Student-athletes who start their college career at a junior college and plan to transfer on to an NCAA university should be fully aware and informed of their academic eligibility status and what specific academic requirements they must meet as they prepare to move forward.

Academic eligibility issues can create delays and roadblocks and if these issues aren’t discovered until AFTER the JUCO transfer has already started attending classes at their NCAA university, the athlete won’t be eligible to compete during their first year of attendance.

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.

Some of the types of things than can derail a JUCO athlete’s athletic and academic career and ends up costing them personally and financially include the following:

  • Was the junior college student-athlete a “qualifier” or a “non-qualifier” (as defined by the NCAA) based on their high school academic record? The answer to this will affect
    what a transfer athlete must achieve academically during their time at a junior college to be eligible to compete in their first year at an NCAA university.
  • How many semesters did the junior college student-athlete attend the junior college as a full-time student? (It can be a good thing to take a part-time course load at a junior college in some situations.)
  • Was the junior college student-athlete required to earn their Associates Degree to be academically eligible upon transfer to an NCAA university?

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.

Schedule a confidential phone or Zoom Transfer consultation online to discuss your student-athlete’s specific situation and learn what options are available to consider.

We also can provide a personalized College Transcript Review to make sure your athlete is on the right track or needs to fulfill other requirements in order to be eligible when they transfer.

Contact Rick Allen at rick@informedathlete.com or call our office at 913-766-1235 if you have questions about these or other services that we offer.

NCAA Division I Transfer Portal Windows for Fall sport athletes:

  • FBS Football: Dec. 4 through Jan. 2
  • FCS Football: Dec. 4 through Jan. 2
  • Men’s Soccer: Nov. 20 through Dec. 19
  • Women’s Volleyball: Dec. 3 through Jan. 1
  • Men’s Water Polo: Nov. 26 through Dec. 25
  • Cross Country: Closed December 17
  • Field Hockey: Closed December 11
  • Women’s Soccer: Closed December 12

Exceptions to the above listed dates:

  • A 30-day Transfer Window is available for Division I student-athletes immediately following their coach being fired or leaving to take another job.
  • It is also possible for Division I athletes who are not receiving an athletic scholarship (or who were not recruited to a non-scholarship program, such as the Ivy Leagues) to enter the Transfer Portal at any time that they choose to do so.

If you have questions about the steps, rules, and academic requirements for your athlete to be eligible at a new university as a transferring athlete, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online or call 913-766-1235 for more information.

At their meeting in late June, the NCAA Division I Council introduced a proposal to reduce the Transfer Portal Windows at the end of each sport season from 60 days to 30 days.

  • This proposal was recommended because data gathered over the past year showed that most athletes enter the Transfer Portal in the early days of each Transfer Window.
  • Various Division I committees, including the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, will review the proposal and gather feedback from their constituents before a final vote is considered at the October meeting of the Council.

On another item regarding transfers, Softball athletes should be aware of a new Division I rule that goes into effect this year.

  • A softball athlete who transfers to a Division I university at midyear will NOT be allowed to be immediately eligible for the Spring season at their new university. The athlete will be allowed to practice with their new team but won’t be eligible for competition until the following Fall term.

If you would like confidential assistance navigating the steps and rule for a transfer to another college or university:

Schedule a Confidential Transfer Consultation online or you can contact us directly at rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235

Division I Transfer Portal Windows are closing soon for the 2023 Spring sports listed below:

  • Women’s Beach Volleyball: June 14
  • Men’s Golf: June 17
  • Lacrosse: June 21
  • Tennis: June 15
  • Women’s Water Polo: June 15

To learn and understand how all the steps and rules involved in a transfer will impact your student-athlete, schedule a confidentialTransfer Consult online.

An NCAA Division I 2023 Spring Sport athlete who wants to be eligible at another Division I program next year must notify their current school that they want to enter the Transfer Portal during the Periods listed below.

  • Baseball: May 30-July 13
  • Women’s Beach Volleyball: May 1-June 14
  • Men’s Golf: May 4-June 17
  • Women’s Golf: April 27-June 10
  • Lacrosse: May 8-June 21
  • Women’s Rowing: May17-June 30
  • Softball: May 15-June 28
  • Tennis: May 2-June 15
  • Outdoor Track and Field: May 19-July 2
  • Men’s Volleyball: April 24-June 7
  • Women’s Water Polo: May 2-June 15

Do You Have Questions?

Considering a transfer to another school can be very stressful and frustrating. To learn all the steps and rules involved in a transfer, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call our office at 913-766-1235.

One of the questions we receive on a regular basis is whether an athlete must be added to the “Transfer Portal” to contact a coach at an NCAA athletic program when the athlete has already been cut from their current team or they have completely withdrawn from their university.

In the majority of cases, that answer is “yes.”

When an athlete at an NCAA university has withdrawn from their university, the NCAA rules state that the athlete can’t be contacted by coaches at other programs unless the athlete has been withdrawn from their previous college for at least one full academic year!

So, even if your athlete left their NCAA school at the end of the Fall semester, or were cut from the team by their coach, they still need to be added to the Transfer Portal to have contact with coaches at other NCAA universities.

If you have other questions about what you should or should not do when considering a transfer, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

NCAA D1 athletes who hope to transfer to another NCAA program for next year should take note of the following Transfer Portal Dates.

A Division I Fall Sport athlete who wants to be eligible at another Division I program next year must notify their current school that they want to enter the Transfer Portal by May 15. (Note: Division I Football closed on April 30.)

