As many of you know, most Spring sport college athletes at NCAA schools were granted an additional year of eligibility for Spring 2020 since seasons were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Also, many athletes currently in Fall sports at their college are being granted an additional year of eligibility.

Did you know that your athlete might be able to gain even another additional year of eligibility if he/she:

  • Missed two seasons previously (before COVID) due to circumstances beyond their control,
  • Or were redshirted in their freshman year and then missed one other season due to circumstances outside their control?

There may not be many athletes (or parents!!) who are interested in having eligibility available for a possible 7th year of college attendance. However, while somewhat rare, it is certainly possible under the right set of circumstances.

For example, it might be something to consider for an athlete who may need a 7th year of college to complete a Master’s Degree or a second undergrad degree if the athlete has decided to change majors.

Not knowing, understanding, and meeting the eligibility rules can have serious short and long-term consequences. Problems meeting the eligibility standards can set back and even derail a student-athlete’s entire athletic career.

We help athletes and families by explaining the specific rules regarding your eligibility “timeline” and discuss how you may be able to gain additional eligibility.

We also regularly help families by reviewing their waiver documentation to make sure it’s in order and by proofreading and editing personal statements from athletes and parents that will support the waiver request.

Schedule your confidential Waivers and Appeals Consult Online to explore whether your athlete qualifies for an opportunity to regain or extend their eligibility. Or Contact us to schedule at rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

Recently, I participated in a panel discussion via Zoom regarding the various impacts of COVID on college athletics, ranging from eligibility questions to Title IX implications of sports programs being cut due to budget impacts.

Here’s a brief summary of the information I shared with participants regarding actions taken and waivers approved by the NCAA:

2020 Spring Sports – Athletes will not be charged with a season of competition as long as they were eligible during the season

  • Athletes in D-1 granted an additional year of eligibility on their clock
  • Athletes in D-2 granted an additional year if in their last year of eligibility
  • Athletes in D-3 treated as if semester “didn’t happen”

Fall 2020 Sport Athletes

  • D1 athletes not charged with a season and granted another year of eligibility
  • D2 athletes not charged with a season and granted another two semesters of eligibility
  • D3 athletes not charged with a season if their team doesn’t complete more than 50% of max schedule. Also granted an additional 2 semesters.

20-21 Winter and Spring Sport athletes

  • D1 undetermined at this time
  • D2 athletes not charged with a season if their team doesn’t complete more than 50% of max schedule. Also granted additional 2 semesters.
  • D3 athletes not charged with a season if their team doesn’t complete more than 50% of max schedule. Also granted additional 2 semesters.

Do you need have questions or need advice?

Contact us at 913-766-1235 or at rick@informedathlete.com with questions about your athlete’s eligibility, or schedule a confidential Waivers & Appeals consult.

NCAA Division III leadership will permit D3 student-athletes to retain a season of participation for the 2020-21 academic year if their team can only complete 50% or less of the maximum permissible competition in their sport.

For those of you who may not know, Division III rules do not recognize a “redshirt” season for a student-athlete in the same way that NCAA Division I and II do.

In Division III, an athlete uses one of their four “seasons of participation” if they as much as just practice with their team on or after the day that begins their sport season – even if they never appear in an actual game for their team during that season.

With this blanket waiver in place, a D3 student-athlete will not be charged with one of their four seasons of participation for the 2020-21 academic year if their team is not able to compete in at least 50% of the maximum competitions or dates of competition that are permissible in their sport.

The Division III Administrative Committee noted that “The proactive blanket waiver allows student-athletes to make informed enrollment decisions prior to the academic year.”

If you would like to schedule a confidential discussion to review how this blanket waiver may impact your student-athlete, as well as how the season of participation rule overlaps with the Division III rule limiting participation to 10 semesters or 15 quarters of attendance, schedule a confidential Waivers & Appeals Consult online or by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or calling us at 913-766-1235.

The NCAA Division II Administrative Council recently voted to permit D2 student-athletes to retain a season of eligibility during the 2020-21 academic year if their team can only complete 50% or less of the maximum permissible competition in their sport.

This is similar to action taken recently by NCAA Division III (noted in our newsletter of July 15),

With this waiver approved in advance, a Division II university will be allowed to automatically provide a season-of-competition waiver for their student-athletes as long as the following conditions are satisfied:

  • A team participates in no more than 50% of that sport’s maximum number of games or dates of competition during the 2020-21 academic year as a result of the continuing impact of COVID-19.
  • A student-athlete must be eligible for competition during the season.
  • A student-athlete must use a season of competition to receive the automatic waiver. (A redshirting student-athlete won’t be charged with a season so won’t need the waiver.)

If you would like to discuss how this Division II waiver may impact your student-athlete, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues consultation online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or give us a call at 913-766-1235.

Recent action taken by NCAA Division III leadership will permit D3 student-athletes to retain a season of participation for the 2020-21 academic year if their team can only complete 50% or less of the maximum permissible competition in their sport.

For those of you who may not know, Division III rules do not recognize a “redshirt” season for a student-athlete in the same way that NCAA Division I and II do.

