Deciding to change schools as a collegiate pitcher or fielder is a significant step and shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. However, if you find yourself struggling at your current institution, transferring might be the pathway to a more fulfilling collegiate experience.
What is the NCAA Transfer Portal?
The NCAA transfer portal is an online system that provides a streamlined process for student-athletes wishing to transfer from one college or university to another. Introduced in October 2018, the portal was created to give student-athletes more control over their transfer process, allowing for greater transparency and freedom to explore all their options.
Click here to check the 2023 Transfer Portal
Why Change Teams?
Many athletes consider a shift due to dissatisfaction with their current program or academic alignment. It could be a mismatch with the coaching style, team dynamics, or the realization that the love for the game isn’t as fervent as initially thought. Reflect on your discontent before deciding to transfer – is it the academic program, the intense training, or the coach?
Understanding NCAA Transfer Rules
Timing and the NCAA Transfer Portal
Once you are fully committed to transferring, you should start the process. Be aware that this decision could impact your current scholarship. The scholarship for the following term is not guaranteed, and it might be at risk if you choose to stay at your current college. The NCAA Transfer Portal is a crucial resource for students and coaches alike. To access it, provide written notice to your college’s designated admin.
The Walk-on Rule
If you were a walk-on at your previous college, you are eligible to be a walk-on at your new institution.
Redshirting, sitting out a year from competition while practicing with the team and remaining scholarship-eligible, is common among transferring athletes. As of 2021, first-time transfers at Division I schools no longer need to redshirt for a year before competing at their new institution, subject to certain qualifications.
Transferring Between Divisions
If you’re moving from a Division III school to a Division II or I school, registration with the NCAA Eligibility Center is mandatory.
Need help finding new schools?
The NCAA allows athletes to transfer more than once, but some transfers may incur penalties, especially when transferring to a four-year college for a second time.
Most colleges require a minimum GPA of 2.0 to participate in sports.
Remember, transferring can be a complex process. It’s recommended to tap into resources that can help you make informed decisions about your next home.