NCAA Rules – Definition of a Recruited Athlete

How does the NCAA define whether a prospect is considered a recruited athlete?

A prospect is considered a recruited athlete if the college takes one of the following actions:

  • If they provide the prospect with an official visit.
  • If they have an off-campus contact with the prospect or the prospect’s parents or legal guardians.
  • If they offer the prospect a National Letter of Intent or an athletic scholarship agreement.
  • If they initiate a telephone conversation with the prospect or his parents or legal guardians more than one time.

Ironically, a coach can have frequent e-mail conversations with a prospect but that athlete will still not be defined as a recruited athlete if the coach does not use any of the four actions above to encourage the prospect to attend the college and join their athletic program.

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About Rick Allen

25+ years NCAA Rules Expertise, including Director of Compliance at 2 major DI schools

Former President of National Association for Athletic Compliance (NAAC)

Conducts compliance reviews and audits at NCAA Schools throughout the U.S.

Consulted with NAIA schools transitioning to NCAA membership status

Dad of a DI & DII student-athlete

309 Responses to NCAA Rules – Definition of a Recruited Athlete

  • [...] The NCAA uses 4 criteria to determine if an athlete is a “recruited athlete.”  To view the 4 criteria, click NCAA rules – Definition of a Recruited Athlete. [...]

    • Lynn says:

      Rick,
      Our son is currently a freshman enrolled at a local community college that no longer offers baseball. If he was interested in walking on at a nearby D1 school what are the eligibility issues that he would face? He was not officially recruited by the D1 school.

      If we approach the coaching staff at the school he’s interested in, would that raise any potential issues?

      Thanks for your help!

      Lynn

      • Rick Allen says:

        Lynn,

        I frequently consult with athletes and/or parents regarding the NCAA transfer and eligibility rules, and to walk them through the steps involved in the transfer process. I would be happy to talk with you to discuss your son’s eligibility. Contact me directly if that’s of interest.

        Rick

    • Dana says:

      Rick,
      I have a close friend who has committed to a D1 school for baseball. He is a senior in high school. Unfortunately, he recently suffered a thumb injury. It is broken, fractured, and the ligament is torn. He mentioned there is a chance (if surgery is needed) that he will become a Preferred Walk On. Is this common? I known every situation is different but is that likely to happen?

      Thanks
      Dana

      • Rick Allen says:

        Dana,

        I don’t know if I would use the word “common”, but it does happen sometimes.

        Rick

        • Joe says:

          Hi Rick,

          I am currently attending an NAIA school for basketball. After contacting a Division 1 coach via e-mail, they told me they were looking for a walk-on for my position, and offered to allow me to try-out as soon as I enrolled in the school. If I continue making contact with the coach via e-mail, will I avoid being a considered a preferred walk-on, therefore not having to sit-out this upcoming season?

          Thank you,
          Joe.

          • Rick Allen says:

            Joe,

            Your interaction with the Div. I school at this point will not directly effect your ability to be eligible next year. What will make a difference is if you are currently on a basketball scholarship, or were “recruited” to your NAIA school. If either of those is true, the Div. I rules require you to attend the Div. I school for one full academic year before you’ll be eligible for competition.

            Rick

  • Becky says:

    Dear Rick,
    Our son played baseball for a Community College for 2 years. He played summer ball with a teammate that attended and played for a D1 college. That teammate notified his D1 Asst. Coach, who then spoke to our son once by phone and told him he would be welcome to try to walk on to their program. My son did, started all but 2 games his junior year and finished the season with the team’s 2nd highest batting average. We spent $35,000.00 and he has not received an offer yet. We would like him to transfer to a closer school to help us financially but don’t want him to have to sit out a year because of our finances. He will be a senior. Suggestions?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Becky,

      Your son should talk to the compliance office at his current school to confirm that they do not have him classified as a recruited walk-on. If so, he may be able to be immediately eligible at another D1 using the Nonrecruited Student exception. If not, his other options are a D2 or NAIA program.

      Good luck!

      Rick

  • Greg says:

    Rick, our son attended a D-1 school last year. He was invited for a roster spot on the baseball team in July and school started in August. No money was offered. He was told money would be forthcoming in his sophmore year. Right before league started the team was informed the school incorrectly tracked athletic scholarships and were pulling out of post season and reported the violation to the NCAA because they exceeded the allowed number. It is assumed more scholarships will be lost and our son’s future will be affected as the tuition is $50,000.00. Can they release him now to talk to other schools without losing a year of elgibility? Thanks.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Greg,

      If your son was not a “recruited” prospect, he should be able to transfer to another D-1 program without losing a year of eligibility. He’ll still have to go through the regular process of requesting permission from his current school to be able to talk to other baseball programs about a possible transfer.

      Rick

  • Trey Whaley says:

    Hey Rick,
    I am a junior and I spent one year at a D1 school as a prefered walk on, I was going to start that year but I got hurt. Now my coaches are recruiting up to 30 guys to come in and compete for roles on the team. I have tried contacting them about making me a scholarship player but i have not gotten a response. I would like to transfer to another D1 program without sitting out a year, for what they have done to me. Is this possible?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Trey,

      Since you mentioned that you’re a preferred walk-on, I have to assume that your interaction with the coaches at the D1 school makes you a recruited student-athlete. If that is the case, you won’t be able to transfer to another D1 program without sitting out a year. On the other hand, if your communication with those coaches did not trigger the definition of a recruited student-athlete, then you could transfer without sitting out a year. Keep in mind that you’ll still need to get the school’s permission to talk with other schools, and you’ll have to be academically eligible to have any chance of being immediately eligible.

      Good luck,

      Rick

  • Jim Kennedy says:

    Rick,

    Please clarify how, under the definition of “recruited athlete” that a phone call or two from the coach can prohibit a student from transferring to another division 1 school if/when no scholarship money is involved. Why wouldn’t all non-athletic scholarship student-athletes be classified as “Non-recruited”?. Seems like if you’re not on their nickel, you should be able to transfer at will…

    Thank you for your invaluable insight.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Jim,

      To explain why all non-athletic scholarship athletes would not be classified as non-recruited, here’s a couple of different ways to think about this. In baseball, no more than 27 players on a 35-man roster can be receiving an athletic scholarship. So any Division I baseball coach is going to be looking for the best players he can find to fill those other 8 roster spots. He’s not going to just wait until the first week of school to hold an open tryout for students currently enrolled at the university. He’s going to be promoting all the best aspects of his program and the opportunities that his program can provide when he has no more scholarships available.

      Another example is football. Some programs are reluctant to offer scholarships to specialists such as long snappers, kickers, or special teams players. But they may recruit those players with promises of better summer job opportunities than they can find in their hometown, or the opportunity to earn a scholarship after a year or two in the program. Again, with a limit of 85 scholarships for rosters of 105, 110, etc. they’re going to be working to get the best players they can for those other roster spots, rather than waiting to see who wants to walk-on once classes start in the Fall.

      Hope that explanation was helpful.

      Rick

  • Kolby says:

    Jim,
    If my son went to a D1 colleges’ camp and they talked to him for a bit after about the school; a while later they came and watched him play at his school, and with one phone call asked him if hed like to have a perfered walk on postion on the team with no money involved would he still be able to transfer to another D1 school in another conference and not have to sit out a year.
    Thanks,
    Kolby

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Kolby,

      As long as the interaction of the coaches with your son didn’t trigger one of the four actions that cause a prospect to become a recruited prospect, he should be able to transfer without sitting out. They key question is whether the coaches spoke to your son or any family member in person after the game that they came to see.

      We’ll be coming out soon with the “Informed Athlete’s Guide to NCAA Transfer Rules” which will answer many of these questions that you and others are asking. Keep watching for it on the website.

      Rick

  • Kolby says:

    Jim,
    Im sorry for the many comment but the sport is baseball that my above question refers to.
    Kolby

  • bball4 says:

    Rick,
    Durning the game the recruiting coach speaking with me about nothing really just small talk. After the game he came up to my son and asked how he was doing and left by saying he will let him know what their decision about him would be later. They probably talked for less than a minute. Does that do anything with his eligibility?
    Thanks,
    Kolby

    • Rick Allen says:

      Kolby,

      The answer will rest with how the situation is interpreted by the school that he signed with. Some schools may take one viewpoint and interpret that as off-campus recruitment, while other schools will say it was just incidental contact, and not consider it to be recruitment. Ultimately, it will be the school’s call.

      Rick

  • Daniel says:

    Rick,

    I am currently a sophomore at a D1 college. I transferred to my current school from a D2 college, and I have played soccer at both schools. I never received any athletic scholarship at the D2 school but started all but 2 games. Then I transferred to the D1 school for the current season and I have not received athletic scholarship money. I do not believe I will play this year for the D1 team and probably will not receive any athletic scholarship money. Because my family can not afford sending me to this school after this semester I will have to transfer, but I would like to transfer to another D1 school to play soccer. Since I am a non recruited athlete will I be eligible to play next year for another D1 school? Also, if I do not play this year for my current team will I be able to use this year as a redshirt year and keep 3 years of eligibility?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Daniel,

      If you transfer to another Division I school, you will not be eligible to play in your first year of attendance because you will have transferred twice between 4-year schools. Because you will have to sit out next year as a two-time transfer, you will only have 2 years left on your five-year clock.

      Rick

  • Jack says:

    Dear Rick,

    I am currently a freshman at a D1 school and just finished the fall baseball season and soon the semester. I was not contacted by the coaching staff, I contacted them about the potential to play in their program last summer. I have not received any money and I thought I would be on the spring roster. I will not be on the spring roster and I would like to transfer out to a D1 school close to home rather than 14 hrs away. I have my release and I am now just beginning to contact other schools. Some have interest. Can I play this spring?

    Thank Jack

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Jack,

      A midyear transfer to a Div. I program can’t be immediately eligible. You can, however, transfer to a Div. II program and be immediately eligible this spring as long as your current school can certify that you would be eligible if you were staying enrolled there. So make sure you have a good semester academically.

      Good luck,

      Rick

  • Jack says:

    Dear Rick
    Would it be possible to petition the NCAA for a waiver?

    Jack

    • Rick Allen says:

      Jack,

      It would be possible to do that, but the school you transfer to would have to agree to submit a waiver on your behalf (you can’t submit one on your own). Also, be aware that when waivers are approved, which isn’t that often, they are usually approved because of unforeseen circumstances unrelated to the sport, such as an illness or death in the family, or an extreme financial hardship.

      Rick

  • Manny Carballo says:

    Rick, I received a redshirt season during my freshman year at a D-1 school. My redshirt was due to an injury. This fall I am still recovering from my injury and participating in fall ball on a limited basis due to my injury. However I currently want to transfer. I am a scholarship student athelete. What are my options,can I transfer to a junior college , can I sit out this season? and be able to play at a D-1 school in 2013.

    Thanks,

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Manny,

      I think it would be best if we talk on the phone so I can get some additional information on your situation. This will allow me to provide the most appropriate information. I will follow up with a personal e-mail to you.

      Rick

  • Joey says:

    Rick,
    My son is currently a non-scholarship athlete at a D2 school in CA. He signed a CCAA LOI last April which basically prevented other schools from recruiting him and committed him for 1 year.
    While he is doing very well, we have not heard of any $cholarship for the remainder of this year or next and the cost of travel/R&B is killing us.
    Is there a way we can solicit interest from other D2′s or are we restricted and therefore subject to next year playing for a JC ? Can we “walk on” to a geographically desirable D2 next year?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Joey,

      In order for your son to solicit interest from other Div. II schools, he will need to be granted permission by his current school to speak to other Div. II schools about a possible transfer. Even if his current school prohibits him from speaking to certain schools at the end of this year, there are still plenty of other Div. II schools that he’ll be able to consider.