In Division III, an athlete uses one of their four “seasons of participation” if they as much as just practice with their team on or after the day that begins their sport season – even if they never appear in an actual game for their team during that season.

With this blanket waiver in place, a D3 student-athlete will not be charged with one of their four seasons of participation for the 2020-21 academic year if their team is not able to compete in at least 50% of the maximum competitions or dates of competition that are permissible in their sport.

The Division III Administrative Committee noted that “The proactive blanket waiver allows student-athletes to make informed enrollment decisions prior to the academic year.”

If you would like to schedule a confidential discussion to review how this blanket waiver may impact your student-athlete, as well as how the season of participation rule overlaps with the Division III rule limiting participation to 10 semesters or 15 quarters of attendance, schedule a confidential waivers and appeals consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or give us a call at 913-766-1235.

Recently, the NCAA Division I Council developed new waiver guidelines for student-athletes who are transferring for “mental health reasons.”

NCAA staff members will use those guidelines and directives when they decide if a student-athlete who transfers to a Division I team from another four-year college will be ruled eligible for competition in their first year at the new school.

The key point to be aware of regarding these new guidelines for mental health transfer waivers is this:

  • Documented evidence will be required to demonstrate that at the previous school, a student-athlete’s ability to function on a daily basis was impaired by a mental health condition.

These new guidelines could possibly benefit scholarship student-athletes in the sports of baseball, basketball, football, or men’s ice hockey who transfer to a Division I team for mental health reasons and would otherwise be required to serve a “year in residence” before being eligible to compete for that university.

If your athlete is considering a transfer for mental health reasons and you would like to arrange a confidential consultation to discuss these new waiver guidelines in detail, schedule your confidential Waivers and Appeals phone consultation online, or contact us by calling 913-766-1235 or by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com

All current NCAA Division I and II scholarship student-athletes are to be notified no later than July 1 whether their scholarship is being reduced or not renewed for the upcoming year.

If your athlete has not been notified by now, they should definitely contact their coaches and ask.

This is especially important if your athlete has recently changed their email, or your family has moved to a new physical address. Make sure that email and physical addresses that are on file with the Office of Financial Aid for your student-athlete are up-to-date.

Once in a while we hear from student-athletes or parents who say they didn’t receive their required scholarship status notification. Not receiving the official notification in a timely manner could mean that your student-athlete could miss the deadline for an appeal hearing should their scholarship be reduced or taken away.

If your student-athlete’s scholarship is being reduced or not renewed for the coming year, you do have some options.

However, time is of the essence. If you’d like to learn more about pursuing an appeal, we can help guide you through the process. Schedule a Waivers and Appeals consult online, or by contacting us at rick@informedathlete.com or calling 913-766-1235.

If you were an NCAA Division I or II student-athlete who received an athletic scholarship during the 2019-20 academic year, you should receive official word about your 2020-21 scholarship status no later than July 1st.

A few things you should know:

This official notification must be issued by the university’s financial aid office rather than from the athletic department (although previous notification may have been provided by a coaching staff or athletic department).

The official notification must be in writing (or via email) and state whether your scholarship will be renewed at the same level, reduced, or not renewed for the next academic year.

If an athlete’s scholarship is being reduced or not renewed for the upcoming academic year, the notification is also required to let them know:

  • Of their right to a hearing,
  • The steps they need to follow to request a hearing
  • The deadline for requesting a hearing.

If you have been notified that your scholarship has been reduced or cancelled and you want a hearing, we can help you understand what happens during a hearing and help you prepare for the hearing so you can make an effective appeal.

Schedule a confidential Waivers and Appeals Consult online or by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or calling us at 913-766-1235

Those of you who are regular followers of our newsletters or readers of our blog may recall that the NCAA Transfer Working Group has been discussing possible changes to Waiver guidelines.

These proposed changes would make it possible for scholarship student-athletes in baseball, basketball, football and men’s ice hockey to receive a transfer waiver which will basically give them the same “One-Time Transfer Exception” that is currently available to athletes in other sports.

If passed, athletes in the above listed sports will be eligible in their first year at a new school as long as they satisfy the academic requirements for a transfer.

While no action was taken on these proposed changes at Friday’s Division I Council meeting, the meeting summary indicates that they “…could vote on the guidelines changes next month.”

We’ll be sure to provide an update if this vote takes place in May as expected.

NCAA Division I and the NAIA are automatically granting an additional year or two semesters to any spring sport athlete due to COVID-19, as long as that athlete was on a roster and academically eligible for competition this spring.

NCAA Division II is only granting additional eligibility “automatically” for spring sport athletes who were already in their 10th semester or 15th quarter of their eligibility “clock.”

However, other Division II spring sport athletes also may be able to receive an additional year of eligibility as well.

As examples:

  • An athlete who redshirted in their freshman year and then missed this season due to COVID-19 may be able to receive a 6th year.
  • An athlete who missed last season due to injury before also having this season cancelled may also be able to receive a 6th year.

To arrange a consultation session to learn whether you might qualify for an additional year of eligibility, schedule your Waivers and Appeals Consult online, or you can contact us by writing to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.