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We regularly hear from Junior College Athletes who transfer to an NCAA program and say they weren’t informed until weeks into the semester that they don’t meet the academic requirements to be eligible. 

What options does a student-athlete have in this situation? 

The best situation is for this to NOT happen.

If an athlete is informed before school starts, they may have the option to go back to the JUCO for one more semester as a full or part-time student to satisfy the academic requirements.

However, if the student-athlete has already started school at the NCAA school and they are declared ineligible, their options are limited and more complicated:

  • The student-athlete is stuck at that college and is now ineligible for their first academic year. He or she must now work to earn their academic eligibility to be able to compete next year at this college.
  • Also, because an athlete must be academically eligible when they leave their current school in order to be immediately eligible as a transfer to another NCAA member school, the student-athlete either needs to stay at this school and work to regain his or her eligibility there, OR
  • If the athlete chooses to transfer to another NCAA college before he/she regains eligibility where they are, then the athlete will be ineligible for their first academic year at the next college.
  • Another option is that the student-athlete could transfer to an NAIA college where it would be possible to regain eligibility after one semester.

How can an athlete AVOID this type of situation?

Make sure you are certified academically eligible by the school you are transferring to before classes begin.

How frequently does this type of thing happen?

More frequently than you would think. These are the type of situations I hate because they could easily be prevented.

How can you prevent this from happening to your athlete?

We frequently work with junior college athletes to make sure they’re eligible at their NCAA school of choice by doing a college transcript review.

If you have questions or need assistance, call Informed Athlete at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Is it better for a student-athlete to drop a class or fail a class?

This time of year, many student-athletes start thinking about dropping a course in which they are struggling.  It’s important to consider the possible consequences of dropping a course versus staying in but possibly failing.

Dropping a Class

All college athletes must be enrolled in a full-time course load in order to be eligible to compete for their team (there are a few limited exceptions).

If an athlete drops a course and as a result is no longer carrying a full-time course load, that athlete will not be eligible for competition. Also, in the case of NCAA universities in particular, the athlete won’t even be eligible to participate in practice or strength and conditioning sessions with their team.

Failing a Class

On the other hand, if an athlete chooses to stay in a course to stay eligible this semester, but ends up failing the course, it could negatively impact their eligibility for the next year.

College athletes must be making sufficient progress toward their degree and keep their GPA above minimum levels each term in order to be eligible for the following term.

As an example, an NCAA Division II soccer or football athlete must successfully complete at least 9-semester hours or 8-quarter hours of academic credit this Spring in order to be eligible next Fall. They also must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00.

Need Confidential Advice?

The academic requirements vary from one level of college athletics to another. If you want to discuss your student-athlete’s specific situation in a private, confidential consultation, contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.