Many times, student-athletes don’t realize that they qualify for waivers or appeals that could possibly extend their eligibility, rule them immediately eligible for competition, or allow for a scholarship or appeal hearing.

A few of the situations where a waiver or appeal might apply include:

  • The student-athlete has been injured in competition, hurt in an accident or had an illness that affects their ability to compete.
  • A coach or athletic department has cancelled a student-athlete’s scholarship for “violating team rules.”
  • A student-athlete has extenuating circumstances including illness or death of family and they need to take a break from competition.
  • A student-athlete is denied eligibility and there are extenuating circumstances.

Are You Wondering if Your Student-Athlete Qualifies for a Waiver or Appeal?

During a confidential Waivers & Appeals Consult, Rick will ask questions to determine if the student-athlete qualifies for either and then will discuss available options and best set of “next steps.”

ALL information shared is private and confidential – nothing is shared with schools, coaches, etc. unless you specifically ask Rick to contact someone for info on your behalf.

The NCAA Division I Council has approved a temporary one-year waiver to increase the annual scholarship signing limit for Football only.

The Chair of the Football Oversight Committee stated that this decision was made because “…schools should have temporary flexibility to help address possible roster depletion due to transfers.”

The one-year waiver will permit Division I football programs to sign up to 7 more recruits than the normal standard limit (25 for FBS schools and 30 for FCS schools) to REPLACE current team members who transfer out of the program after this current semester.

    • For example, if four football players transfer out from a Division I FBS program at the end of this semester, that program will be permitted to sign up to 29 incoming recruits rather than the normal annual limit of 25 signees.
    • The overall total scholarship limits for Division I football programs will remain the same, however. Those limits are 85 for FBS football programs and 63 scholarship equivalencies for FCS programs.
    • D1 schools will be able to sign replacements for transfers who depart their school on or after the last day of the school’s Fall term or Dec. 15th, whichever is earlier.

December 15th is the first day of the early National Letter of Intent signing period for Division I football programs.

If you have questions about the scholarship limits or rules in football or any other sport, contact us at 913-766-1235 or write to rick@informedathlete.com.

Many college fall sport teams are approaching the midpoint of their season and some teams may have already started the second half of their season.

It’s important to know that a student-athlete can’t compete in their sport after the midpoint of their season if they hope to qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver.

The rules for a Hardship Waiver differ somewhat between the various levels of college athletics (NCAA Division I, Division II, etc). However, the general rule of thumb is that student-athletes can’t appear in more than 30% of the season for their sport.

We shared another article about Medical Hardship Waivers a few weeks ago, but if you missed it, you can find it through the link below:

https://informedathlete.com/medical-hardship-waivers-does-your-student-athlete-qualify/

If you have questions about Hardship Waivers (whether Medical or otherwise), schedule a Waivers and Appeals Consult online, or you can call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

If a student-athlete is injured or becomes ill to the point that they won’t be able to compete any more during the season, it’s possible for them to receive a Medical Hardship Waiver to get that season “over again” even if:

  • They have competed for their team during the season.
  • Or in the case of Division III they’ve continued practicing with their team after the first game of the season.

If your athlete has already received a significant injury or illness early in the Fall season, you may be wondering about the possibility of a Medical Hardship Waiver.

  • It’s important to know that there are specific conditions and restrictions that apply for these types of waivers, and they vary between the NCAA, NAIA and JUCO rules.
  • In fact, even within the NCAA, the conditions and guidelines for such a waiver can differ between Division I, Division II, and Division lII.

Examples of some of the questions we are asked during a confidential consultation about Medical Hardship Waivers include:

  • If I missed out on a large portion of the early-season schedule with my injury but then am re-injured after playing in the second half of the season, can I still receive a Hardship Waiver?
  • What can I do if my doctor hasn’t cleared me to return to competition but our team trainer is telling our coach that I’m able to play?
  • How much medical documentation will I need for my Hardship Waiver to be approved?
  • If I sat out this past Spring season due to injury but couldn’t see my doctor until after the season was over, can I still receive a Hardship Waiver?
  • Is the “off-season” portion of our team schedule included in the calculation of the 30% requirement or the midpoint of the season?
  • Are the requirements the same for a Hardship Waiver for mental health issues?

If you have any of these same or other questions and need objective advice and accurate information, we can help!

Schedule a Waivers & Appeals consultation online, call our office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com

If your student-athlete has been told that they won’t be academically eligible at their NCAA school this year or this semester and you don’t know what to do, Informed Athlete can help.  We’ll discuss the situation with you to advise possible options that your student-athlete may be able to consider.

Possible options – which can be stressful when there’s very little time to make a decision – might include enrolling at a different college, returning to a junior college for another semester, or discussing a possible academic waiver with your athlete’s college.

A waiver may be possible when there is sufficient documentation of a circumstance that impacted your athlete’s academic performance when they have an otherwise strong academic record.

In a confidential Waivers and Appeals consultation, we will answer your questions and explain the directives that the NCAA uses to review waiver applications. We’ll also discuss the type of supporting documentation that will need to be submitted along with the application.