      Good luck,

      Rick

  • LAWRENCE NEWBELL says:

    RICK, MY SON PLAYED TWO YEARS OF JUCO BASKETBALL, HE GOT HIS TWO YEAR DEGREE AND WENT TO A NCAA D-1 SCHOOL TO WORK ON HIS DEGREE. HE WANTS TO PLAY NCAA D-1 OR D-2 BASKETBALL BUT HE HAS BEEN AT THE D-1 SCHOOL 2 YEARS. HOW MANY D-1 OR D-2 (OR ANY LEVEL) YEARS DOES HE HAVE TO PLAY. I HAVE HEARD ONE YEAR AND I HAVE HEARD 2 YEARS, WHICH ONE IS IT? HE WAS A NON QUALIFIER FROM HIGH SCHOOL BECAUSE OF ACT SCORE.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Lawrence,

      First of all, since your son was at the JUCO level for two years, and has now been at the Div. I school for two years, the fact that he was a nonqualifier doesn’t matter. What matters for his academic eligibility is how he has done academically in making progress toward his chosen degree while at the Div. I school.

      Regarding the number of years he might have left:
      In Division I, athletes have 5 years from when they first enrolled in any college as a full-time student to complete their eligibility. If he was two years at the JUCO and is now in his 2nd year at the Div. I, he will have one year remaining as long as he has been enrolled straight through and has not taken any “time off” when he wasn’t enrolled as a student.

      In Division II, they go by 10 semesters from first full-time enrollment rather than 5 years. This can benefit an athlete who has NOT been enrolled straight through each semester as a full-time student. Otherwise both rules work out the same.

      Rick

  • Alex Belconis says:

    I am a preferred walk on at a D1 football program, do I need a release from my school to talk to any other D1 or D2 schools? or is that only apply to scholarship athletes?

  • Frank Rampone says:

    Frank Rampone
    My grandson enrolled in a D-1 school in Aug. of ’11. He was listed on the fall Roster. The coach told him by email that he would have a spot on the team, but was cut near the end of November, ’11. Any phone conversations that they may have had were initiated by my grandson’s parents, and not the coach. There were several emails, and there was NO National Letter of Intent, nor was there a scholarship offered for his freshman year. Can he transfer without losing a year of eligibility?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Frank,

      Based on what you’ve noted here, your grandson will not lose a year of eligibility by transferring. However, he may have to utilize a redshirt year, but would still retain four years of eligibility. A couple of points to remember:

      A transfer to a Div. I program in the middle of the academic year cannot be immediately eligible, even if released by their current school. If he wants to transfer to another Div. I school, he can either transfer now, or at the end of this academic year, and either way, he can be eligible for Spring 2013.

      If he transfers to a Div. II or NAIA school now, he can be immediately eligible (if he passed his courses this Fall), as long as his current school gives him permission to talk with other schools and agrees that he can use the “one-time transfer exception” to be immediately eligible a the next school.

      Happy Holidays!

      Rick

  • Rich Olson says:

    Rick,

    I have been searching for all of the NCAA Baseball rules covering all 4 divisions (D1-D3 & NAIA), but have only been able to locate the latest NCAA rule CHANGES for ’11-’12. Sure, it was informative…all 155 pages of it :)

    However, can you provide me with a link or specific location to read ALL of the rules such as recruiting guidelines, fall/spring practice rules, etc…so my son and I can be better prepared for when his college days start in ’13? I know things are most likely to change for that class year, but there is no sense in not being prepared!

    Thank you in advance!

    Rich

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Rich,

      I admire your desire for detail and preparation! I’m not aware of one source where you can find ALL of the rules covering all four divisions as you mentioned. Your most complete option might be http://www.ncaapublications.com, where you can download the NCAA Manuals for Division I, II, and III. However, as you can imagine, each Manual is about 400 pages long.

      You should consider purchasing our book, Both Sides of the Plate, that’s available here on the website in our store. It doesn’t include the practice and playing rules after your son enrolls and arrives on campus, but covers recruiting, eligibility, and financial aid rules to help you and your son navigate the recruiting process.

      Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

      Rick

  • steve says:

    Hello,

    I am a senior in HS.I am speaking with a Division 1 university who tells me he cant use me in his 2012 class because the position I play he
    has two seniors that he will be currently playing them this spring season.he tells me I should take a division 11 offer that I have received with athletic money offered get college play time in and then transfer to to him in 2013.Can I do This?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Steve,

      If you receive athletic financial aid or are recruited by the Div. II program and then attempt to transfer to the Div. I university after playing at the Div. II school, you would not be eligible for competition in your first year at the Div. I program. You could transfer and practice with the team, but you would not be eligible to play until you had served a year in residence. If you’d like further info, contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com.

      Rick

  • Anne says:

    My son played baseball at a JUCO. He graduated with an associate’s degree. The coach at a Division I program told him to come to the school to tour and talk (not an official visit). During the tour my son understood that he was coming to the school to play baseball. He had other offers he was looking at but really liked what this coach told him. Nothing signed and no athletic money. The coach told him to let him know when he was accepted to the school and to think about housing in a dorm for his first year. He did that and liked what they said and decided to go to the school to play. Last year he played in the fall and was on the spring travel roster until a week before games started when he was told that two athletes that were graduate students were returning. My son had a locker with his name on it and a uniform with a number. This year, he returned in the fall and again had the locker with his name on it. Now the coach is telling him that unless someone quits, he will not be on the roster. He is a senior but 3rd year baseball. Could he be considered a non-scholarship roster player or simply a recruited walk-on?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Anne,

      Once the coach has established his spring roster of 35 players (or perhaps 33 in this case based on your previous question about roster limits), it won’t matter how other players are classified. Only the players on the 35-man roster will be eligible to play and practice with the team this spring.

      Rick

  • Lori says:

    My daughter accepted a preferred walk-on spot as a pole vaulter with a D1 school last winter during her senior year of high school. About a month ago, near the beginning of the indoor season she was cut from the team. The coach was very specific when he made her the preferred walk-on offer, that she was guaranteed a spot on the team for a year, but then would have to maintain a certain level of performance to remain on the team.

    Is this sort of thing common–backing out of a commitment to work with an athlete for a year? Isn’t it somewhat unethical? The coach’s reason for cutting her was that he didn’t have enough time to work with her to get her to the level he felt she needed to be at.

    Thanks for your insight.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Lori,

      What the coach did is definitely unethical, and based on the comments we get here on the website, this type of action is too common. Unfortunately, when a coach uses the term “preferred walk-on” it only means whatever the coach wants it to mean. If the coach had provided her with an athletic scholarship, he would have had an investment in her, and would have committed more time to work with her. As she considers where she might want to transfer, keep that in mind. Look for a school that is a good fit for your daughter, but also for a coach that will show his or her commitment to your daughter by investing an athletic scholarship in her.

      Good luck to your daughter!

      Rick

  • Jerry says:

    My son is a sophomore and plays baseball at a junior college. He is not NCAA clearinghouse certified. To be eligible to play at a D1 does he need to get his associates degree from a junior colllege or sit out a year? Also, after the 2012 spring semester if he does not have enough credits for his associates degree can he complete his degree at a junior college in the 2012 fall semester and transfer to a D1 and play in the spring if 2013?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Jerry,

      In order to transfer to a Div. I program and be immediately eligible, your son will need to graduate from the JUCO with his associates degree. He cannot graduate at the end of Fall 2012, and be immediately eligible in Spring 2013. The Div. I rules prohibit a baseball (or basketball) student-athlete from enrolling at midyear and being immediately eligible. Your son will need to see if it’s possible for him to graduate this summer if he wants to play at the Div. I level next Spring.

      Good luck to your son!

      Rick

  • Jerry says:

    Is it against NCAA rules to send video of a college player to a pro scout? Does it jeopardize NCAA eligiblity for the athelete?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Jerry,

      There’s nothing wrong with sending video of a student-athlete to a pro scout. There are many restrictions against accepting anything FROM a pro scout, agent, or anybody associated with a professional team, but there’s nothing wrong with sending a video.

      Rick

  • Drew says:

    What are the reasons why it matters if someone is “recruited” in the realm of the NCAA bylaw 13 definition. For transferring reasons only?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Drew,

      The status of being “recruited” can matter not only for transfer reasons, but can also matter in some situations for determining whether financial aid granted without regard to athletic ability is “countable” against a team’s athletic scholarship limit. The latter can come into play for Div. I football or basketball student-athletes.

      Rick

  • David says:

    My son was recruited by a D1 school and he is about to finish his first year. During his first year he practically had no play time. His dream as with any other baseball player is to get drafted into the pros. well as we all know that will not happen while he is on the bench. My question is can he transfer to a D1 juco and play immediately or does the sit out rule applies as well?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi David,

      Your son can transfer to a JUCO and play immediately next year. Keep in mind that if he plans to then transfer back to another Div. I program, he will need to graduate from the JUCO to be immediately eligible in his first year back at the next Div. I school.

      Good luck to your son!

      Rick

  • Angie says:

    My son is a Div III basketball player out of state and we cannot continue to pay the high tuition so he is transferring back in state. He is considering going to a Div II school. No coaches have contacted him but I want to confirm if he can go to “open gyms” prior to the end of his current school year. His current coach is aware that he is not returning and why…..please advise

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Angie,

      Your son can go to “open gyms” but he won’t be able to talk with any Division II coaches until they have received a “permission to contact” letter or e-mail from his current school (and the “permission to contact” must come from an athletic administrator at that school, just a note from the coach won’t be sufficient). It’s also permissible for Div. II schools to provide your son a tryout, but they must have that “permission to contact” and he must provide evidence of a physician’s medical exam within the past six months.

      Good luck to your son!

      Rick

  • Colleen says:

    I have a 2013 HS pitcher with some interest from D2 and D1 schools. Coaches are coming to watch him throw and he has made phone calls to some of these coaches at the request of his HS/summer coaches. Can/should he approach them after the game? Not sure what the contact rules are regarding in person conversations.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Colleen,

      As a 2013 grad, Div. II coaches can’t have contact with your son away from their campus earlier than June 15. For Div. I coaches that date is July 1. These same dates exist for coaches to be able to initiate phone calls to your son. I think it’s good that your son has been urged to initiate phone calls to the coaches, but they should not be returning those calls until the dates above. (They can be e-mailing him, however, and hopefully have been doing so.)

      My personal opinion is that prior to the dates above he can walk by them to simply say “Hi Coach” and acknowledge that he knows they were there, but he should not approach them with the intent of starting a conversation because that will put them in an awkward position. Some will fudge the rules and chat with him a bit, but he should not expect them to.

      Good luck to your son!

      Rick

      • Colleen says:

        Thanks for your quick response.. I think he just wanted to thank the coach for making a 4 hr ride to see him pitch. Your advice is greatly appreciated.

  • Michael says:

    Rick, my son went to a D1 never played baseball for fall -spring 2009-2010, then the next year went to a Juco 2010-2011, played and received A.A.in August 2011. A NAIA college gave him a Scholarship. He went this past fall and is playing this spring 2011-2012. He has 90 semester units after this semester. He wants to transfer to a specific D2 for fall 2012-2013. He submitted an application with transcripts. Looks like he will be accepted. What should he do regarding his present college athletic department(ei. when should he tell them? Does he need a release. No contact has been made to the future school’s coaches yet.

  • Lauren says:

    Hi Rick,
    So I originally played soccer at a NAIA school my first semester as a freshman but transferred at semester to play soccer for a NCAA II division school. I would like to try transferring to a NCAA Division I school but I was wondering if I will have to sit out a year for my eligibility because I have already used my one time transfer, but does it make a difference that my original school was NAIA?

