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

The best case scenario for an athlete to be granted a medical hardship waiver is that the medical documentation from the actual time of the injury or diagnosis state that “this athlete is not yet released to return to full competition in their sport” or a similar statement.

When no such statement is included and it is unclear whether the injury is serious enough to prevent the athlete from competing in their sport, it is less certain that the NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA will approve the Waiver request.

In addition, when an athlete has not competed at all during a season, even though they had an injury during that season, often times the athletic department will not submit a Medical Hardship Waiver because they are considering that season to be a basic redshirt season.This is because a season of competition wasn’t triggered for the athlete.

It can still be beneficial to process the Medical Hardship Waiver, or at the least, be certain to retain the medical documentation from that injury.  The documentation will be very important in the future of the athlete happens to become injured again and miss 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.

We can prepare Medical Hardship Waivers or “clock extension” waivers when a college athletic department is not experienced with that process or their workload is such that they are reluctant 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”, contact us at 913-766-1235 or e-mail

I’m often asked by parents “Are there any exceptions or waivers?” to allow their son or daughter to be immediately eligible when they transfer to an NCAA university.
There are a number of transfer “exceptions” that give a university the authority to grant an athlete immediate eligibility following a transfer.
Until recently, the NCAA has considered waivers to grant an athlete immediate eligibility for extenuating circumstances when an “exception” is not available, for cases including:

  • Family medical hardship
  • Family financial hardship
  • When an athlete has been cut from their previous team (a “run-off” waiver).

However, the NCAA has changed their policies to indicate that waivers to grant immediate eligibility will “…no longer be provided for…student-athletes who are not eligible to use a transfer exception.”
Instead, a one-year extension of the five-year clock for mitigating circumstances may be provided and any mitigation will continue to be evaluated under the current NCAA waiver policies and guidelines.
There are waivers still being granted for immediate eligibility for a few hardship cases when transferring to a Division I university.  However, in most cases NCAA will instead consider adding a year onto the student-athlete’s “five-year clock” so they still have an opportunity for four years of athletic competition.

If you think you may qualify for a transfer waiver, contact us for additional information. Not only can we answer your questions, but we can also assist with the preparation of the waiver itself:

  • if the compliance office at your college is understaffed or overworked, and you want to make sure the waiver is prepared in a timely manner.
  • If the compliance staff is inexperienced, and you want to make sure that the waiver is presented in the best possible manner to increase the opportunity for a successful outcome
  • If the athletic department may not support the waiver and you want to “meet them halfway” for proposing to the department “Will you submit the waiver if we have it drafted for you?”