Tag Archive for: NCAA Academic Eligibility

There have obviously been many changes to the NCAA transfer rules over the past few years. Many followers of our service remember that under previous transfer rules, athletes in most cases were required to serve a “year in residence” at their new university if the athlete was transferring a 2nd time to a third four-year university.

But under recent rule changes, athletes will have the chance to be immediately eligible at their new four-year university as long as they are meeting the academic requirements to be eligible – regardless of how many times they have previously transferred.

However, if a transferring athlete does not meet academic requirements to be immediately eligible at their new university it will be possible for them to regain their eligibility after one term of full-time attendance at their university.

In that case, the athlete will need to work closely with academic advisors at the new university to make up any deficiency in their academic status before the start of their second term of attendance at the university.

Do You Have Questions?

If you have questions about the academic eligibility requirements for your athlete to be eligible as a transfer student, schedule a confidential transfer consultation online, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com

A question that we often receive early in the school year is whether an athlete can withdraw from some or all of their classes without an eligibility “penalty.” Common reasons that an athlete might want to withdraw include second thoughts about their college choice, or due to an injury or illness.

If your athlete has already started attending their college classes this Fall as a full-time enrolled student, I hope you’ll keep the following in mind:

  • Withdrawing from just one class may not harm their eligibility if they will still be carrying a full-time course load. However, in most cases, withdrawing from all of their classes will negatively impact their eligibility now and also in the future at their current college or at a new college that they may transfer to.
  • Dropping a course later in the term to avoid a failing grade that will hurt the athlete’s GPA may be OK, but you should encourage them to finish the semester (or quarter) if possible, instead of withdrawing from their courses. If they withdraw from all courses, they’ll lose all their academic credits for this term which can impact future eligibility.

To discuss a potential withdrawal situation and how it could impact your athlete’s eligibility, schedule an Eligibility Consult online, e-mail rick@informedathlete.com or call our office at 913-766-1235.

At their meeting in late June, the NCAA Division I Council introduced a proposal to reduce the Transfer Portal Windows at the end of each sport season from 60 days to 30 days.

  • This proposal was recommended because data gathered over the past year showed that most athletes enter the Transfer Portal in the early days of each Transfer Window.
  • Various Division I committees, including the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, will review the proposal and gather feedback from their constituents before a final vote is considered at the October meeting of the Council.

On another item regarding transfers, Softball athletes should be aware of a new Division I rule that goes into effect this year.

  • A softball athlete who transfers to a Division I university at midyear will NOT be allowed to be immediately eligible for the Spring season at their new university. The athlete will be allowed to practice with their new team but won’t be eligible for competition until the following Fall term.

If you would like confidential assistance navigating the steps and rule for a transfer to another college or university:

Schedule a Confidential Transfer Consultation online or you can contact us directly at rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235

Every year in August or September after classes have started, we are contacted by college student-athletes who have been told that they won’t be eligible for competition. By then, it’s too late to consider other options that may be possible.

If you are transferring to a new college or enrolling as a freshman – especially if you are doing so as a non-recruited walk-on:

  • Contact the athletic compliance office to confirm that you have satisfied ALL of the academic requirements to be eligible for competition in your first year of attendance.

DON’T wait until the last minute, do this ASAP! Why?

  • Because staff members who are responsible for certifying athletes’ eligibility will likely be focusing more attention on those incoming athletes who have been actively recruited by the coaching staff as scholarship athletes or as “preferred walk-ons.”
  • If you have not satisfied the academic requirements to be eligible in your first year at that university, it may be too late to consider possible options (such as taking additional summer courses, postponing your enrollment or returning to junior college for one more semester.)

It’s very important to:

  • Know the academic requirements your athlete will need to satisfy to be eligible at their new university as a transfer or as an incoming freshman.
  • Get confirmation in writing from the school that your athlete has satisfied all requirements to be eligible.

Do You Need Help?

We can discuss your athlete’s current situation, explain the academic requirements for eligibility in a confidential Eligibility Issues consultation, and we can even review your athlete’s high school or junior college transcript to inform whether they are on track to satisfy the eligibility requirements. Schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues Consultation online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

After classes have started, we are frequently contacted by student-athletes who have been told that they are not eligible for competition. It’s then too late to consider other options that could have been possible.

If you are transferring, enrolling for the first time or coming in as a non-recruited walk-on, MAKE SURE you contact the compliance office of the college you are transferring to or enrolling in to confirm that you have satisfied ALL the academic requirements to be eligible for competition in your first year of attendance.

Staff members who are responsible for certifying athletes as eligible will most likely be focusing more attention on those incoming athletes who have been actively recruited by the coaching staff as scholarship athletes or as “preferred walk-ons.”

It’s important to do this BEFORE you begin full-time enrollment at the university when it will be too late to consider possible options (such as taking additional summer courses, postponing your enrollment or returning to junior college for one more semester).

Do You Have Questions?

We can explain the academic requirements for eligibility in a confidential Eligibility Issues consultation, and we can also review your athlete’s high school or junior college transcript to inform whether they are on track to satisfy the eligibility requirements. Contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

NCAA DI FBS or FCS Football student-athletes must successfully complete at least 9 semester hours (or 8 quarter hours) of academic credit during the Fall term to be fully eligible to compete during the following season.

An FBS or FCS athlete who does not earn the required number of academic credit hours during the Fall term “…shall not be eligible to compete in the first four contests against outside competition in the following playing season.”