    Lauren

  • Jeffery says:

    Hi Rick,
    I am going to be a preferred walk on at an out of state div. 1 college. If i do not recieve a scholarship after this year i will be forced to transfer due to money issues.
    I first contacted this college requesting a preferred walk-on spot and then recieved phone calls about my future as a PWO. Does this make me a “recruited” athlete?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Jeffery,

      Yes, if the Div. I college made more than one phone call to you regarding your participation as a preferred walk-on, then that makes you a “recruited” student-athlete.

      Good luck!

      Rick

  • Pete Guys says:

    Hey Rick,

    I contacted you last year on a grey shirt question, which you were correct that it didnt apply to baseball, basically he sat out a year, my son still stayed with at the same DI school and now this year he is on the 35 man roster classified as a freshman, the problem is that he has not been put in any games, not a pitch or at bat, he is not on the coach’s pet list. He has alot of talent and can play DI baseball its just a coach issue in my opinion, he’s not the only kid on the team like that. My question is can he transfer to a DI with out sitting out a year.

    Your input is greatly appreciated

    Pete Guys

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Pete,

      You’ll have to refresh my memory – was your son recruited to the Div. I program? Is he on a baseball scholarship? (I think he was recruited there, but I want to doublecheck.)

      If the answer to either of these is Yes, then he would have to sit out a year upon transfer to another Div. I program. He could, however, transfer to a Div. II or NAIA program with immediate eligibility as long as his current school can certify that he would be academically eligible if he were returning to that school rather than transferring.

      Good luck to your son!

      Rick

  • Pete Guys says:

    Thanks for the reply Rick,

    Garrett was not recruited, we went to the schools camp/try out and afterwards was offered a preferred walk-on, after the fall he was grey shirted. Then this year he made the 35 man roster and classified as a Freshman but has yet to get any work in. The funny part is, the team is having a losing season and the coach is still only using his favorites. Sad. Thats the main reason we are looking at transferring, we dont think we can get playing time here at this DI. His GPA and college credit hours are up to par for DI.

    Thanks Rick,

    Sincerely,

    Pete

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Pete,

      Since your son was not recruited, then he can use the One-Time Transfer Exception to be immediately eligible at another Div. I program. Keep in mind that in case he desires to transfer within the same conference, they usually have conference rules which are more strict than NCAA rules and would probably require him to sit out in his first year.

      Rick

  • Pete Guys says:

    Thanks Rick, I really appreciate the info. Anyone reading this thread, I want you to know that Rick Allen knows his stuff. I have also spoken with Rick by phone and he has the knowledge of this NCAA mumble-jumble that us parents can’t understand. I recommend him to anyone out there.

    Thanks again Rick,

    Pete Guys

  • Pete Guys says:

    Hey Rick,

    Is there a release form he will get from the current school he is attending? Or is it verbal or how does that work so he will be able to start making contact with other schools.

    Thanks,

    Pete

  • Jeff says:

    My son went to a DIII school to play baseball. He played fall ball with the team but decided he didn’t like the school and left after the first semester. He attended a community college for the second semester. He has now enrolled in a DII school for the 2013 fall semester and wants to walk on to the FOOTBALL team. One of the coaches there said he needs a release from the DIII school. Is that true if he didn’t officially play for the team?

    • Jeff says:

      Sorry, I meant he enrolled in a DII school for the 2012 fall semester.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Jeff,

      Was your son enrolled at the community college as a full-time student? If that’s the case, then I don’t agree that he needs a release from the Div. III school. However, if he was only enrolled at the community college as a part-time student, he will need permission from the Div. III school before coaches at any Div. II (or I) school can talk with him about a transfer. This is because your son was an athlete at the Div. III school, even if it was in a different sport.

      Rick

  • Mike says:

    My son is completing his second year as a DIII baseball player. He is currently getting interest from DI and DII programs, will he have to sit-out a year of eligibility if he transfers?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Mike,

      As long as your son was not recruited to the Div. III school (see the post on our website with the definition of a recruited athlete), he could transfer to a Div. I program and be immediately eligible as long as he meets the academic requirements at the Div. I program (Div. III program can certify that he would be eligible if he were staying rather than transferring, and must have at least 40% of his chosen degree program at the Div. I completed).

      If going to a Div. II program, it doesn’t matter whether he was recruited, he would just have to meet the Div. II academic requirements at the time he transfers (Div. III program can certify that he would be eligible if he were staying rather than transferring).

      Good luck to your son!

      Rick

      Rick

      • Mike says:

        Thank You for your response I have an additional question about off-campus contact. Our son applied to and was accepted to the DIII school in May of his senior year. In June of that year the DIII coach attended his high school championship baseball game and chatted with us and my son. It wasn’t to recruit him because he was already accepted at the college and had sent a deposit. Does this count as off-campus contact? Thank You

        • Rick Allen says:

          Mike,

          Yes, that does count as an off-campus contact. Taken straight from the Div. III Manual, “Actions by staff members or athletics representatives that cause a prospective student-athlete to become a recruited prospective student-athlete at that institution are: (b) Having an arranged, in-person, off-campus encounter with the prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s relatives, guardian(s) or individual of a comparable relationship.”

          Rick

  • Joan says:

    Hi Rick,

    I am a women’s basketball player, I started off with a scholarship to a division 2 program that was in my home state and ended up being a redshirt. I then transferred to an out of state division 3 program. I have finished my 2nd year there and I am about to be a senior academically and will be able to finish in spring 2013 but I will still have one more year of eligibility left. I am considering finishing my last year of eligibility at the division 2 school I was originally recruited at because the head coach was dismissed and I would like to play in front of my family for my last year. Is this possible to do without having to sit out a year since I never technically played at the division 2 school in the first place? I will be graduating with a business degree but i am trying to get into med school so I would continue my education at the division 2 school with science courses to fill the prerequisites for med school. Thank you.

    -Joan

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Joan,

      Yes, it is definitely possible for you to play at the Div. II school after you graduate from the Div. III school in 2013. As long as you graduate from the Div. III school, there is a Graduate Student Transfer Exception for NCAA Div. II schools that you should be able to take advantage of.

      It would be a good idea to contact the NCAA compliance administrator at the Div. II school to explain your plan and make sure that they can confirm that you will be able to use that Exception since they will be responsible for certifying your eligibility for the 2013-14 academic year. The Div. II school might tell you that they can’t talk with you unless they have written permission from your current school, but just explain to them that you’re not planning to transfer now, you just want to confirm that you would be able to do it a year from now.

      Good luck!

      Rick

  • David says:

    Rick,

    My son played football for 2 years at a JC. He did not receive a scholarship offer and decided to walk on at a D1-A (FBS) program. They have told him that he will redshirt this fall and will get a shot next spring. If he is not satisfied with the outcome after spring training next year, would he be able to transfer to another FBS or FCS program and play immediately?

    He is an unrecruited athlete by the rules that you laid out above.

    Thanks,

    David

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi David,

      Yes, he would be able to transfer and play immediately as long as he met the academic requirements for the One-Time Transfer Exception. The school he transfers FROM would have to be able to certify on a Transfer Information Form that he would be academically eligible the following Fall if he were staying at that school rather than transferring. In addition, since he would be entering his 4th year of college, he would have to have 60% of his degree requirements completed in order to meet the Division I Progress Toward Degree requirements.

      Good luck to your son!

      Rick

  • Jay Frank says:

    Rick,
    My daughter was invited to walk on to a university golf team not under a scholarship as she was told there were none to be had. While waiting to play the first year as freshman there was a coaching change and the coach is reluctant to give her any financial help. She played as a freshman and started for team in half the events and is considering her options for sophomore year at school. She visited the coach while attending freshman orientation with us (Coach that left). Coach has never contacted parents or daughter about school or program. Under your four requirements above I’m confident none of those have happened so is she able to transfer and play for another D1 school immediately and can she talk with other coaches or can we as her parents?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Jay,

      Before coaches at other Div. I (or Div. II) schools can talk with you or your daughter about a possible transfer, they will need to receive written permission from her current school. It is possible that she can transfer to another Div. I school and be immediately eligible if the specified criteria are met. If you would like more information on navigating the transfer process, contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com.

      Rick

  • Mike says:

    My son plays DIII baseball and has interest from DI programs do you need a release from the DIII coach/program just to speak to a DI program in the off season?

  • Kevin Murphy says:

    Rick,

    My son is a rising sophomore at an ACC school. Based on the factors listed in the NCAA rules as to what constitutes a recruited athlete, I’m not sure exactly where he would stand. He was on the fall roster last year but did not make the spring 35. He was invited back and will go back this fall. In early January this year when it was clear that he would not be on the 35 he asked for and received a release. He talked to a few schools. My question is this: would the release he received in January allow him to contact other schools through the summer? He is interested in talking to one school in particular before he goes back for the fall semester. Can he contact this coach who recruited him when he was in high school? Thanks.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Kevin,

      Ultimately, the question of whether a release provided in January will still allow your son to talk to other schools may be determined by those other schools. Another coach will likely receive your son’s release, look at it, and then take it to their compliance coordinator to ask if it is still valid. For that reason, it would probably be best for your son to be up front with his coach and request an updated release. Or, check with the compliance coordinator to ask if it is still valid. (It is not clearly stated in the NCAA Manual.)

      Good luck to your son!

      Rick

  • SJ says:

    My son was offered a baseball roster spot at a D1 school – no scholarship. How should I read this? Would this be considered a ‘preferred walk on’? What questions should I ask the coach about this ‘offer’.
    Thanks

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi SJ,

      This would be what many people call a “preferred walk-on”, but for me, what is much more important is whether your son will be considered a “recruited student-athlete.” Has the interaction that those coaches have had with your son triggered the definition of “recruited?”

      To discuss the questions your son should ask and the things to be aware of, it would be best if we had a phone discussion. Contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com if you’d like to set up a call.

      Rick

  • Tim J. says:

    I just got out of the military,and will be walking on to a D-2 football team.I’m listed as a freshmen. My question to you is, will i be able to transfer to a d-1 school next year and still be able to play my first year with the team or do i have to sit out a year even tho i wasn’t recruited by my d-2 school? And when can i start contacting the d-1 coaches to let them know i want to be apart of the team/school and set up a school visit? Thanks

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Tim,

      You certainly don’t want to contact coaches at any other school until the end of this season because as soon as the Div. II coaches find out your planning to leave after one year, your chances at playing time are nil. Since you weren’t recruited to your Div. II school, you should be able to be immediately eligible upon transfer to Div. I as long as you are meeting the academic requirements for transfer.

      Good luck!

      Rick

      • Tim J. says:

        Thanks!! So as soon as the season is over, I can talk to the school i want to attend? Do i need written permission from my d-2 school before i talk to the d-1 school? How does that process work? And final question, when is the best time to transfer?

        • Rick Allen says:

          Tim,

          Will you be eligible as a freshman at the Div. II school? Have you been certified as a Qualifier by the NCAA Eligibility Center? If not, you should plan to stay at your Div. II school for your first year of enrollment. You will need written permission to speak with coaches from any other four-year school. Your should start that process with your coaches at the end of your season or your freshman academic year, depending upon your eligibility status.

          Rick

          • Tim J. says:

            eligible for what? to play football or to transfer? I have been cleared to play by the NCAA Eligibility center website. And will barely have enough college credit to transfer. Can i make an “official” visit after the season is done? How do i do about doing that? If i get a written permission first of course

          • Rick Allen says:

            Tim,

            Actually, eligible for both, because they relate to each other. It might be best at this point if you send me a direct e-mail at rick@informedathlete.com, and we can go into more detail.