For Division I Winter Sport athletes, those Transfer Portal windows are closed except for a few sports. Those are:

  • Men’s Basketball – May 11
  • Women’s Basketball – May 11
  • Women’s Bowling – May 28
  • Fencing – May 13
  • Men’s Gymnastics – June 3
  • Women’s Gymnastics – May 19
  • Men’s Ice Hockey – May 18

The Transfer Portal Windows for D1 Spring Sports are:

  • Baseball: – May 30 – July 13
  • Women’s Beach Volleyball: May 1 – June 14
  • Men’s Golf: May 4 – June 17
  • Women’s Golf: April 27 – June 10
  • Lacrosse: May 8 – June 21
  • Women’s Rowing: May 17 – June 30
  • Softball: May 15 – June 28
  • Tennis: May 2 – June 15
  • Outdoor Track and Field: May 19 – July 2
  • Men’s Volleyball: April 24 – June 7
  • Women’s Water Polo: May 2 – June 15

(There are exceptions for athletes who will be graduating from their current university and for those who have not had an athletic scholarship at their current university.)

Do You Have Questions About Transfers?

To learn all the steps and rules involved in a transfer and answer any questions you may have, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call our office at 913-766-1235.

With Winter sports approaching the end of the regular season, here are the opening and closing Transfer Portal dates for NCAA Division I Winter sport athletes:

  • Men’s Basketball: March 13-May 11
  • Women’s Basketball: March 14-May 12
  • Women’s Bowling: March 30-May 28
  • Fencing: March 15-May 13
  • Men’s Gymnastics: April 5-June 3
  • Women’s Gymnastics: March 21-May 19
  • Men’s Ice Hockey: March 20-May 18
  • Women’s Ice Hockey: March 6-May 4
  • Rifle: Feb. 22-April 22
  • Skiing: March 1-April 29
  • Men’s Swimming/Diving: March 9-May 7
  • Women’s Swimming/Diving: March 2-April 30
  • Indoor Track and Field: March 1-April 29
  • Men’s Wrestling: March 9-May 7

Exceptions:

  • There are exceptions for Division I student-athletes who will be transferring as a postgraduate student and for those who are transferring as a non-scholarship athlete.
  • There is also a 30-day Transfer Window available for Division I student-athletes immediately following their coach being fired or leaving to take another job.

Do You Have Questions About Your Student-Athlete?

Schedule a confidential consultation online for an explanation of the steps, rules and academic requirements to be eligible as a transferring student-athlete, or by calling us at 913-766-1235 or writing to rick@informedathlete.com

The annual NCAA Convention was recently held in San Antonio The following is a summary of the official rule changes or resolutions in each Division that will have the most direct impact on student-athletes.

NCAA Division I Changes

Transfer Waiver Guidelines Change For 4-4-4 transfer athletes who transfer a second time to a Division I university as an undergraduate:

When an athlete transfers to their third university (4-4-4 transfer) and wants to be eligible in their first year, they can no longer use the following arguments in a waiver application:

  • No Participation Opportunity
  • Financial Hardship
  • Misinformation From a Staff Member

The NCAA Division I Council voted unanimously that going forward, each waiver request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

One of the following criteria must be satisfied to receive a waiver:

  • A demonstrated physical injury or illness or mental health condition that necessitated the student’s transfer (supporting documentation, care plans and proximity of the student’s support system will be considered), or
  • Exigent circumstances that clearly necessitate a student-athlete’s immediate departure from the previous school (e.g., physical assault or abuse, sexual assault) unrelated to the student-athlete’s athletics participation.”

Transfer Exceptions are not the same as Transfer Waivers and will still be available.

The most common Transfer Exception for a 4-4-4 transfer to be eligible in their first year at a Division I university is the Non-Scholarship or Non-Recruited Transfer Exception.

Student-athletes who qualify to use one of the Transfer Exceptions (other than the One-Time Transfer Exception), will now be allowed to enter the Transfer Portal at any time instead of having to wait for the Transfer Portal schedule for their sport.

Softball Athletes – Midyear Transfer Rule Change

A midyear transfer to a Division I softball program – whether from a two-year or four-year college – will no longer be immediately eligible in their first softball season unless they are transferring as a postgraduate student.

This rule takes effect on August 1 of this year and will impact the 2024 softball season.

NCAA Division II

Effective August 1, 2023, NCAA Division II Football student-athletes will be allowed to participate in up to three games during their initial year of enrollment at a Division II institution without being charged with one of their four seasons of playing eligibility.

In addition, Division II football teams will be permitted to scrimmage against another four-year college team as one of the three permissible scrimmage sessions that are allowed during Spring practice.

Student-athletes participating in this scrimmage will not trigger the use of a season of playing eligibility AS LONG AS the athlete was academically eligible during the preceding Fall term.

NCAA Division III

A resolution was approved (but not an actual rule change at this time) directing Division III governing committees to work with member schools and conferences to “…establish a hardship waiver process specific for mental health…”

The intention of this resolution is to establish a hardship waiver process for Mental Health that is separate from that of a Physical Injury Waiver.

The formal resolution also noted that the requirement for a Mental Health Hardship Waiver should allow for appropriate flexibility in supporting documentation since individuals “…suffering with a mental health condition often do not seek immediate support.”

Do You Have Questions?

If you have questions about these changes or any other questions about specific issues that impact you or your athlete regarding college athletics eligibility, scholarships, waivers or transfers, we invite you to schedule a confidential consult by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

The NCAA Division I is no longer accepting the argument of “No Participation Opportunity” as the basis for waiver relief. This means an athlete will be required to sit out their first year at a new university if they can’t benefit from a Transfer Exception.

Limited waiver opportunities may still be available. However, robust documentation of the circumstances will be required.

Schedule a Waivers and Appeals Consult online if you have questions and want to discuss your athlete’s situation and possible opportunities for a transfer exception.