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I’m often asked by parents “Are there any exceptions or waivers?” to allow their son or daughter to be immediately eligible when they transfer to an NCAA university.
There are a number of transfer “exceptions” that give a university the authority to grant an athlete immediate eligibility following a transfer.
Until recently, the NCAA has considered waivers to grant an athlete immediate eligibility for extenuating circumstances when an “exception” is not available, for cases including:

  • Family medical hardship
  • Family financial hardship
  • When an athlete has been cut from their previous team (a “run-off” waiver).

However, the NCAA has changed their policies to indicate that waivers to grant immediate eligibility will “…no longer be provided for…student-athletes who are not eligible to use a transfer exception.”
Instead, a one-year extension of the five-year clock for mitigating circumstances may be provided and any mitigation will continue to be evaluated under the current NCAA waiver policies and guidelines.
There are waivers still being granted for immediate eligibility for a few hardship cases when transferring to a Division I university.  However, in most cases NCAA will instead consider adding a year onto the student-athlete’s “five-year clock” so they still have an opportunity for four years of athletic competition.

If you think you may qualify for a transfer waiver, contact us for additional information. Not only can we answer your questions, but we can also assist with the preparation of the waiver itself:

  • if the compliance office at your college is understaffed or overworked, and you want to make sure the waiver is prepared in a timely manner.
  • If the compliance staff is inexperienced, and you want to make sure that the waiver is presented in the best possible manner to increase the opportunity for a successful outcome
  • If the athletic department may not support the waiver and you want to “meet them halfway” for proposing to the department “Will you submit the waiver if we have it drafted for you?”