            Rick

  • William says:

    My son is about to start his 3rd year with FCS football program as a “preferred” walkon. He unofficially redshorted his 1st year. He lettered his 2nd year. They list him as a junior on the roster, even though he still has only used 1 year athletically. He is in very good standing with coaches, but we’re not sure he will get scholarship or fair shot at moving up as they seem to favor partial shcolarship players with those limited opportunities.

    Of the 4 rules for being considered a “recruited” athlete, the only questionable one is the last, which asks if coaches initiated more than 1 phone call .. there were many emails and some phone calls with his recruiter. But we recruited them much more than they recruited my son. They refused to even give him an official visit. And we had to convince them to even allow him to attend their fall camp before his 1st year. The finally agreed just weeks before their fall camp started .. this after we verbally committed to school months earlier.

    Anyway, can he transfer to another FCS school right now and be immediately eligible this fall ?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi William,

      If the compliance office does NOT have your son classified as “recruited,” he can transfer to another FCS school and be immediately eligible (as long as his current school will agree to the One-Time Transfer Exception, and can certify that he would be eligible if he were returning rather than transferring).

      If he is classified as recruited, he can only be immediately eligible if he transfers to an FCS school that doesn’t offer athletic scholarships. If you have additional questions or need more detail, you can contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com.

      Rick

  • William says:

    Thanks for the quick answer. Follow up question – is the school’s compliance office allowed to tell the football program that an inquiry was made by one of their players and reveal the name ? As you can imagine, it might make things worse.

    • Rick Allen says:

      William,

      Yes. If the athlete’s question to the compliance office is “I’d like permission to contact other schools about a possible transfer” the next thing that will happen is the compliance office will contact the football coach to ask if he has any objection to granting the athlete’s request. An athletic director is not going to permit the compliance office to grant such a request without checking first with the coaching staff.

      Rick

  • John says:

    Hi Rick
    I’ve just started as a freshman soccer player for an NAIA university, with an athletic scholarship. If I wanted to transfer next year would I have to sit out a year? also is it possible to transfer after one semester ?

  • lee says:

    I’ve enjoyed your posts. TY.
    My son is a PWO at a Div 1 school where meals have been mandatory and provided by the coaches (school). Doubles have finished and classes will start tomorrow. My son was told that if he wanted to eat with the team from now on he would have to pay. What does that say to you? I found it a bit odd!

    • Rick Allen says:

      Lee,

      That will be true of any walk-on at any university. Only the athletes on an athletic scholarship that covers their meal plan are permitted to eat without paying for the meals. They have been provided prior to the start of classes because your son was required to be present for practice prior to classes starting. This is totally normal for any walk-on athlete. He might occasionally be provided a meal at no charge if a night practice, for example, interferes with his opportunity to get to dinner in the dorm.

      Rick

  • lee says:

    Thank you so much. I feel much better and that totally makes sense.

  • allan says:

    If an athlete transfers can they play in spring game on their year of residency? football

  • Jay says:

    Hi Rick,
    My son was a preferred walk-on at a Div. II University. First, since the coach came to visit him at his high school before he attended the university last year, is he automatically considered a recruit? Second, he Is a redshirt sophomore this year but would like to transfer to a Div I University after this season. Since he has never received any scholarship money from the University, is he immediately eligible to start playing under the “One Time Transfer Exception”? Thirdly, since he is a walk-on, does he still need written permission from current Div. II School to contact Div I school (he does qualify academically).
    Thanks
    Jay

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Jay,

      Yes, your son is considered a recruited athlete. As such, if his sport is baseball, football, or basketball, he will have to sit out from competition during his first year of attendance at a Div. I school. All student-athletes, whether walk-ons or on scholarship, have to have written permission from their current school before coaches at other schools can speak with them about a possible transfer. If you’d like details on the academic requirements for a transfer, contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com.

      Rick

  • Matt says:

    Rick,

    If student-athlete is a preferred walk-on at a Division I-A football program, is he eligible to play during his freshman season?

    Thanks!

    • Rick Allen says:

      Matt,

      That has nothing to do with whether an athlete is eligible or not. The determination is made by the NCAA Eligibility Center. The student-athlete must register with the Eligibility Center and have their official ACT or SAT test scores and their high school transcript(s) sent to the Center.

      Rick

  • Kurt says:

    Rick

    My son is a Sr in high school and has been offered a “preferred walk on” by a D1. He has been told he will have an opportunity to earn a scholarship his 2nd year if he earns a starting position on the football team. The school is a state school and is out of state to where we reside. My question is can my son still receive academic scholarship money while he is a PW? I have been told that the only way he can receive academic scholarships is that he walks on and not be a PW?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Kurt,

      Yes, your son can still receive academic scholarships while a PW. As long as he qualifies for such scholarships based on his HS GPA, class rank, or ACT or SAT test score the same as any other incoming freshman student would, that would be permissible.

      Good luck to your son!

      Rick

  • Andy says:

    Rick,
    I am a D2 player and I would like to transfer to a D1 school. Would I have to sit out? Also, would I be allowed to receive a scholarship? Would I have to wait till the off season to talk to other coaches?

  • Joe Haynes says:

    Hi Rick,

    My son is a SOPHOMORE pitcher. At what time can he officially be recruited? When can coaches contact him via phone, email, letter? Typically, when do baseball players get offered a scholarship or preferred walkon?

    Really appreciate your help.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Joe,

      If he visits a college campus, he can talk to coaches while on campus at almost any time. NCAA Div. I coaches can send e-mails and letters starting Sept. 1 of Junior year, and can call beginning July 1 after junior year. (Coaches can also talk to him on phone prior to that if he calls them and they answer the phone, but they can’t initiate or return a call until that July 1 date.)

      NCAA Div. II coaches can call, write, or e-mail beginning June 15 after sophomore year. The offering of scholarships or walk-on spots depends upon the talent level of the player. For many players, it can be spring or summer of junior year.

      Rick

  • Mary says:

    Hello , My son is currently a freshman at a d2 school. He was a preferred walk on to play baseball. He tried out this fall and has been cut from the varsity tryouts to the jv team. He wants to transfer to another d2 school. Can he do this? He never took any money, just practiced during the ‘tryout’ period with the program.

    If he wants to apply to other schools, my understanding is that we can go ahead with the applications but cannot contact any of the coaches until he gets a release from his current school. Do we have to type the request and have it signed?

    thanks for any info.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Mary,

      Your understanding is correct that you can apply to other schools, but coaches at those schools can’t speak with your son about a possible transfer until they receive written or e-mailed permission from his school. You don’t have to type the request and have it signed. Either your son’s school will have a form (hard copy or e-mail format) that they fill out and send to other schools, or they will request that the schools that your son is interested in send them a “Permission to Contact” request which they can complete and return.

      Rick

  • Yolanda says:

    My son is a 2nd year college student who was allowed to participate in a D1 Basketball program after a miscommunication between the head coach and his assistant. The assistant coach made a promise to my son that if he work out keep his grades up and play intrameral basketball during the fall, winter and spring semester he would be given a spot on the team. The head coach was not aware of the promise and during the first week of practice they did some cuts, related to numbers (according to coaches). However, after learning the misundertsanding the head coach allowed my son to participate on the team. However, the coaching staff is not allowing my son to scrimmage at the end of practice, which is frustrating my son, and we are thinking he will not be allowed to play in the game. He is partcipating in everything else but when the coach start the scrimage my son is not being allowed to participate. My son is thinking about transfering at the end of the semester as he has been offered a scholarship at the D3 level in which he would most likely get a chance to play in the games. Do you think he should transfer and is there any rules I need to be aware of. Also how many more years will he be eligible to play. Do you think we should ride it out or transfer out?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Yolanda,

      It would be possible for him to transfer to an NCAA Div. III school and be eligible in his first year there. He’ll have to have permission from his current school before coaches at any other four-year college can talk with him about a possible transfer. If you have additional questions, contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com.

      Rick

  • Kathy Bateman says:

    My son is a soph pitcher at a junior college, he changed his major this year so won’t finish with his associates degree. He might have the opportunity to play for a div 1 school next fall will not having his degree effect his eligibility ?
    Also if he is a preferred walk on how many players do they offer these to and does this mean he could be cut after he gets there in the fall?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Kathy,

      Not earning his Associates Degree could affect his eligibility if he was not a Qualifier with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Div. I programs can have up to 27 guys on scholarship, so most programs will have 8 walk-ons on the team when the 35-man roster is established.

      Rick

  • Deb LaVenice says:

    Rick:
    My daughter has a full volleyball scholarship at a D1 school. She is also a basketball player and may want to see if she can play both. She was told by the athletic director that if she played both sports, she would have to relinquish her v-ball scholarship. Can you play two sports and still retain a scholarship?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Deb,

      It is possible to play two sports and still retain a scholarship, but it won’t work in your daughter’s situation, because a scholarship in basketball has a higher “priority.” Therefore, if your daughter chooses to play both sports, her scholarship would have to count in basketball, and I have to assume that the athletic director told her that because the basketball team is already at their scholarship limit.

      The reason for that rule is that at some point a number of years ago, basketball coaches were trying to bring in extra players (in excess of the basketball scholarship limits) by placing them on a volleyball scholarship, so the NCAA enacted a rule to close that loophole.

      Rick

  • Dad says:

    Rick,

    My son has been offered and accepted a “Preferred Walk-On” from a great D-1 Football program. Based on the NCAA criterion listed above he was not “recruited”. However, the team got him admitted to the University by using athletic preference through admissions since his GPA would probably not have allowed him to attend based on academic merit alone. Does this have any affect on his “recruited” status?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Dad,

      In the “old days” earlier in my compliance career, that action would have caused him to be considered to be recruited, but not any more. Preferential treatment in admissions does not affect his “recruited” status. (However, to be honest, the fomer compliance person in me would be checking the coach’s phone logs, because it seems likely to me that in most cases, they would have had more than one phone call to a recruit to whom they were providing preferred admission status.)

      Rick

  • Steve Mac says:

    Rick,
    Does Men’s basketball have a tighter definition of “recuited” student athlete? I came across rule 13.12.1.1.1.1 and it seems to include emails (even introductory emails from a player to a coach). If this rule is in effect then almost every basketball player would be “recruited” under this definition. That would have implications for Walk-ons who wanted to transfer later I suppose. Many thanks for helping to clarify. Great blog. Steve

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Steve,

      That’s a great catch on your part, and you’ve reminded me that I need to update that post! You are correct – that expanded definition of a “recruited” student-athlete applies for the sport of men’s basketball only, and only at the NCAA Div. I level.

      Rick

  • Tom says:

    Rick,
    My son attends a D3 school and played on the JV squard. He is thinking about a transfer closer to home. Looking at another D3 school or NAIA. What eligilibily does he have left. What are the transfer requirements for this?

    Thanks

    Tom

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Tom,

      I can’t tell you how much eligibility he has left if you don’t tell me how much he’s already used, or long he has been enrolled there. The first step in transferring to another Div. III school is that he needs to send an NCAA “self-release” form to the other school. Do a search for this form on the NCAA website at http://www.ncaa.org.

      Rick

  • James says:

    Hi Rick,

    I came into a division 1 school for baseball last year as a preferred walk on but never had any money or even a phone call for that matter with the coaches at my school. There was never any interaction with my parents either just a few emails with my high school coach and one or two emails with me then I called them over the phone and said I would like to go there so I guess verbally committed during that call. Entering last year I got surgery and took the rest of the year off. I returned to school this year and it has not been a pleasant experience. I have other division 1 schools interested in me and possibly in giving me money for next year at the conclusion of this season which I will be starting. Will I be able to transfer to another division 1 at the end of this Spring without sitting out a year? I read over the definition of a recruited athlete and I really don’t think I would apply due to the 1 phone call prior to attending that I made to them but please let me know your thoughts and concerns. Thank you in advance Rick and Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi James,

      Based on what you have told me, I agree that you should not have to sit out if you transfer to another Div. I school. Keep in mind, however, that to use the One-Time Transfer Exception, you’ll need to be released by your current school and be satisfying all academic requirements for eligibility.

