December 05, 2016
One in three students transfer to another college during their academic careers, according to the College Board.
Student athletes are among those who may decide to leave their current college and compete for another one.
UCCS has five DI transfer athletes in men’s basketball and women’s softball, according to Alex Koehler, associate athletic director for Compliance. This number is expected to grow with the expansion of track and field, he said.
Athletes integrate well into the teams and are similar in skills, said Koehler.
“Usually the difference is in size and weight, not necessarily skills. There’s a lot of skill at the DII level.
But that extra two or three inches makes a big difference in some sports,” said Koehler.
The process to transfer from a DI to DII school begins with the student athlete. They must first declare their intention to transfer and communicate their intent with their current coach and athletic administrative staff.
If the athletic department agrees, the student receives a permission to contact form which they must send to the schools they are interested in transferring to.
When DI athletes transfer to UCCS they may begin playing as soon as they arrive, according to Koehler.
Most DI students who transfer to UCCS qualify for the NCAA’s one-time transfer exception. There are no rules for red-shirting or taking a season off, as long as they were athletically and academically eligible here and at their last school.
If athletes don’t qualify for the one-time exception, they must take a season off and spend a year in residency. After, they may begin practicing and playing the next year.
Coaches can’t recruit athletes from other schools, so the student has to reach out to the college athletic program they plan to transfer to, according to Koehler.
“We don’t recruit them; it’s the students deciding that they want to come here,” said Koehler.
Once the student contacts the school, three sets of rules may apply: NCAA; the conference the athlete is transferring into and those that come with the athlete’s National Letter of Intent signed during the recruiting process.
DI and DII transfer students must have taken nine credit hours in their previous term. These hours must be transferrable at DII schools.
If the athlete has an athletic scholarship, they must obtain a release from the original school to receive an athletic scholarship at the future school. Then they may also apply for student aid like any other student.
Transfer athletes must meet UCCS academic criteria as well. According to Koehler, UCCS looks at both high school and college transcripts for transfer athletes.
“We have high academic standards, so if they don’t meet those standards, we have to tell the coaches that unfortunately, he or she can’t come here. But if they meet those standards we can continue the process,” said Koehler.