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Should High School Recruits Consider a Gap Year?

A high school recruit entering college next Fall might be competing for playing time against athletes with four years of college experience who may still have 2 seasons of eligibility remaining.

Here’s why:

Many college rosters have been and still are overloaded with athletes who were granted an additional year of eligibility during the Pandemic.

During the 2020 calendar year, almost all college athletes were granted an additional year on their eligibility “clock” AND were not charged with one of their four seasons of playing eligibility, even if they played a full season.

That additional year applied to athletes at both two and four-year colleges in the Spring of the 2019-20 academic year and for Fall and Winter sport athletes who competed during Fall 2020 or began their season that semester.

  • This means that many Spring sport athletes (baseball, softball, lacrosse, etc.) who were freshmen on a college roster in the Spring 2020 semester may still have eligibility available for the 2024-25 academic year.
  • AND that freshmen Fall and Winter sport athletes during the 2020-21 academic year (football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, etc.) may still have TWO years of eligibility remaining after this year.

Over the past few months, I’ve received many calls from current college athletes (or parents) asking if it’s possible for them to have another year of eligibility because their recruitment or their early college seasons were negatively impacted.

This has led me to believe that it might be a good idea for some high school recruits to take a gap year after graduation to continue training in their sport while taking part-time college courses to get a start toward their college degree.

Do You Need Assistance?

If you’d like to have a confidential consultation about the possibility of a gap year for your athlete and factors that you may want to take into consideration, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consultation online, or by writing to rick@informedathlete.com.