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In action taken by the NCAA Division I Council last week, Winter sport student-athletes were granted an additional year of eligibility regardless of the number of games they appear in or the number of games that their team is able to play during this 2020-21 academic year. Athletes must be eligible to compete this season to receive this additional year.

This is consistent with action taken previously for Division I Fall sport athletes, as well as for athletes whose Spring 2020 seasons were cut short.

As a reminder, this blanket waiver is different than the ones provided for student-athletes in Winter sports at NCAA Division II and III colleges and universities.

Winter sport student-athletes at D2 and D3 programs will be granted an additional season of competition as long as their team competes in not more than 50% of the maximum number of competitions that are allowed in a normal year.

  • In addition, D2 and D3 athletes who compete in individual sports such as cross country, golf, or tennis, must also be sure that they don’t compete in more than 50% of the maximum competitions even if their team as a whole did not.

Do you need advice?

If you have specific questions regarding how these NCAA actions will impact your student-athlete and would like to discuss options available, schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues consult online.

NCAA Division I and the NAIA are automatically granting an additional year or two semesters to any spring sport athlete due to COVID-19, as long as that athlete was on a roster and academically eligible for competition this spring.

NCAA Division II is only granting additional eligibility “automatically” for spring sport athletes who were already in their 10th semester or 15th quarter of their eligibility “clock.”

However, other Division II spring sport athletes also may be able to receive an additional year of eligibility as well.

As examples:

  • An athlete who redshirted in their freshman year and then missed this season due to COVID-19 may be able to receive a 6th year.
  • An athlete who missed last season due to injury before also having this season cancelled may also be able to receive a 6th year.

To arrange a consultation session to learn whether you might qualify for an additional year of eligibility, schedule your Waivers and Appeals Consult online, or you can contact us by writing to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

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 four seasons of eligibility anyway.

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

We can discuss with you the guidelines for obtaining a waiver for an “extension of eligibility” and help you to be prepared for that possible option.

To schedule a private phone or Skype consultation, call 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

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 rick@informedathlete.com.

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 rick@informedathlete.com.

NCAA Division I just passed a new rule effective in the 2018-19 school year that can benefit student-athletes who redshirted in their freshman year and then in a subsequent season are deprived of a season of competition for reasons beyond their or their school’s control (illness, injury, etc).

If a student-athlete meets all the required criteria, they could apply for an Extension of Eligibility Waiver and if approved by the NCAA,  receive a 6th year of competition in their sport.

While this rule has been in place at DII universities, it has previously not been available at DI schools because the redshirt year was not accepted as a reason to extend the clock. With this rule change, the redshirt year is now accepted as a reason to extend the clock.

To learn more about all the required criteria for this new rule and determine if you or your student-athlete are eligible to apply for this Extension of Eligibility, schedule a private consultation with us.  You can schedule online or call our office at 913-766-1235.