have the chance to be immediately eligible (without need for a waiver from the NCAA) as long as:

  • The athlete’s previous four-year college did not provide athletic scholarships, OR
  • The athlete never received athletic scholarships while enrolled at a four-year college.

Do you need assistance?

If you have questions about the NCAA transfer rules and how these changes might possibly affect your student-athlete, schedule a confidential consultation online or call us at 913-766-1235.