      Good luck!

      Rick

  • Daniel says:

    My son was a recruited scholarship athlete last year. He was a red shirt freshman due to an injury so he sat out the whole year though he was on the roster and did practice a little. This year the school cancelled his scholarship. He played Fall season and was told by the coach that he would not make the team for this spring. Can he transfer to another D1 program without sitting out a year, or is he stuck with D2 or JUCO as his alternatives? Thank you!

  • Sue says:

    Rick,
    My son walked on at a D-1 school this year playing lacrosse. He decided early in the fall that he did not want to stay at that school and stopped playing fall ball. He is not returning in the spring and will attend a Comm College and not play lacrosse anywhere. He is planning to enroll in another university next fall that currently has a club lacrosse program. Since he will not have played at all, will he still have 4 years of eligibility and can he play at the other universtity on their club team next year?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Sue,

      Since the club team is not governed by NCAA rules, I can’t answer your question with certainty. If he was going to transfer to another Div. I school with a varsity lacrosse program, he would not be eligible in his first year there unless he had stayed at the two-year college long enough to earn his Associates Degree.

      Rick

  • Justine says:

    Hey Rick,

    I’m currently a junior at a D2 school and am planning on trying to walk-on to the women’s basketball team. Here are some details:
    I’m planning on doing an extra year, and since I haven’t played any NCAA sports, that gives me two years to play.
    The coach has already told me its a long shot, but I was planning on working my tail off anyway.
    Five of the seven graduating seniors play the same position I do, Forward/Post.
    The coach just recruited four new players, three of which play Forward/Post.

    My question to you is, when can a coach cut a student athlete? If I end up being better than these incoming freshmen (which I plan on), is she able to go back on her offer and cancel the contract? Not sure as to the details.

    Thank you very much,

    Best,

    Justine

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Justine,

      A coach can cut a student-athlete at any time, even if the athlete was recruited to the school and is on an athletic scholarship. And I don’t know what you mean by “cancel the contract” since you’ll be joining the team as a walk-on.

      Good luck!

      Rick

  • Michael Nunez says:

    Hey Rick,

    I’m currently attending a D1 school and I’m trying to transfer schools in order to play baseball. Here is the situation:

    I started playing baseball my freshman year for a D2 school in their JV team as a walk-on. After putting up great numbers but, knowing that I wasn’t going to get a starter role in the varsity team I transferred to my current D1 school where the coach recruited me but I had to go as a walk-on. I knew I had to sit out a year because of transfer rules, so I did. Early last semester, that coach resigned (beginning of sophomore year) and the assistant coach took over and told me to play club baseball to stay active in games and that he’ll take me in next semester. The coach didn’t give me the chance to try-out because he now has too many players in the roster which he has to cut, therefore made me make the decision to transfer again.

    Is it possible for me to transfer to a D1 or D2 school and play right away next semester? If not, could you suggest any other options?

  • linda says:

    hello,

    my son was recently offered a spot on the roster for a d1 school for lacrosse. the coach did not offer an athletic scholarship, but he said he would be a “recruited walk-on.” does he still get everything everyone else does? is he guaranteed a spot on the roster for all four years?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Linda,

      In terms of what your son would “get” as a recruited walk-on, he would probably be issued the same equipment and apparel as the scholarship athletes, and he should be provided the same academic assistance, and training room services. Keep in mind that not even a scholarship athlete is guaranteed a spot on the roster for all four years. I’ve heard of scholarship baseball players getting cut in their first semester before their freshman season even started.

      If your son is being offered lacrosse scholarships, even if they are at smaller or less desirable schools, he should seriously consider those. Many times, it is better to go where a coach will invest a scholarship in you, because that demonstrates they truly “want you” on their team.

      Rick

  • Brian says:

    Rick,
    A D1AA football university contacted my son as a Preferred walkon, he has been sent e-mails saying that they feel he will be a great player for them and they considered him a hybrid. They have visited the high school, called him on the phone, sent him e-mails, invited him to a game, and now invited him to a campus visit/basketball game with some current players hosting him. They really have not guarenteed him anything other than saying he has a chance to get scholarship eventually. He likes the university but was shocked that they only are considering him as a PFW because of how much they pursued him. My question is will he still have to sign on signing day as a PFW if he accepts this? Can he redshirt as a PFW? And if he signs then he is still considered a recruited player since they have pursued him? Do we have leverage to ask for a grey shirt since I know they really want him but seem to have no scholarship room this year? Any thoughts or advice is greatly appreciated? He has alot of D1 interest but no one is pulling the scholarship offer yet this late in the game very stressful! thanks

  • Myles says:

    Hey, I’m currently in a community college..im a freshman.. I just spent a semester at a junior College getting in by wrestling scholarship.. So now I’m working to reach the requirements to get into clemson .. So as early as fall I can transfer… The earliest would be this fall.. I want to get there by next spring? semester so I can hopefully walk on.. Is there any way I could still get 3 years of play.. How would I go about doing this? Can I simply transfer and walk–on when I get there?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Myles,

      If you’re a Nonqualifier, the ACC rules seem to indicate that if you don’t graduate from the two-year college and meet other academic requirements, that you can’t be eligible at Clemson or any ACC school.

      Rick

  • Brian says:

    Rick,

    Great info on your website. My son is a Freshman at a college that currently does not have intercollegiate soccer–it has club soccer of which he was a member this past fall. However, they will be establishing a D1 soccer program in the next 1-2 years & he hopes to be a part of it.

    He has been invited to practice with a local professional soccer team. He would not play in any games & would not accept any payment or other goodies from the team. Would this arrangement affect his NCAA playing status?

    Thanks,

    Brian

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Brian,

      As long as your son does not participate in any games with the pro soccer team, and does not accept any kind of payment or benefit from them – not even practice gear or apparel – this shouldn’t affect his eligibility. However, I also suggest that he confirm my opinion with the NCAA compliance administrator at his college.

      Keep in mind that NCAA Div. I has a “five-year clock” rule that limits your son’s eligibility to a five-year period from when he first began full-time college enrollment – regardless of whether the school had a varsity soccer program at that time.

      Rick

  • Kenneth stewart says:

    Hello I have a ? About transferring.

    I started out at a Juco in 09-10 played then accepted a scholarship to a division 1 for basketball the following year 10-11 I played at both then my coach was fired at the d1 so I returned home wasn’t in school because of some family problems so I sat the 1st semester of the 11-12 school year then the 2nd semester I attended a d2 program but didn’t play I ended up having a lot going on and didn’t make my grades so then I returned home and ended up at a division 1 NAIA school in the summer this is last summer got my grades up and attended the NAIA last semester but broke my foot and didn’t play but made my grades and ended up leaving after the semester now I am home looking to transfer once again I was wondering if I could go back to a ncaa school esp. Since I haven’t competed in 2 years after this current semester. Please and thanks for taking the time to view this.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Kenneth,

      Because you have transferred multiple times, it’s probably best for you to look at an NAIA school to get on the court as soon as possible. I’m sure you won’t be able to become eligible for an NCAA Div. I school because of their eligibility rules and their “five-year clock”, and it’s unlikely that you can be eligible for a Div. II school until you attend that school for one full academic year.

      I believe that your best shot is NAIA. If you do have to sit out there, you may only have to sit out one semester compared to the year that you would likely need to sit out at an NCAA Div. II school.

      Rick

  • Tom says:

    Rick, my son is a Sophomore at a DIII school. He played as a freshmen during the 2011-2012 academic year. Right before Spring practice this year, 2013, he decided to quit the team. He was not recruited to attend there. Can he finish up the Spring semester and enroll at a DI school next year? If so, will he be a Sophomore for athletic purposes?

  • Jim Elliott says:

    I have a question about Penn state.
    Because of their limits to scholarships, if they have 65 scholrship players, how many other players can they have on their roster? Can they have more players than the limit at any time, and if so, why? such as non-recruited walk-ons.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Jim,

      Without going back and looking at the ruling in that case, I don’t believe they are limited in roster size, but only in the number of players on scholarship. For whatever it’s worth, Div. I FBS programs are only limited in roster size during the practices that occur prior to the start of classes. Once classes start, their roster sizes are limited only by budgets and athletic department policy.

      Rick

  • Janet says:

    Finding great info here, but specifically my question is this:
    My son is a D1(FCS) football preferred walkon. He was not recruited by your definition, we pursued the team, he was not academically eligible for the school but with the help of the Coaches he was admitted. He, as well as ALL freshman players (incl. scholarship freshman) were ALL redshirted for the season. He went thru the fall season as a practice player and continues to be part of the team in all aspects (academic tutoring, meetings, weight training, etc….) The team just posted a updated roster reflecting their new recruits and he is still not listed… is this normal? I understand that he wouldnt have been on the roster earlier since he was a redshirted PWO, but to still not be recognized on the roster…. just wondering what the rules/qualifications are for a D1 (FCS/AA) roster. Thanks so much for your time.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Janet,

      There are no official rules or qualifications for a roster. It is up to the individual school on how, and in what manner, they publicize their roster. I don’t think what you’ve described is normal, but it is the school’s decision.

      Rick

      • Janet says:

        Thank you so much for your reply… Was hoping you would have the “Magic” answer, LOL! Being a parent of an athlete is a tough position to be in; I dont feel it is appropriate to approach the issue with the coaching staff, but at the same time I would like to know what the reason is. I’m so thankful to them for academically getting him accepted into such a respected University. Education should always be the priority, but it’s easy to lose track of that when your so passionate about football ~ unfortunately I think this happens too often to many parents of student athletes. Looking fwd to exploring your site more, glad I found it. Thanks again!

      • Janet Smith says:

        Rick…
        Just had to give a “shout out” that my son is FINALLY on the roster! Spring practice is well underway and his name is finally there! Again, enjoy your site and just in general enjoy reading about other senerios… it’s a crazy NCAA world out there! :)

  • Rebecca says:

    Hi Rick,

    I am so new at this! I have read all the posts on this page…what great information!
    My son is a senior. He LOVES basketball, but is an extremely gifted baseball pitcher. We went to a D2 baseball recruiting showcase a week ago, and the head coach called and offered him a PWO position. He explained that he would need to watch him pitch in a game to offer scholarship funds. I am fine with that and I am thrilled! It’s a great school and a great fit for him. This morning, my son kind of panicked about possibly missing out on getting a basketball offer (there are only JC’s and NAIA small schools at this point), and told me if he got ANY basketball offer he would take it. I feel that he hasn’t been “recruited” officially because there was only one phone call, but I still wanted your feedback!

    Thanks!

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

      1. Your son will need to decide if he wants to do basketball or baseball in college. There aren’t a lot of schools where he’ll have the chance to do both since the seasons overlap, so he’s going to need to decide which one to pursue.
      2. This next point is harder when you’re comparing different sports, because you don’t have an “apples to apples” comparison. But it’s often better to go where a coach is willing to invest a scholarship in the athlete. In many cases, the coach will give that athlete a greater chance to succeed because of the scholarship investment compared to an athlete who’s not getting a scholarship.

      If you want to discuss your son’s situation, contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com.

