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General : : General
College Baseball Transfers
Rick Allen    
Published: Wednesday, November 25, 2009

“You will need to transfer if you want to get more playing time.” That’s the last thing that a college baseball player wants to hear from his coach. It has happened for a number of years at some schools, and it may happen more frequently at others now that the NCAA has reduced the number of players who can be on a Division I baseball roster during the playing season.

You may be wondering why I am writing about the topic of NCAA transfers when most baseball players and parents are just thinking about the NCAA recruiting process. The transfer rules may be the last thing on your mind. I understand that – I’ve been there. However, I believe that you should at least be aware of the basic transfer rules.

Here’s a story about a transfer situation that‘s not so basic, but illustrates that an INFORMED ATHLETE is better prepared to deal with the unexpected. A few years ago, I was involved in a situation in which a player played one year at a Division I school, then transferred to a junior college for a year of increased playing time. When he was being re-recruited out of the junior college, a Division I school from the same conference wanted to sign him. However, the rules of that conference stated that the first school could still control whether they would allow him to play at a second conference school. Despite appeals to the first school’s athletic director, the player had to sign with a smaller Division I program that was not his first choice.

As most of you know, the NCAA rules now prohibit the ability of a Division I baseball player to transfer to another Division I school and be immediately eligible. Players who are 4-4 transfers to a Division I school will now have to “sit out” for a year (practice, but no play). Many players may choose to transfer to a Division II college or an NAIA school in order to be immediately eligible, while some will choose to transfer to a junior college with plans to end up at an another Division I school.

But, as was illustrated in the story above, in some situations the first college can still control whether a player will play at another Division I or II school. An NCAA Division I or II college must receive the written permission of the four-year school that a player is currently attending before they are permitted to speak with that player about the possibility of a transfer.

Players also need to remember that academic eligibility will be a very important factor in order to be immediately eligible at the next college, whether transferring from a four-year college or from a junior college. Registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center and being classified as a Qualifier – even if you know you will be starting out at the junior college level – is an important factor and will make the transfer process easier when that time is upon you.

If you have questions about the transfer rules, or about recruiting, eligibility, or scholarship questions, contact Rick Allen at
rick@informedathlete.com or at 918-994-7271. You can also sign up for our complimentary newsletters at www.informedathlete.com.


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