We also routinely assist athletes and their families by reviewing the athlete’s personal statements and suggesting possible revisions to have more impact and make a stronger case for approval.

If you have questions, please call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

But first, let’s cover some background reminders.

During the past 15-16 months, almost all college athletes were granted an automatic Extension of Eligibility for one additional year on their college eligibility “clock” and were not charged with a season of competition in their sport.

These exceptions of normal eligibility rules were and are applicable for a college student-athlete in a Spring 2020 sport or a Fall or Winter sport during the 2020-21 academic year. Those athletes have a six-year “clock” to compete in four seasons in their sport.

Beginning with the Spring 2021 sport season, NCAA Division I and II returned to their normal “season-of-competition” rules.

Those rules require that an athlete is charged with one of their four available seasons of competition if they appear in any amount of game competition, even if it’s only for one inning in baseball or softball or one minute of a lacrosse match (as examples).

Exception: NCAA Division I & II spring sport athletes who had a restricted season schedule may be eligible for a season of competition waiver.

Moving forward from this point, starting this Fall student-athletes will have a five-year or 10-semester window of eligibility in which to compete in their sport. It will be possible for student-athletes to receive an extension waiver for an additional year or two semesters of eligibility in one of two ways:

  • An athlete is redshirted in their true freshman year while eligible and then misses one other season of competition due to a documented injury or illness, OR
  • The athlete misses two different seasons of competition due to a documented injury or illness which prevents them from competing in those seasons.

We’re sharing this information with you so you can possibly “plan ahead” if your athlete redshirted as a freshman during the 2021 spring sport season or incurred a season-ending injury or illness.

For a detailed confidential discussion of the rules and guidelines for an Extension of Eligibility Waiver, schedule a Waivers and Appeals Consult online, or contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

The new NCAA Division I One-Time Transfer Exception which was approved in late April requires that four-year college athletes must enter the Transfer Portal no later than July 1 to have an opportunity to be immediately eligible upon enrollment at a Division I university this Fall.

Does that mean that it’s too late for an athlete to enter the Transfer Portal and be eligible if they transfer to an NCAA Division I university this Fall from their previous four-year college? Not necessarily.

There are other transfer “Exceptions” which will permit an athlete to be immediately eligible in their first year at a Division I university.

  • The one most widely available to the largest number of four-year college athletes is the Non-Scholarship Transfer Exception. This Exception can be used by student-athletes who have not received an athletic scholarship at their previous university. (For athletes who have been at a university that doesn’t award athletic scholarships, the athlete must not have been “recruited” to the previous university.)
  • Other transfer Exceptions for four-year college athletes are for specific situations that don’t occur that often, such as when an athlete’s previous institution dropped the athlete’s sport or discontinued their academic major.

If you want to learn whether it’s still possible for your athlete to transfer for this upcoming year, you can purchase and schedule a confidential Transfer Consultation online. Or you can arrange a consultation session by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling our office at 913-766-1235.

Since July 1st was the deadline for NCAA D1or D2 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 are 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, and/or had a leadership position on your team?

Do You Need Help?

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.

All current NCAA Division I student-athletes who are on a year-to-year scholarship and all NCAA Division 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.

Note that Division I athletes on a multiyear scholarship may not receive notice of renewal or non-renewal because the scholarship will be continuing for another year. However, the athlete will probably need to “accept” their scholarship for the next year before it will be applied to their student account.

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.

For objective information and assistance regarding a possible appeal and other options available to your student-athlete, schedule a personal and confidential Waivers and Appeals consult onlineWe will answer your questions, discuss your athlete’s specific situation and advise you of their rights and options. You can also contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or at 913-766-1235.

NCAA Division I recently approved a change to the “One-Time Transfer Rule.” This change now allows an athlete to transfer to an NCAA Division I program with the opportunity to be eligible in their first year at the new university – even if the athlete was a scholarship athlete in baseball, basketball, football or men’s ice hockey at their previous university.

A consequence of this new rule which has not been well-publicized is that a potential second transfer to a 3rd Division I university will become much more difficult for the 2022-23 academic year or thereafter.

The One-Time Transfer Rule is – as the name implies – available for an athlete to use one time when they transfer to an NCAA university.

However, when an athlete transfers the second time, the options for transfer a second time with immediate eligibility have been limited.

Waivers for a second transfer are currently a possibility in certain situations including personal or family financial hardship, the injury/illness of a family member, mental health concerns, or no participation opportunity if the athlete had stayed at their previous school.

New Transfer Waiver guidelines for scholarship athletes who will be transferring a second time to Division I for the 2022-23 academic year will go into effect on January 1, 2022.

Under these new guidelines, the ONLY reasons that will be accepted by the NCAA for an athlete to be immediately eligible are:

  • A student-athlete is facing a “real and imminent health and safety” threat, or;
  • A student-athlete with an education-impacting disability is leaving a school because support services and/or treatment are inadequate or unavailable.

Do You Have Questions?

If you have questions about the Transfer Rules and how these new guidelines could impact your athlete’s future, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call 913-766-1235.