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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.

This time of year, I always like to remind college athletes and parents that any amount of participation in a game or contest against another team will count as a Season of Eligibility used.

The only way to get a season “over again” is if the student-athlete qualifies and is approved for a Medical Hardship Waiver.

A Medical Hardship Waiver is a possibility if your student-athlete incurs an injury or illness that is serious enough to be documented by a physician as “season-ending.”

There are also specific limitations for the number of contests that an athlete can participate in and still qualify for a hardship waiver.

Do you have questions about whether your student-athlete might qualify for a Medical Hardship Waiver?  If so, click Book a Confidential Consultation, call our office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

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 rick@informedathlete.com.