By Chuck Liddiard, Founder and Executive Director of The Paratum Scholars
For student athletes, pursuing their dream sport after high school has always been a long shot. However, recent changes to the recruitment process have made the chances of your son or daughter playing at the NCAA Division I, II or III level even harder. Below are two factors that may affect their recruitment landscape and options.
2018-19 Percentage of High School Student Athletes Who Go On To Play for NCAA Teams
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Extra Year of Eligibility:
Prior to the pandemic, student athletes had five years to play four seasons. Now, the NCAA has allowed an extra year of eligibility for DI, DII & DIII athletes if their team did not compete in more than 50% of their scheduled season during the pandemic season of 2020-21. This change gives more power to the student athlete and has created the “Super Senior” since now student athletes have six years to play five (COVID season + redshirt season.) This creates a log jam in recruiting because coaches are unable to accurately predict roster availability, resulting in smaller freshmen recruitment classes. This extra year of eligibility will impact recruiting classes through the 2025-2026 season.
2018-19 Percentage of Total Transfers (Two Year and Four Year) among Division I Student-Athletes
NCAA Transfer Portal:
This is a system that benefits student athletes who want to change colleges. In April 2021, the NCAA’s “one-time transfer rule” took effect allowing athletes to transfer to a different college one time and play immediately with no penalty. In the first year of the change, 15,000 entered the transfer portal.
This change in transfer policy clearly gives more power to the student athlete. The reality is this allows NCAA coaches faster recognition for a student athlete who may be looking to transfer institutions. This has changed recruitment strategy amongst coaches where many are scouring the transfer portal daily to find bigger, stronger, faster veteran athletes that can come in and make an immediate impact to their programs. This trend may eventually lead to smaller freshmen recruiting classes.