NCAA Student-Athletes: The Difference Between “Opting-Out” and “Voluntarily Withdrawing”
NCAA scholarship student-athletes who are considering “opting-out” from participating in their sport this year, should make it very clear that they are “opting-out” rather than voluntarily withdrawing from their sport.
These two phrases – “Opting-Out” and “Voluntary Withdrawal” mean two different things in NCAA terminology.
The NCAA has given student-athletes the right to “Opt-Out” of their sport this year if they have concerns about COVID. The benefit to scholarship athletes is that it protects their athletic scholarship from being cancelled by their athletic department.
When an athlete informs their university that they are “Voluntarily Withdrawing” from the team, that means the same as that they are quitting their team. In this situation, the coach or a staff member in the athletic department will tell your athlete that they need to sign a Voluntary Withdrawal Form.
It’s also somewhat common for a coach or staff member to tell an athlete that they need to sign a Voluntary Withdrawal Form if they are planning to transfer.
My Advice to NCAA Scholarship Student-Athletes
Don’t sign a “Voluntary Withdrawal Form” unless you are certain that you are leaving your team. Signing a Voluntary Withdrawal Form gives the university the right to cancel your scholarship!
If you have questions and want to discuss how various situations could impact your athletic scholarship, schedule a confidential Scholarship Strategies Consult online, or by calling us at 913-766-1235 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.