A head coaching change (due to retirement, job change, or firing) doesn’t change anything about the steps required for a student-athlete to navigate a transfer or about whether they can be immediately eligible at their next college if they choose to transfer.
However, a coaching change in Division I CAN potentially have an impact on an athlete’s scholarship, or perhaps more accurately, on a scholarship athlete’s opportunity to continue as a member of their team at the university that has the coaching change.
That’s because a new head coach being hired at an NCAA Division I university can tell an athlete “You won’t be a member of this team next season. You can continue on scholarship here at the university until you graduate, but you won’t be a part of this team.”
The NCAA rationale for this rule is that an athlete should have the right to complete their degree at their current university while continuing on scholarship even if the new coaching staff tries to “run off” the athlete.
The best example may be a football player who chose their university because the former coaches featured a pass-oriented offense, but the new coaching staff prefers a run-oriented approach.
The downside of this rule is that an athlete in this situation will, in most cases, never be able to continue on the team at their current university.
That’s because the benefit to the new coaching staff is that they get to “reclaim” that scholarship to go recruit a new player while allowing the current player to continue on scholarship at the university until they complete their degree – as long as that current player never participates in football again for their current university.
If you’d like to have a confidential detailed discussion about the Division I scholarship rules when a coaching change occurs, schedule a scholarship strategies consult online or call 913-766-1235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.