      Rick

  • Paul says:

    Hi Rick -
    My son was recruited and signed a NLI at a D1 school. During his FR season, he was suspended during the spring term due to breaking team rules. Although team rules called for a rwo-week suspension, they decided not to let him participate with the team the entire spring baseball season. He also was informed after the season his schalorship would be suspended and the coach decided a redshirt would be the best option aince the season was almost completed. He was informed he could earn the scholorship back after the season, but he would return as a preferred walk-on. He’s now in his 3rd semester (including the one he was suspended for) and has heard nothing regarding a possible reinstatment of his scholorship. He’s currently traveling with the team for this current season. He has not seen any action as of yet (3 games), and wants to transfer. If he transfers to a D1 or D2 school is it possible to not sit out a year? Also, another current player was suspended earlier this fall for the same infraction of team rules. He was not suspended and did not lose his scholorship, which obviously has us upset how this was handled? Please Advise and thank you

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Paul,

      If your son transfers to another Div. I school, he will have to sit out from competition during his first year attending that school. If, however, he transfers to a Div. II school, it will be possible for him to be immediately eligible at the next school.

      Rick

  • Greg says:

    One question if I have 2years left on my clock to play Div.1 does that count for Div.1aa as well

  • Bill says:

    My son was recruited for d1. Played in 22 games then had an injury and was out the rest of the season. Upon returning this year as a sophmore (along with a huge recruiting incoming class) he was injured again and not well enough to play until November. Coach has not played him at all this season. He is healthy. Does he lose this year for eligibility and if he did transfer d1-d1 would he have to sit out?. Hockey is the sport.

  • Kym says:

    My daughter is a senior playing “club volleyball” coached by the head and asst coach of a D2 school thst she plans to play for. She has visited the school n stayed on campus for team bonding prior too club season. She made a verbal committed to the coach. After reading many of yr post I am second guessing the outcome of the situation. Playing club vball for future college coach/coaches has been great…a jump start on the other incoming players. Signing isn’t going to be done until April. QUESTIONS ARE: Should we be asking now what they are offering as for vball? She has been notified from the college finacial dept that 4,000 from state lottery and 10,000 from school academic scholarship for good
    grades(3.87) are her awarded gifts. That’s 14,000 of the 30,000 that it cost per year. She has stopped looking and talking to other D1 and D2 coaches. Wie hsve nothing in writing right now. What advice would you give to concern parents? I understand that the signing dates different from sport to sport …but should we already have something as to document her commitment.

    THANKS KYM

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Kym,

      I believe you should definitely be asking what (if anything) they are going to offer her for a volleyball scholarship. You mentioned that she has stopped looking at other Div. I and II schools. These coaches are probably already aware of this. Therefore, she has no bargaining power. They have little incentive to give her a volleyball scholarship if they believe she’s already made up her mind to enroll there, and isn’t looking anywhere else.

      Rick

      • Mike says:

        Hi Rick, so are you saying, the coaches even though they offered to sign her verbally, they don’t have too? We are in same situation with our daughter. Thanks Kym, great questions

        • Rick Allen says:

          Mike,

          That’s correct. In most cases, coaches will not back out on a verbal offer because they know that their reputation will be damaged if they do it too often. However, a verbal offer is not binding on either party.

          Rick

  • Josie says:

    Hi Rick,

    I went through the scenarios above but could not find a similar situation. My son is on D1 Baseball as a freshman. Has not played and feels will redshirt eventually. He was unfortunately “recruited” preferred walk-on. So not eligible for the 1 time transfer rule to be able to got to another D1 school. Can he go to a D2 school and not “sit” out the first year?

    Thanks Josie

  • Footballman says:

    If I walked on to a D1 football team during open try outs last august, did not recieve any financial reward, did not go on an official visit, can I transfer to another d1 and be able to play next season? this would be my first transfer and I wasnt recruited by the school Im at now

  • Pantherdad says:

    Hi Rick
    My son during his high school years attended several baseball camps at this D-1 school and doing so has gotten the assistant coach and recruiting coach’s attention. After 2 separate phone conversation’s (one with me) he was offered a spot on the team but with no scholarship. We have sense found out that he is going to be considered a walk-on in the fall. If he dosent make the team will he be able to move to a another school with out sitting out? They did ask for his commitment back in February.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Pantherdad,

      Were those two separate phone conversations initiated by the coaching staff? Did they place the calls to you and your son? If so, he is considered “recruited” to this Div. I school, and would have to sit out his first year if he subsequently transfers to another Div. I program.

      If your son is, and remains, non-recruited to the Div. I school, he would not have to sit out on transfer to a second Div. I program. He could also possibly be eligible upon transfer to a Div. II program regardless of his “recruited” status.

      Rick

  • John Fred says:

    can a d1 school tell a d3 athlete they are interested before he gets a release form.

  • Mike G. says:

    Good afternoon Rick. Quick question on behalf of my son. He currently attends (2nd semester) a Div1 school in NC, he was not recruited by them.

    He was recruited by a Service Academy but didn’t end up going.

    He tried walking on to the baseball team this past fall and was not offered a spot on the roster. The coach over recruits his 8 walk-on spots, so he really had no shot. He’s planning on pitching and training over the summer and trying out again.

    I’m thinking he might be better off contacting a Div.2 school and seeing if he can go down for a tryout and transfer in either for the Fall or Spring of next year.

    Question is: If after contacting a D2 coach and tryout, there is interest, and more contact..Is he then considered having been recruited even though he made the contact and the effort to chase them down?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
    Mike

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Mike,

      Whether your son was “recruited” only matters if he is going to another Div. I school. If he is going to Div. II, III, or NAIA, his recruited status doesn’t matter.

      Rick

      • Mike G. says:

        OK, thank you for your prompt reply.

        I have read about a “letter of permission” for talking to a div2 coach. In his case does this rule apply to him? He threw 2 innings in a fall tryout at his current school, otherwise has had no contact with the coach.

        • Rick Allen says:

          Mike,

          Since he only tried out for the team, that rule doesn’t apply to him. However, don’t be surprised if the Div. II school requests the “permission” anyway just as a part of their standard procedures. The Div. I school could simply respond to their request by stating “not a student-athlete” on the form.

          Rick

  • Thomas says:

    Hey Rick – thanks for all the great info on this site! I have looked and looked and can not find an answer to our issue. My son was recruited and signed a NLI to play basketball for a D1 school. After his freshman year, in which he payed, he transferred to another four year D1 university. He sat out one year and has played the last two years. He is set to graduate this May and now wants to transfer to another four year D1 university.

    My question is can he do this? He does have one year of eligibility left and I understand the graduate transfer rule but does the fact that he has already transferred once from a four year D1 university have any impact on his status?

    Thanks again!!!

    Thomas

  • Jose says:

    Rick.
    I am being offered scholarship in a division 2 school. However there will be an agreement between the school that recruited me and a division 1 school for them to give me the release and transfer in my sophomore year. Will I be able to play without sitting out a year

  • Rick says:

    Rick,
    My son was brought in as a preferred walk-on at a D1 football program, does that require any type of written agreement (LOI)? Also he was asked this summer to do a bodybuilding photo shoot and that he will be compensated for it; with him being a non scholarship athlete is that allowed?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Rick,

      The NCAA doesn’t require a walk-on to sign any written agreement, but the school may require it as a condition of being a team member. Regarding the photo shoot, contact the compliance office of the school that your son will be attending so they can determine if it is permissible.

      Rick

  • Corey says:

    Mr. Allen,

    My Question is, I have a kid who is being recruited as a 2014 prospect. The kid family is very wealthy and the dad is very sure his son will not be eligible to except a financial scholarship offer. Is this true? If, so should the kid let the coaches of the programs that he is interested in know, that he will not be eligible to except an scholarship offer. Thinking this can better his chances on receiving an offer for a roster spot?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Corey,

      Any athlete is eligible to receive an athletic scholarship as long as the athlete meets the academic eligibility requirements. The wealth of a family does not prevent that athlete from being able to receive a scholarship based on athletic ability. Keep in mind that in most situations, coaches are going to provide more chances to succeed to an athlete in whom they have invested a scholarship.

      Rick

  • James says:

    Hello I worked my way on to a Division 1 Football Roster without every being recruited by the school. Two years later a Coaching staff change was made, and the new staff gave me a scholarship for the Spring and summer sessions. I am looking to transfer to a new program for my final year of eligibility. I was never recruited by my current school but did earn an athletic scholarship. Am I still able to transfer and use this exception to not lose my final year because I was never recruited coming out of high school and joined the team completely on my own?

    • Rick Allen says:

      James,

      Because you received an athletic scholarship, you will be required to sit out for a year if you transfer to another Div. I football program, unless you are transferring down from an FBS program to an FCS program. Another option is that you can transfer to a Div. II program and have the chance to be immediately eligible next year.

      Rick

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Rick -
    My son received a basketball scholarship to attend a JUCO this fall. He did not clear NCAA eligibiity (not enough NCAA required classes). He did not take the ACT until early June of this year. If his ACT scores are good, can he transfer after a year or will he need to graduate from the JUCO to attend and play at D1 school? If he CAN transfer, would he have to sit out one year at the D1 level?

  • Confused Mom says:

    Hi Rick

    My son will be a 2014 HS graduate interested in playing Div. I or II soccer. He has had some interest from several coaches. He will be attending several ID camps this summer (after Aug 1/13) and we hope to receive an offer after. He has registered with NCAA eligibility center, written SAT and submitted transcripts. Not sure what to expect next. When can commitments be made by the schools and when can my son accept for September 2014 academic start?

  • Confused Mom says:

    Other than a National Letter of Intent are coaches able to give us anything in writing? (Emails)

  • Sister says:

    My brother started playing basketball as a redshirt in spring of 2009 at a junior college. He then played the next two seasons at that junior college(from Fall 2009-Spring 2011), and then transferred to a Div. III School. He enrolled at the Division III school for Fall 2011 but due to academic reasons (the school didn’t take enough of his credits, and he would have had to take 18 credits each semester to be eligible for the following year), He ended up not playing a single game for the team. In the spring of 2012 he was suspended from that school and for personal reasons took a year off to get his life back on track. He has now been accepted into a Div. I and plans to walk on the basketball team.
    According to the Five year clock his eligibility should be end at the beginning of Spring 2015. Since basketball starts in the fall does that mean he would only be able to play for the first half of the 2014-2015 season and then miss the second half. If yes, is their anyway the NCAA would extend his eligibility for one extra semester.
    He was never recruited by any of these schools, not even the Junior College.

    He was never recruited by any of the schools he played for

    • Rick Allen says:

      Sister,

      You may just have a typo in your question, but your brother’s five-year clock will expire in December of this year (2009-2013) if he was a full-time enrolled student in the Spring of 2009. Based on the info you’ve provided, he has no grounds on which to request an extension of the “clock.”

      Rick

  • David says:

    Hello I am a late recruit,and i just started playing football a year ago, and im an upcoming senior, i want to play at the next so i talked to my coach and we decided during this summer i would go to combines ,and i went to a few camps,but at the combine i set records My vertical was 45 inches and my broad jump was 11 feet,even though i am a late recruit because of my records im still getting attention from d1a school because of my athletic ability a few d1a schools have sent emails and said they have interest but a lot of d1aa schools are sending interest emails.But a lot of the coaches want film,but last year was my first year playing so i dont have much so even though i am so late in this process where do i stand?

    • Rick Allen says:

      David,

      You have plenty of time. Make sure to get film from this Fall, and send it out to coaches as soon as possible. You can even start with your pre-season scrimmages before the regular games begin. And, focus on your academics so that you can be eligible at the schools that express interest in you.

      Rick

  • Richard says:

    Rick-

    Do preferred walk-ons have to sign a LOI? I was under the impression that only athletes getting financial aid signed a LOI.

