NAIA Transfer Rules- how the transfer release aids student-athletes.

Recently, the college sports news has been dominated with transfer notices of NCAA athletes. But many viewers may not be aware that college athletics is made up of more than just the NCAA. College athletes also includes the NAIA and NJCAA. While these organizations share similarities in processes there are some distinct differences in certain procedures. Today, lets look at the transfer rules of the NAIA. 

To begin, the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) is comprised of 65,000 student athletes, 250 member colleges,  with21 conferences and over $600 million in scholarship money. In total NAIA athletics compete for 26 different championships. Having 65,000 student athletes naturally assures that there will be transfers.  And the reason for transfers varies. An athlete can transfer from one school to another such as JC to NAIA, NAIA to NAIA or NCAA to NAIA. The reasons also vary as athletes often decide to transfer because of competitive, academic, or even personal preference.  So what is the process for transferring in the NAIA? 

The change to the NAIA transfer rules seems to have shifted more control over the academic and athletic experience to the student athlete. 

According to the NAIA a transfer is defined as, “A student who becomes identified with an NAIA institution after having previously been identified with a two- or four-year institution of higher learning.”  So then, for an athlete to transfer the student much complete the official NAIA Transfer Player Eligibility Statement prior to their first participation at the NAIA institution no matter how long ago the transfer occurred. The athlete must also request a written release from the previous college before being able to compete at the subsequent college.

Additionally, the NAIA also has residency regulations for transfer. The Play NAIA websites states residency requirements for transfers determine how soon an athlete can compete once transferring from a four-year college or two year college. Assuming that the athete meets the academic requirements including minimum GPA of 2.0, an athete transferring from a 4 year college must wait 16 weeks to participate unless a waiver is granted. However, an athlete transferring from a 2-year college to an NAIA college is does not have a waiting penalty. 

Similar to the NCAA, new legislation regarding approving the release of a student athlete took shape in August 2018. The change stated that if the written release request had not warranted a response within 30 days the written release would be automatically approved.  This new change comes to the aid of the student athlete by prohibiting colleges from blocking or delaying the transfer of student-athletes wanting to move on to compete at another college. The August 2018 change to the NAIA transfer rules seems to shift more control over the academic and athletic experience to the student athlete. 


Featured Athlete: Brett Wozniak

Spring of 2019 has been good to 2020, LHP, Brett Wozniak. This University of Nebraska commit verballed after his official January visit, is an intricate part of the #1 ranked CIF Cypress Centurions, and in a serendipitous event met NFL quarterback Baker Mayfield while taking in some Spring Training games.

In June of 2017, Coach Mike of PrepStar identified Brett Wozniak as one of the top rising southpaw baseball prospects in Southern California for the class of 2020. Following an MVP freshman season and summer roster spot on SoCal NTIS 15U, Wozniak has continued to impress. His skillset has already drawn national recognition by Prep Baseball Report, Baseball Scouting USA and earned him a pre-season All-American nod by Rawlings-Perfect Game.

As a sophomore Wozniak has made significant contributions with key roles as a starter and middle reliever and first-baseman on the Empire League co-Championship and Nationally ranked Cypress HS varsity baseball team. At the plate i 2018, Wozniak hit .328 with a .394 OBP. Dominating on the hill Wozniak consistently kept top competition at bay with an impressive 1.76 ERA. A fine student-athlete Wozniak was named to the Empire League All-Academic Team with an impressive 3.86 GPA.

Heading into his junior season, Prep Baseball Report named Wozniak as one of the top 5 uncommitted pitchers in Southern California. However, while on the radar of several Division 1 colleges, Wozniak didn’t stay on that list very long. Midway through the 2019 campaign there are many resemblances as Cypress is again ranked and currently standing at #1 in CIF Division 1 as well as in the top 10 teams nationally. At the plate Wozniak is carrying a .411 average but equally as impressive he is 4-0 on the bump with a 1.12 era and allowing opponents on 4 earned runs. Earlier this month Wozniak was recognized by the Orange County Register as Fryer’s Diamond Club: Orange County baseball standouts of the week, March 5 for an impressive 6 inning outing to defeat top slated Orange County Lutheran 2-1.

Do the new NCAA Transfer Rules benefit the student-athlete?

In October of 2018 the NCAA made a drastic change to the transfer rules in D1 sports.  While still in their infancy, it is without question that these changes have caused quite a stir in college athletics. The goal of this article, therefore, is to briefly outline the changes while shining some light on the idea that the changes are to the benefit of the college student athlete. 

The new NCAA transfer rules and transfer portal have changed the ways student-athletes communicate the want to transfer.

At the heart of the DI rule changes is that student athletes no longer have to request permission to transfer. Instead, student athletes simply have to inform the university that they want the opportunity to talk with other colleges about the possibility of transfer. In response, the college the student athlete is currently attending will then add the name of the student-athletes to the NCAA transfer database. As a result of the request, once the student-athete has been entwined into the database all colleges will be able to see his or her name and contact info. 

