NCAA Division I student-athletes who have had their 2021 Spring sports season cancelled or suspended will have the opportunity to receive a waiver for limited competition with other college opponents so that they will not be charged with a season of eligibility.

This is NOT a blanket waiver that will automatically be applied for Spring sport athletes. A Division I university will need to request this waiver on behalf of any of their spring sport athletes who have been impacted by a cancelled or suspended season.

An example of how this waiver may be applied by the NCAA is the following:

The Ivy League cancelled conference competition and conference championship events for Spring sports. However, they left open the option for their universities to engage in local non-conference competition if permitted by local and regional health guidelines.

In a situation such as this, it will be possible for those D1 student-athletes to participate in limited competition and not be charged with using one of their seasons of eligibility if a waiver is approved for them by the NCAA.

This action was taken by the Division I Council because “The decision of schools and/or conferences to cancel spring sport seasons was outside of the control of the student-athletes.”

To qualify for this waiver, the student-athletes will not be allowed to participate in more than 30% of the maximum contests or dates of competition for that particular sport. Also, any such competition must not take place after the date that the NCAA selects teams for postseason competition in that sport.

Do You Need Advice?

If you have questions regarding how this waiver may be applied in your athlete’s specific situation, you can schedule a confidential Waivers and Appeals Consult online. You can also contact us directly by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235 to arrange a consult session.

Due to unique circumstances with the pandemic, 2020-21 Fall/Winter and 2020 Spring Sport athletes at all levels will not be charged the use of a season of competition. In addition, many of these athletes have been granted an additional year or semesters on their eligibility “clock.”

For NCAA Division I, those benefits have not been extended to spring sports for this 2021 spring season and I don’t expect them to be. I believe the NCAA doesn’t want to overcrowd spring rosters even further by granting D1 spring sport athletes yet another “free” season of competition.

For that reason, let’s review the requirements for a Division I athlete to receive a Medical Hardship Waiver if a situation arises that your athlete becomes injured or ill to the point that they aren’t able to complete their season.

To qualify for a Division I Medical Hardship Waiver:

  • The athlete can’t have participated in more than 30% of the number of games or dates of competition in their sport.
  • The athlete also must not appear in a contest after the midpoint of the season.
  • The athlete must have contemporaneous documentation from a medical professional that their injury or illness prevents them from being able to continue participating in their season.

If you have questions about the Medical Hardship Waiver, schedule a confidential Waivers and Appeals consultation online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call 913-766-1235.

The NCAA has made several rulings recently that will impact student-athletes’ eligibility at Division I, II, and III.  In addition, the NJCAA has recently granted a blanket waiver for student-athletes in all sports.  These rulings are summarized below in this post.

NCAA Division I Midyear Enrollee Ruling

“Emergency legislation” which impacts midyear enrollees at a Division I program specifically for Fall sport athletes has been adopted by the NCAA Division I Council.

This ruling applies to both transfer athletes as well as initial enrollees from high school or prep school.

This recent decision revises a position taken earlier this Fall by Division I which would have prevented athletes in a traditional Fall sport from transferring at midyear and then being immediately eligible in the Spring at another university.

  • This will now be possible for Fall Sports athletes who satisfy certain conditions.
  • Student-athletes who are considering such a transfer (or midyear enrollment from high school) must satisfy specific conditions in order to take advantage of this ruling.

NCAA Division II Winter Sport Athletes Receive Expanded Eligibility Waiver

Recently, the NCAA Division II Management Council granted winter sport student-athletes an additional season of competition and an additional year (two semesters or three quarters) added to their eligibility clock.

All eligible winter sport athletes in Division II will receive this additional opportunity regardless of the number of games they appear in or the number of games that their team is able to play during this 2020-21 academic year. This is consistent with action taken previously for Division II Fall sport athletes.

NCAA Division III Grants Waiver for ALL current Student-Athletes

The NCAA Division III Presidents Council has approved a blanket waiver that will benefit ALL D3 student-athletes this year. They can compete in up to a full season in their sport without being charged with a season of participation or a term of attendance toward their 10-semester or 15-quarter limit.

While the NCAA’s press release did not provide this level of detail, you can be certain that an athlete must be academically eligible to compete this season in order to receive the benefit of this blanket waiver.

NJCAA Grants Waiver for Student-Athletes in ALL Sports

The NJCAA Board of Regents has granted a blanket waiver that will allow athletes at NJCAA member colleges in ALL sports to participate during the 2020-21 academic year without using a year of eligibility.

This decision obviously provides flexibility for current JUCO athletes regarding their opportunity to possibly compete for an additional season at this level before transferring to an NCAA or an NAIA university.

However, it will be important for them to keep in mind that there are specific academic requirements that they must satisfy for a successful transfer to the “next level.”

Do You Have Questions or Need Advice?

If you have questions about these recently rulings or any other eligibility situation, we can help answer your questions and discuss your student-athlete’s specific situation and options.

Schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

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.