    Also, is a preferred walk-on subject to the same transfer rules as a scholarship athlete? Say this preferred walk-on was contacted by coaches and told ‘We don’t have a scholarship for you but we want you to come to our school as a preferred walk-on’. Is that considered to be ‘recruited’?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Richard,

      Preferred walk-ons do not sign a National Letter of Intent. However, some schools have such athletes sign a walk-on letter of intent that is specific only for that school.

      A preferred walk-on is subject to the same transfer rules as a scholarship athlete.

      Rick

      • Mema says:

        Rick,

        This is regarding football at a DI FBS school – What if the athlete initially was an invited walk-on then the coaches decided athlete needed to try out for team as a walk on but didn’t make the cut and coaches say try again in the spring. Would the athlete still need to get permission from the current program to speak to other DI Football coaches about possible transfer their school? Would he lose eligibility? Kid is a good student.
        Thank you for your response.

        • Rick Allen says:

          Mema,

          Since the athlete didn’t make the cut, he shouldn’t need permission to contact coaches at other NCAA schools. Regarding his eligibility, that will depend upon his recruited status. See the definition of a recruited athlete at the top of this page.

          Rick

  • Confused Mon says:

    Rick

    Can student athletes get recruited after their freshman year.

    More specifically can a Canadian student-athlete attend and play for a university in Canada then be recruited to a Div I or II and what are the implications.

  • Confused Mon says:

    Should my son apply to universities through the normal application process, even if he is trying to get an athletic scholarship offer?

  • RASHIDA says:

    Two questions, first what does non scholarship D1 club status mean; does it mean they can’t offer a scholarship. Second does a email from a coach denoting they are “seriously recruiting my you” mean anything from a DIV2 school (the coach left his numbers we did not call yet). And does email stating “you would be a great fit in FB program” from non scholarship D1 club school mean anything.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Rashida,

      Yes, non-scholarship club status means that they can’t/won’t offer an athletic scholarship. The e-mails really don’t mean much until you talk with the coach directly to guage the level of interest and his sincerity.

      Rick

  • Sue says:

    My son is just enrolled in a major D1 school. He attended a soccer camp at the school his junior summer and at the end of the camp while still there, the coaches spoke to him at length about coming there to school but said he would have to get admitted on his own merit and said that he would not get NLI or scholarship. The coaches initiated these questions at end of camp during my son’s evaluation. My son had actually signed up for the camp to be seen and evaluated by a smaller D3 coach that was in attendance, but he ended up as MVP of camp and that is when the host D1 coaches approached him. During his end-of-camp evaluation, he was told (and I was there) that they could not offer an NLI, but with his academics he could be admitted on his own merit. Then, he would be fully rostered, be announced with recruit class, travel with team, etc. After returning home, he had official visits to several other schools, but stayed in contact with the first D1 school by email. My son initiated all the conversations but the coach continued to stay in contact and asked for updates on grades and games. My husband and I also spoke with the coach on 2 or 3 occasions, but we initiated the calls after finding out that the coach had recruited another player for my son’s position and who signed an NLI very late spring. We called the coach to get update on our son’s status and were told they were very interested in our son as a player, that they still planned to roster him to team if he could get admitted. My son was admitted and decided to attend there and was put on the roster as promised. However, even though he has a number on the roster site, he doesnt have a jersey with a number, and he does not travel with the team to all the away games. He appears to be a practice player only, despite being told he is part of team. So my questions is he considered a preferred walk-on or a walk-on recruit? If so, if he decides to transfer would he have to sit out a year? I know pretty early in the year to be having these questions, but just want to be informed. Thx, SM

    • Rick Allen says:

      Sue,

      For transfer purposes in the sport of soccer, it doesn’t matter whether your son was recruited or not recruited. His transfer eligibility would depend upon his academic status when he leaves his current school.

      Rick

  • Sue Maria says:

    So if ok academically, he could transfer without sitting out a year?

  • Michele says:

    Rick,
    I have been reading all your posts and they have been very helpful but I have a question that I did not see asked. My Son is a senior in High School. He plays Baseball and is a pitcher. He has been followed by a D1 coach of a pretty good team. He has talked to my son several times and just called him the other day to invite him on an official visit. My Son’s showcase Coach has talked with the D1 coach and told my Son that he is very interested but only wants to give him a roster spot because his velocity has gone down some in fall. Anyway there is another lower level D1 College interested in him and will offer him an athletic and academic scholarship. I feel my Son should go where He is being offered the athletic scholarship because from everything I read in your posts walk on’s have less of an advantage. What would your advice be?
    Thank you,
    Michelle

    • Rick Allen says:

      Michelle,

      Obviously, there are a lot of factors about your son and his situation that I don’t have information on. But generally speaking, it is better to go where a coach has invested a scholarship in the athlete. They will usually give that athlete more chances to succeed than they will for a walk-on.

      Rick

  • Michele says:

    Rick,
    Thank you so much for your honesty. This is a hard decision because my Son always loved the higher level D1 school. He would still like to go on the official visit just to see the program and what the Coach would have to offer in academic money. Would it be wrong of us to do that?
    Thanks, Michelle

  • Michele says:

    Thank you very much! I will look into getting the book :)

  • peppie says:

    I plan to use my last year of eligibility to pursue my masters at the same institution as my undergrad. Since I lose my yearly academic $ per school rules, the coach is finding me more athletic money. I just found out that I will not be allowed to live on campus as a grad student. Can my athletic scholarship be used for off-campus housing and food as well as tuition and books? Not sure if NCAA rules let you do that. Also, can the money be applied to a summer class prior to August pre-season? Thanks

    • Rick Allen says:

      Peppie,

      Yes, your athletic scholarship can be applied toward whatever you choose, unless it is restricted in the way it is awarded by the coach. The athletic department policies will determine whether it can be applied to summer school.

      Rick

  • Evan says:

    Rick,
    I am considered an unrecruited athlete, I never signed a letter of intent, I nor my parents had off campus contact other than one phone call and I’m interested in transferring from D1 to D1. My question is do I still have to ask permission from my current athletic director to contact another school.

  • Evan says:

    Rick,
    I need a little clarification on the one call rule, My current coach has called me more than one time but I only answered one time. Is that still considered initialing one time or am I considered a ‘recruited athlete’?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Evan,

      It will ultimately depend upon how the call was recorded by the coach or the athletic department in their recordkeeping system. But, if the school only calls you one time, you should not be considered a “recruited athlete.”

      Rick

  • Jason says:

    Rick,
    If a college invites a high school student to take an official visit to their college, does that mean they are going to give them an offer?

  • Dillon says:

    Hey,

    If I played at an ACC school. Can I use the 4-2-4 transfer rule, attend a JUCO for 1 full year then transfer BACK to a school in the ACC?

    Thanks.

  • Confused Transfer says:

    Hello.

    I am currently at a D1 school but I transferred here from another d1 school. We just got new coaches in March and to keep it short it is not working out. Am I allowed to transfer again D1 or is my only option D2? I have 3 years of eligibility left. I graduate next December. Is it better for me to leave to a d1 after I graduate?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Confused,

      To be eligible without the requirement that attend the next school for one full year before you can be eligible to play, your only options are NCAA Div. III, or possibly an NAIA school. Because you would be a two-time transfer, you will need to sit your first year at an NCAA Div. I or II program.

      Rick

  • John says:

    Stressed and Confused,

    Our son is in his senior year at HS. He has already lots of contacts to D1 colleges coach staff: 2 came visiting him off campus and several full ride scholarship offers from differnt D1 colleges were made verbally/via telephone and via email. In that sense he is an recruited athlete, right? My question: what needs to be considered handling this situation? He wants to make a kind of shortlist decision in the next couple of weeks and make 3-4 official campus visits before making a final decision for an early signing in November. Are there any hidden traps that should be avoided?
    Thanks for your advice in advance!

    John

  • KC says:

    Rick, My son is a recruited athlete under the NCAA rules. He graduated early to play division 1 football. He practiced with the team in the spring, but did not come back for the fall season. He did continue to take classes at the university.

    The short story is that he is not a fit for their program. He has a release from the school. He is evaluating D1-AA (FCS) options, but there is a full D1 school interested still. Are there tactics or appeals that can be taken for a preferred walk-on to transfer to another D1 school? This would still be a preferred walk-on situation.

  • JD says:

    Rick, my kid will go to official campus visits in early november. what is mandatory formalities beforehand. as far as understood from the discussions here he needs the registration with eligibility center and needs to send HS transcript and ACT/SAT test score to college. That’s it. Correct?

    • Rick Allen says:

      JD,

      That’s correct. He needs to be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center, and have his HS transcript and ACT or SAT test score(s) submitted to the school (or they may be able to get them from his Eligibility Center profile).

      If he’s not visiting campuses until November, keep on eye on our website, as we will very soon be adding a downloadable transcript to the Store of our website that will be titled “Campus Visits 101″ or “Recruiting Visits 101.” It will suggest questions to ask and things to look for during a visit to campus.

      Rick

  • JR says:

    Are NCAA eligibility rules regarding transfer of student athletes only for DI?

    Can a DIII student athlete transfer to a DI school without losing a year of eligibility?

    • Rick Allen says:

      JR,

      NCAA eligibility rules for transfers apply to all three NCAA Divisions. Whether a Div. III athlete could be immediately eligible at a Div. I school would depend upon the sport, their academic standing, and other factors.

      Rick

      • JR says:

        Rick,

        Thanks for the prompt response. I have been reading about this online, and it’s very confusing.

        One thing I could not find is if the student athlete at a DIII school is required to obtain written permission from their current school to talk to other schools (DI and DIII)?

        • Rick Allen says:

          JR,

          A Div. III student-athlete will need written permission before coaches at Div. I can talk with them about a possible transfer. If a Div. III athlete is interested in another Div. III school, there is the possibility of a “self-release”, but there is some risk involved in that approach.

          If you’d like to discuss that risk, and some strategies to deal with it, contact me directly. My contact info is on the “About Us” page of our website.

          Rick

  • Stacy says:

    Mr Allen,
    My daughter is looking at a handful of colleges for possible recruitment to play softball while getting an education. In her Junior year she received a call from an assistant coach from a D2 college. They seemed interested in her. She was injured during the travel ball season and did not get to play much. A couple of days ago, the assistant softball coach, sent her an email to see if she was still interested in their college. They ask her to send them her phone number again and let them know the best time to call her. She provided this information and they called her the same day. She indicated she was still interested in their college.They ask her to have us fill out the FAFSA ASAP and want it in less that 2 days. Can you tell me why and does this mean they have no money to offer and are they looking at other ways to assist her in getting recruited to play softball? She applied to this college a few months ago as she received a free application. The coach was not aware she had applied to her college.I don’t understand why they have waited so long to contact her. She sent several emails to the coach in the past year with absolutely no response. Interesting that they also lost her phone number. They have called her twice. Once in 2012 and again in 2013. Does this mean she is recruited?? Does she need to ask them? We are not sure this is the best college for her.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Stacy,

      The coaches probably want her to fill out the FAFSA because they are watching their limited recruiting funds carefully, and don’t want to give her too much in an athletic scholarship if she will qualify for a large amount of need-based aid. They may have contacted her again after being “off the radar” because other recruits chose not to accept their offers.

      In the sport of softball, her status as recruited really doesn’t matter too much. I wouldn’t worry about that. If you’d like to discuss her situation and her options, contact me directly for a private consultation. Also, you may be interested in our new downloadable transcript titled “Informed Athlete’s Guide to Campus Visits” which can be purchased from the Store of our website.

      Rick

  • Ver says:

    my son played baseball for D1 2012-2013 as Freshman and as walk on. no scholarship money, coach left the school, my son practice this fall with the new coach and was told today that they don’t need him . He loves playing baseball and he want’s to play without sitting a year. what are his option. He still wants to play at D1 if possible. I am not familiar with the NCAA Rules. Thank You

    Thank You in advance.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Ver,

      Your son can be eligible at another Div. I school in Spring 2015, but not Spring 2014. Spring 2014 would be possible at other divisions. If you want me to walk you through the transfer process and his options, contact me directly for a consultation. My contact info can be found on the “About Us” page of our website.

