Now that the Fall sports season is about 5-6 weeks along, here are reminders for athletes who have questions about redshirting and the possibility of receiving a Medical Redshirt or what is officially called a Medical Hardship Waiver.

  • The “4-game-rule” which permits an athlete to appear in up to 4 games and still be eligible for a redshirt season ONLY applies to NCAA DI athletes in FBS or FCS football. There is no “4-game-rule” in any other sport at the Division I level, or for any sport at other college levels.
  • Entering a game for one minute or one play will “burn” a season for an athlete unless they have an injury or illness that will qualify them for a Medical Redshirt. There are very limited exceptions for this rule in certain sports.
  • At all college levels (except the NAIA), for an athlete to qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver, their injury of illness must occur before the midpoint of the athlete’s season and they must have medical documentation of the injury or illness dated prior to the midpoint of the season.

Do You Have Questions?

To find out if your student-athlete might qualify for a waiver or appeal, we offer a confidential Waivers & Appeals consult. During the confidential private consult, Rick will ask questions to determine if your student-athlete qualifies and provide available options and best set of “next steps.”

Click here to learn more and schedule online or contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to

Last week on our Informed Athlete Facebook page I shared a brief comment about an article from a University of Kentucky fan website. The article noted the football coach responding “No” when asked whether their injured quarterback would qualify for a medical redshirt for this season after receiving a season-ending knee injury on Sept. 7.

This is an example of athletes receiving inaccurate eligibility information from a coach, even one who’s been in the business for many years. After all, coaches are hired and paid to win games and they have other athletic department staff members who focus on eligibility issues.

The Case Study

The athlete in this case is Terry Wilson, quarterback at the University of Kentucky. (Note – Terry Wilson is not a client of Informed Athlete). He certainly should qualify for a medical “redshirt” (officially called a medical hardship waiver) for this season, and also for a 6th year of eligibility.

According to Wilson’s publicly available timeline:

  • He started at the University of Oregon by enrolling early in the Spring of 2016 for spring practice.
  • Redshirted during that freshman season of Fall 2016.
  • Transferred to a JUCO in Kansas and played there during the 2017 season.
  • He then transferred to Kentucky where he is now in his second season and year four of his Division I “five-year clock.”

His “clock” will expire after the 2020 football season.

However, because Wilson redshirted during his true freshman season at Oregon and has now suffered a season-ending knee injury at Kentucky, his situation certainly appears to meet the NCAA guidelines to receive an “Extension of Eligibility” waiver and 6th year to play football during the 2021 season if he chooses to do so.

Do You Need Help?

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

We provide confidential phone consultations to answer questions and discuss your specific situation. Schedule your consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to

The most important factor in a Medical Hardship Waiver request is the quality of medical documentation to substantiate the injury.

The best case scenario for an athlete to be granted a medical hardship waiver is when the medical documentation from the actual time of the injury or diagnosis includes a statement such as: “This athlete is not released to return to full competition in their sport.”

When no such physician statement is included and it is unclear whether the injury is serious enough to be considered a “season-ending” injury, it is much less certain that the waiver will be approved.

The documentation can also be very important in the future if the athlete happens to become injured again and misses a second season of competition.

In that situation, it would be possible for the athlete to obtain an extension of their eligibility “clock” and add another year of eligibility. This is possible when an athlete has missed not just one, but more than one season of competition due to injury or illness.

How We Can Help

We prepare Medical Hardship Waivers when a college athletic department is not experienced with that process or they don’t have the time or manpower to prepare the waiver.

To discuss your athlete’s specific situation and their opportunity for a Medical Hardship Waiver or even an extension of their eligibility “clock”, schedule a consult online, by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an e-mail

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.

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.

We’ve been receiving many calls recently with questions about the rules for a “medical redshirt” or what is officially called a Medical Hardship Waiver.

Many spring sports are quickly approaching the midpoint of their season. For an athlete to qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver, one of the rules is that the injury or illness must have occurred prior to the first game of the second half of their season. Also, the injury must be medically documented to be “season-ending.”

It’s very important that an athlete see a doctor sooner than later when they are injured or ill.

For example, let’s say that an athlete is injured before the midpoint of their season but doesn’t get to the doctor for an evaluation (x-ray, MRI, etc) until they are two or three weeks PAST the midpoint of the season. Waiting that long to see a doctor may jeopardize their chances that a Medical Hardship Waiver is approved.

Injured or ill athletes who are concerned that their condition might be serious enough to be “season-ending” in nature, should see a doctor as soon as possible rather than waiting to hope the condition improves. Waiting may cost them a chance to receive a Medical Hardship Waiver.

Do you have questions?

For information on how we can help, click NCAA Medical Hardship Waiver Prep & Assistance or call us at 913-766-1235.

The NJCAA recently changed the medical hardship waiver requirements.   The limitation on the maximum number of games or events is now 30% of a student-athlete’s season rather than 20%.

In addition, this rule change can be applied retroactively.  This is great news for current and past junior college athletes who may have just exceeded the limit by one or two games!

The Junior College must apply to the NJCAA on the athlete’s behalf.  However, the athlete will need to provide appropriate documentation to support the application.

During a confidential consultation, Rick Allen can determine if you have potential to qualify for this medical hardship waiver. If so, we can guide and support you through the process. Call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to for more information.

An NCAA DI athlete was told by her athletic trainer that she would not qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver even if she had surgery for her injury. The athletic trainer said it was because of her previous participation history.

The parents of this student-athlete contacted Informed Athlete to discuss.  They wanted to confirm the information given to their daughter and see what options were available.  In fact, the student-athlete IS eligible for a Medical Hardship Waiver.  If approved by the NCAA, this would give her the opportunity for another season of eligibility. The reason is that the applicable NCAA rule was changed last year.

This story isn’t shared to fault the athletic trainer, but to point out that the NCAA rules can change.  Sometimes student-athletes don’t get the most up-to-date information.

In many situations, a consultation with us can clarify what your athlete has been told and options that may be available. Give us a call at 913-766-1235 or send an email to

This time of year, I always like to remind college athletes and parents that any amount of participation in a game or contest against another team will count as a Season of Eligibility used.

The only way to get a season “over again” is if the student-athlete qualifies and is approved for a Medical Hardship Waiver.

A Medical Hardship Waiver is a possibility if your student-athlete incurs an injury or illness that is serious enough to be documented by a physician as “season-ending.”

There are also specific limitations for the number of contests that an athlete can participate in and still qualify for a hardship waiver.

Do you have questions about whether your student-athlete might qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver?  If so, click Book a Confidential Consultation, call our office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to

If you’re a college athlete who was injured during your Fall season, you may want to consider whether you qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver.

If you did not compete at all during this season, it can be considered as a “redshirt” season for you, and even if you were injured, your athletic department may tell you that a Medical Hardship Waiver isn’t necessary since you didn’t use one of your 4 seasons of eligibility anyway.

However, if we look ahead and consider the possibility that you might become injured again and miss another season, then 2 seasons with a Medical Hardship Waiver could gain you an extra year of playing eligibility.

In a private, confidential consult, we can discuss the guidelines for obtaining a waiver for Extension of Eligibility and help you to prepare for that possible option. Click here to schedule a confidential consult online, call 913-766-1235 or send an email to