At the recent NCAA Convention, Division II delegates approved a change to the “season-of-competition” rule which will be welcome news to student-athletes who transfer to NCAA Division II colleges.
Effective immediately, a student-athlete transferring from any non-Division II school will be subject to the “season-of-competition” rules that were applicable to the college where the athlete previously competed. This rule can be applied retroactively to the 2018-19 academic year.
In other words, if an athlete was not charged for a season of competition at their previous school – whether other NCAA division, an NAIA, or a junior college – they won’t be charged with a season of competition for that season upon transfer to the Division II college, even if those season of competition rules were not the same.
What exactly does this mean?
Here’s an example of how this rule will be of the most benefit to an athlete transferring from an NCAA DI school to an NCAA II Division school:
- In NCAA Division I football, an athlete can compete in up to four games and still have that be considered a redshirt season.
- Under the previous Division II transfer rules, if that football athlete transferred to a Division II college after playing in four games or less, he would have been charged with a season of eligibility used, even though the Division I university from which he transferred would not have charged him with the use of a season.
- Now, with the new Division II rule effective immediately, the “season-of-competition” rule that applied to that athlete’s participation while he was attending the Division I university will be applied to his remaining eligibility at the Division II level.
Here’s an example of how this rule will be of the most benefit to an athlete transferring from an NCAA DIII school to an NCAA DII School:
First of all, it actually doesn’t change the rules impacting a transfer from a Division III program, but I believe it provides more clarity for such a transfer.
- A student-athlete at a Division III college is charged with a “season of participation” once they participate in practice or competition during or after the first game of the regular season in their sport.
- Even if they only practice and train with their Division III team after the first game of the season, but never appear in an actual game or competition against another college during that season, the athlete is still charged with a “season of participation” under the Division III rules.
- If an athlete in that situation transfers to an NCAA Division II university, that athlete won’t be charged with a “season of competition” for that season in which they only practiced, but were still charged with a “season of participation” due to the Division III rules that applied when they were attending the Division III college. Instead, Division II rules would treat such as season as a “redshirt” season.
Do you have questions?
If you have questions regarding how rule change might affect your student-athlete, or for help in navigating the steps and academic requirements for a successful transfer in any sport, schedule a confidential transfer consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.