Almost every Fall since we started Informed Athlete back in 2008, we receive emails similar to the one below two or three weeks AFTER an athlete has started attending classes at their new college.

“I transferred to this new college but wasn’t informed until two weeks into this semester that I didn’t meet the academic requirements to be eligible this year. What options do I have now that I’ve already started attending classes?”

My first comment is that somebody at that college didn’t do their job as they should have (assuming they received this athlete’s transcript in a timely manner) if they didn’t inform their athlete of her academic deficiency before the semester started.

Had they done so, this athlete could have at least had the option to go back to her previous junior college for one more semester to take the necessary courses for eligibility, or she could have considered other options.

Now her options are limited and more complicated:

  • By waiting until two weeks into the semester to inform the athlete of her status, she is stuck at that college and is now ineligible for this academic year. She must now work to earn her academic eligibility to be able to compete next year at this college.
  • Also, because an athlete must be academically eligible when they leave their current school in order to be immediately eligible as a transfer to an NCAA member school, she either needs to stay at this school and work to earn her eligibility there, OR
  • If she chooses to transfer to another NCAA college before she regains eligibility where she is, she may be ineligible for her first academic year at the next college.
  • Another option is that she could possibly transfer to an NAIA college where it would be possible to regain eligibility after one semester.

How can an athlete AVOID this type of situation?

Make sure you are certified academically eligible by the school you are transferring to before classes begin.

In fact, I suggest that you request confirmation in writing prior to the start of classes that the athletic compliance office can confirm that you’re eligible to compete this year! This way, if something goes wrong and you’re later told that you aren’t eligible, you at least have documentation of what you were told that could possibly be beneficial in a waiver situation.

How frequently does this type of thing happen?

More frequently than you would think. These are the type of situations I hate because they could easily be prevented.

How can you prevent this from happening to your athlete?

We frequently work with junior college athletes to make sure they’re eligible at their NCAA school of choice by doing a college transcript review.

If you are interested in a confidential consultation about your student-athlete’s specific situation, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.