      Rick

  • Mark says:

    Can you explain this to me:
    Non-recruited student-athlete receiving financial aid? Does this make you a walk-on?

    By-Law- 15.5.6.3.4

  • sheila says:

    Hi Rick,

    My daughter has been recruited by a d2 school for soccer. The coaches have made it clear they want her and she accepted. The problem is, they have no money her freshman year which is fine. I looked up letter of intent and NCAA says she must recieve aid to sign that. What will she sign instead? He has us registering on NCAA and says he is sending paperwork. Is this legit??

    Thanks so much!

    • Rick Allen says:

      Sheila,

      She won’t receive a National Letter of Intent if the school isn’t offering an athletic scholarship. The paperwork he is sending may be an institutional letter of intent, which will only mean whatever the athletic department wants it to mean. They also may be sending an application for admission to the school.

      Rick

  • Stavros says:

    My son is a Greek citizen who has attended a US high school. He is an international athlete seeking for a college scholarship. He will graduate next June 14, studying only 3 years but having done all the required NCAA courses (early graduation). When he will be eligible the latest to be recruited ? If it is next January 15 what he has to do (official visit, NLI…) and when ?
    Thanks

  • Alex says:

    Dear Rick,
    My son was thinking about transferring. He is currently a true freshman and attends and plays football at a FCS school that does not offer scholarships. I believe he is considered a recruited athlete since he took an official visit to this school. my questions to you are:
    1) if he transfers to a FBS scholarship school will he be able to use the one time transfer exception to immediately play since the school he is transferring from does not offer football scholarships?
    2) if not and he has to sit out a year in residence will he be able to at least workout with the team or get a copy of the playbook so he can study the plays?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Hi Alex,

      The answers to your questions are:

      1. No, because he was recruited by the FCS school.
      2. He should be able to, as long as he is enrolled and attending classes at the school as a full-time student. That is usually the only requirement (other than passing a physical) to practice with the team as a transfer student.

      Rick

  • Kiki says:

    First, I wish I found this site when my son was a freshman! My son is a senior football player. I was told that if he was offered and signed a letter of intent, he could decommit and commit to another school as long as it was not a lateral move it must be a move up, i.e. from NAIA to D2, from D2 to D1AA, etc. Is this correct?

    Thanks!

    • Rick Allen says:

      Kiki,

      Your son can sign a letter with an NAIA school, and can separately sign with an NCAA school. But, if he signs with an NCAA Div. II school, he can’t then sign with an NCAA Div. I school unless he is granted a complete release from his signing with the Div. II school.

      Rick

  • Mary says:

    Crazy question I can’t fin the answer to. Can a prospective DII XC athlete attend classes at the prospective school and live with the XC/TF coach? Is there a NCAA rule governing this issue?

  • Laura says:

    Is a verbal yes to play for a school binding or is it only binding once the letter of intent is signed?

  • JOnes says:

    Can a non-athletic scholarship recruit verbally commit to a program? Or do they have to wait until they are accepted through admissions?

  • Bob says:

    Mr. Allen,
    I e-mailed you yesterday and have another question. My friends son signed a NLI with a D-2 school getting a partial athletic scholarship. He now wants to know if he can change his mind and go to a D-2 school in Georgia. Does the NLI prevent him from doing this and does he need to receive permission from the NJ college.????

    Thanks Again,

    Bob
    P.S I do college counseling for high school students.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Bob,

      If this athlete isn’t released from his NLI commitment to attend the school he signed with for at least one full academic year, he’ll lose eligibility at the other Div. II school.

      Rick

  • Ryan says:

    Rick,
    I wanted to make sure I am not a recruited athlete. I did not attend any sort of visit to the school I am at. I called the coach to express my interest in the school and then he called me back to tell me I had a walk on spot. That is all the communication I had in with the coaches.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Ryan,

      Refer to the blog that is at the top of the page where you’ve commented. As long as the coaches didn’t call you more than one time, and did not have a face-to-face conversation with you at any site away from their campus, then you should be a non-recruited athlete.

      Rick

  • Marcy says:

    Hi Rick,
    My son is a freshman who is an invited walk-on for track for a D1 school. He competed in a couple of home meets for the indoor season. Outdoor season is about to begin and his coach told him he would have to pay all his own expenses in order to compete with the team in the first meet which is out of state. This seems odd and not something he or we are prepared to pay for. Is this common?
    Thanks,
    Marcy

    • Rick Allen says:

      Marcy,

      It is quite common for track athletes to compete as “unattached” meaning that they are representing themselves, and not their college team, and because of that, they must pay all their own expenses to participate in the meet. But, this is often a choice that the athlete makes to compete unattached, not something that the athlete is instructed that they must do.

      If you would like to discuss this in more detail, and have me explain the competition rules of the NCAA, my contact info is on the “About Us” page of our website.

      Rick

  • Cody says:

    Rick,
    I am a sophomore at a D3 school playing baseball and I’m looking to transfer to a D2, D1 school. What are the rules and guidelines I should know about this?

  • Cliff says:

    My son is a recruited walk on at a D1 school. Played in the Fall and did not make the roster for Spring. They told him they wanted to redshirt him. Seems to me that this is really not a redshirt but not making the team. He will come back in the fall and try to make the Spring roster. However he will play summer ball and might have other opportunities. Can he transfer to another D1 school without sitting out a year?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Cliff,

      If your son was “recruited” to the Div. I school as defined by the NCAA, he will have to sit out from competition during his first academic year (or two semesters) at another Div. I school. Here’s a link to our blog titled “NCAA Rules – Definition of a Recruited Athlete”:

      http://www.informedathlete.com/ncaa-rules-definintion-of-a-recruited-athlete

      If you would like to discuss his options, I’ll be glad to do so. I frequently consult with athletes and/or parents regarding NCAA eligibility and transfer rules. All consultations are completely confidential.

      If a consultation is of interest, contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com, and we’ll schedule a time to talk.

      Rick

  • Anthony says:

    Hey Rick,

    Great site, I just stumbled on it. I have a question that I can’t seem to understand. Who is the NCAA to stop a baseball player from transferring and playing. If the player is being treated unfairly why should they have to sit? So my question is has this rule ever been challenged in court?

    Thanks,

    Tony

    • Rick Allen says:

      Tony,

      I’m not aware of this rule ever being challenged in court. Regarding your question of “Who is the NCAA to stop a baseball player from transferring and playing?”, keep in mind that the NCAA member schools and conferences propose the rules and the changes to those rules, and then vote on those rules. So, it is actually the conference commissioners, AD’s, college Presidents, etc. who are stopping a player from transferring and playing (and with input from the coaches at their schools).

      Also, athletes do have the possibility of pursuing appeals or waivers of the rules through campus and NCAA committees.

      Rick

  • Chris says:

    Hi Rick,

    Nice site. My son is a D1 baseball player and I was horrified to learn as a “recruited” non-scholarship player he is subject to the same transfer rules as a scholarship athlete (stupid me for not checking). It’s interesting the NCAA cites “academic adjustment period” as the reason baseball, basketball, and football players must sit out a year upon transferring, yet volleyball players can transfer without a redshirt (at least the the first time). I guess volleyball players adjust quicker (sorry for my cynicism).

    To my point, I understand a player needs a release to talk to other coaches. My question is, being a proactive parent knowing the current coach has my son in a bind and may not offer money next year, I’d like to start talking to other coaches (D1 or D2) about their needs and the prospect for money at another school. Are parents able to initiate that discussion without the player being released? Also, is the release simply a letter from the coach? Since baseball ends late spring, we’d have little time to identify a different school before the next school year starts. To note, my son is doing quite well, but this is a business so I’m not confident in seeing money next year (or at least won’t know till after season).

    Thanks for any advice, Chris

    • Rick Allen says:

      Chris,

      If you were to contact other coaches, they should tell you “we can’t talk with you until we receive permission from your son’s current school” and then they might request such permission via phone call or e-mail, thereby putting your son in a further bind if his current coach receives a call from another school to ask about him before he’s given his coach a “heads up.”

      Regarding your comment about volleyball, the NCAA put this rule in place because transfers were, and have been, much more rampant in those sports. The rule was put in place to try (obviously unsuccessfully) to slow the number of transfers in those sports.

      If you want to set up a consultation to discuss your son’s situation and his options, contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com.

      Rick

  • Shawn says:

    Rick,
    Just graduated from HS and early 2013 has schools actively recruiting. However I had Tommy Johns surgery early May of 2013. I applied to schools since I was on rehab and knew I needed a back up plan if not rehabilitated correctly. However, now in May one year later and I am at 90% and in better shape and my off-speed pitches are much better then they were last year, making kids swing through and pop-up. My question is the school i want to attend I have spoken with the coach and he advised due to NCAA regulations I would have to walk-on to the baseball team due to injury, but did not mention anything about preferred walk-on status or possible scholarships until first year is over. I need to financially know possible positioning and am wondering how long after my injury do i become eligible for athletic scholarship. I do feel i am academically eligible with a 3.7 GPA but have not been offered anything yet.

    Financially Stressed Shawn.

    • Rick Allen says:

      Shawn,

      First of all, if you haven’t done so already, you need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center (www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org) and have your HS transcript and test scores sent there to make sure that you are eligible for Div. I as a Qualifier. If you are certified as a Qualifier, you can be eligible to practice, compete, and receive an athletic scholarship as a freshman this Fall.

      The reason the coach is telling you that you would need to walk-on is a combination of the fact that he probably doesn’t have any scholarship money available at this point, and/or doesn’t want to give you a scholarship until he knows that you are completely 100% healed and rehabbed.

      Rick

  • angelina says:

    My son is being offered a preferred walkon possition on a D-1 college. What exactly does that mean?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Angelina,

      It means only whatever the coach at that school wants it to mean. At one school it may mean that your son is guaranteed a spot on the team for the season. At another school, it may only mean that your son is invited to pre-season practice, but can be cut at any time. You should ask the coach at that school what it means to him.

      Rick

  • Brandon says:

    Hello,
    I have been in contact with 2 coaches. One from school A and one from school B. My quick question to you is, are there any rules as far as D 1 and deposits as far as being “committed”? I had placed a deposit with school A about 3 days ago but is it possible for me to play at school B? Did that deposit mean that I’m officially “committed”?

    Thanks!

  • Briana says:

    Hey Rick, I recently left my NAIA school and was talking to a NCAA division 2 school where they gave me an offer and I verbally accepted and filled out a housing application, and they put me on the roster. I then went on another visit to a Division 1 school and they gave me an offer and I also accepted, can I do this without getting in trouble? I plan on letting the D2 coach tomorrow that I do not wish to go there, but I am eligible to play, and everything else is fine. I just want to make sure I am not breaking any rules by my name being on the D2 roster. Thanks rick!

  • Rosa says:

    I have a question, my son signed a committment letter to a Div II school. When we went to register we found out that although he is playing they did Not award him an athletic scholarship but he did receive numerous academic scholarships. The problem is he is being required to take out number loans to cover the cost of the tuition. As the summer approaches he has been contacted by several D1 Schools to attend camps. My question is whether or not he is allowed to attend camps over the Summer and would this violate any rules?

    • Rick Allen says:

      Rosa,

      As long as your son didn’t sign a National Letter of Intent with the Div. II school, and has not started attending classes at the Div. II school this summer, he can attend camps this summer if the camps permit graduated HS seniors to participate.

      Rick

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