There are options for athletes who don’t satisfy this requirement to regain their full eligibility for the following season if they earn additional credit hours prior to the beginning of the next Fall term.

We can explain this rule in more detail, including the requirements to regain full eligibility, in a confidential Eligibility Consult. You can schedule a confidential Eligibility Consult online or call 913-766-1235 for more information.

It’s the time of year when the NCAA is starting to publicize proposed rule changes that will be voted on at the annual NCAA Convention in January. I’ll highlight those that will likely be of most interest to student-athletes and families.

Division I

The Division I Council has introduced a proposal to reduce the number of official visits a men’s basketball recruit can take to a Division I university from five to three during each of three periods:

  • Junior year of high school.
  • Senior year of high school.
  • After high school graduation (for a transfer or during a prep school year for example).

The proposal would also reduce the length of official visits in men’s basketball to 36 hours from 48. Members of the Council believe many student-athletes are taking official visits simply because they can and not because they intend to attend a school.

Division II

If approved, the Division II transfer rules will be revised to more closely align with the Division I transfer rules. Perhaps the most important revision would be that a Division II coach or athletic department would not be able to object to a student-athlete’s opportunity to be eligible in their first year at their new university.

The Division II transfer rules would be revised to:

  • Require a transferring student-athlete to view an NCAA-produced educational video before an institution may enter the student-athlete’s information into the NCAA Transfer Portal;
  • Eliminate the previous institution’s ability to object to use of the one-time transfer exception;
  • Require the new head coach and the student-athlete to certify in writing that they had no direct or indirect contact about a possible transfer prior to the student-athlete entering the Transfer Portal;
  • Establish June 15 as the date by which a student-athlete must enter the Transfer Portal to utilize the one-time transfer exception (not applicable to midyear transfers); and
  • Permit institutions to reduce or cancel an athletics aid agreement previously signed for the next academic year.

Division III

The Division III Presidents Council is supporting a proposal that would change the current “season of participation” rule to specify that only actual competition against another institution would trigger the use of a season.

  • A student-athlete would be charged with the use of a season of eligibility if the student-athlete competes at any point during the traditional season in their sport.

Please note that these rule changes are not currently planned to take effect until next June. We will be updating you and confirming the approval of these proposals when that occurs.

In the meantime, if you have questions about any of these proposals, contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

If your student-athlete has been told that they won’t be academically eligible at their NCAA school this year or this semester and you don’t know what to do, Informed Athlete can help.  We’ll discuss the situation with you to advise possible options that your student-athlete may be able to consider.

Possible options – which can be stressful when there’s very little time to make a decision – might include enrolling at a different college, returning to a junior college for another semester, or discussing a possible academic waiver with your athlete’s college.

A waiver may be possible when there is sufficient documentation of a circumstance that impacted your athlete’s academic performance when they have an otherwise strong academic record.

In a confidential Waivers and Appeals consultation, we will answer your questions and explain the directives that the NCAA uses to review waiver applications. We’ll also discuss the type of supporting documentation that will need to be submitted along with the application.

We also routinely assist athletes and their families by reviewing the athlete’s personal statements and suggesting possible revisions to have more impact and make a stronger case for approval.

If you have questions, please call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

We’ve recently been receiving a number of questions about the rules and academic requirements for a 4-2-4 transfer (from a four-year college to a two-year college, and then transferring to another four-year college).

This type of transfer can be useful for various situations, but here are three of the most common:

  • An athlete wants to leave their four-year college to have a better playing opportunity in their sport and to then be “re-recruited” back to the four-year college level.
  • An athlete needs to focus on their academic responsibilities, raise their GPA, and then return to the four-year college level (perhaps even to the four-year college they previously attended).
  • Or, an athlete simply wants to attend a less-expensive college closer to home while they determine where they want to eventually enroll to earn their four-year degree.

The confusing part about the 4-2-4 transfer rules

The academic requirements and other rules (such as number of semesters required at the two-year college) are different depending upon whether the athlete will end up at the NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III, or NAIA level.

Of course, the natural question then becomes “How do I know what requirements to satisfy if I’m not even sure what college level – let alone the specific college – that I’m going to end up at??”

This is a situation in which one of our confidential consultations can be very helpful to explain these specific rules and the differences between the rules for different divisions. We can also provide a detailed Transcript Review to advise on your athlete’s progress toward satisfying these academic requirements.

For help in navigating the academic requirements and rules for a successful transfer, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

I’m certain that our daughter would have fallen through the cracks and not been deemed an NCAA Qualifier without your help. We contacted you just in time so that we could advocate on her behalf with her high school and communicate effectively with her college. Her unique course load in high school made this a challenge. I’m excited to report that she’s been deemed a Qualifier and is competing now with her team.

Father of a D I softball player

The worst thing I had to do when I worked on campus was tell a student-athlete they weren’t academically eligible and couldn’t play their sport.

Eligibility issues affect student-athletes at all levels from high school, to junior college, and 4-year universities. Not knowing, understanding, and meeting the eligibility rules can have serious short and long-term consequences. Problems meeting the eligibility standards can set back and even derail a student-athlete’s entire athletic career.

Eligibility Rules are different at each level (NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA), each division (NCAA Division I, II, III), and even at different conferences and schools.

Do You Need Assistance?

If you or your athlete is unsure about their eligibility status, we can help by providing a confidential private phone or Skype consultation. During the Eligibility Issues Consult, we will discuss your situation, answer any questions you may have and if needed, help determine your best set of “next steps.”

Schedule your eligibility consultation online, call us at 913-766-1235, or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com