Traditionally, student-athlete transfers have to sit out a year before being able to compete. Even with the new regulations that penalty has not changed and in most cases, remain binding. Currently, despite the conception of the more lenient transfer rules immediate eligibility is promised for transfers. For immediate participation to happen, an approved NCAA waiver is required. It is worth noting that recently in college football the NCAA has granted permission for immediate participation to some very high profile transfers. Is this an indicator of a kinder, gentler NCAA? That is yet to be revealed.

The rule clearly favors D1 student athletes. In contrast, NCAA Division II and NAIA athletes still need to request and receive permission from their current college to speak with coaches at other schools about a transfer. If, or when, when permission is granted, athletes at from colleges will have their name added to the same transfer portal. 

The reason for the new transfer rules is because previously in order for an athlete to transfer he or she a must ask a coach for permission to contact other schools. A school interested in recruiting a transferring player also must ask the current school for permission to recruit. So, without permission from the original school, the student-athlete is unable get financial aid from another school. Essentially, this allowed coaches to block permission to transfer while keeping players from playing at competing schools /certain schools.

Although, the new transfer rules are designed to prohibit those tactics athletes requesting transfer still inertia some risk. For example, once a Division I athlete informs their university of their plan to transfer, the university has the right to cancel the athlete’s sport scholarship at the end of the semester. It is also possible that the coach if he/she desires can immediately remove the athlete from their team. So does this rule really benefit the student athete? Or does the rule place them at risk? Again, its too early to tell. 

Featured Athlete: DJ Jones

Over the March weekend DJ Jones 2020 Running Back at Pine Forest H.S. in Fayetteville, NC received his third D1 football offer. The most recent coming from SEC contender University of Missouri. In the 2018 season Jones rushed for 1198 yards and 20 touches while leading his team to a PAC Conference championship.

Predicting much promise for this top flight RB/ATH Prepstar 2018 preseason scouting report noted that Jones is one the most fearless players you will ever see. At the RB position he goes from 0 to 100 at the blink of an eye and never shifts down. If Jones is given a bit of daylight he can go for 6 points, he is a hard athlete to tackle and is also a threat after the catch.

As the 2019 football approaches the table is set for a stellar senior season for Jones, whose brother Jaeden (2021 QB/ATH) has also made a significant impact for the Pine Forest varsity program since his freshman season. To see highlights of this impressive running back check out his Hudl at

Transfer rules: when the college fit isn’t a fit anymore?

When searching for a college there is lots of talk about finding the right fit. Ideally that is a situation where the student athlete intends to stay at a particular college and with a particular team through his/her eligibility and as long as it takes to attain their degree. But what about those times when the college fit isn’t a fit anymore? 

But we all know, unexpected things happen, things like a coach getting fired or moving on to greener pastures. Sometimes academic interest change and the need arises to pursue those interest. These things add up to a transfer. Recently the NCAA made drastic changes to the D1 transfer rules. So for this article, lets consider how  those changes effect D2, D3 and NAIA eligibility. 

While the intent is to find a fit for the next four years, what about those times when the college fit isn’t a fit anymore? 

To begin, it is worth knowing that every division and every organization has its own transfer rules. That means within the NCAA D1, D1AA, D2 and D3 colleges sanction regulations. Organizationally, NAIA colleges have their own transfer rules established and in turns the NCAA also that their own set of regulations. 

While some of these regulation maybe similar its is extremely important to recognize and research the respective regulations when considering transferring. So, in any transfer situation, neither organizations transfer rules supersedes the other.  Plainly stated, when an athlete transfers he or she must stay within the transfer perimeters in order to be eligible. 

Terms of transfer are very complex and often confusing. Boiled down, transfer rules must be followed precisely so that the student athlete is able to compete at the subsequent school. These rules often contain regulations academics and resident regulations that prohibiting immediate competition by an incoming transfer student for a certain period of time. To make things more complex, in October of 2018 the NCAA made a drastic change to the transfer rules in D1. And these changes have caused quite a stir in college athletics. So next week, the topic will be to examine those changes and consider if those changes really benefit the college athlete. 

5 tips to help athletes still seeking a spot at the 2019 signing table

This week is a simple posting, simply because its straightforward. And often being straightforward is what’s necessary. Here are 5 tips to help athletes still seeking a spot at the 2019 signing table.

  1. Keep looking at schools, keep your options open, and keep talking with college coaches because there is one more signing period that begins in April. Most importantly, don’t give up.
  2. The last day of the April signing period is July 31st. While most students and parents would rather know where their son/daughter will be attending in the fall. Some college coaches are still looking for athletes in May or June. Its not ideal, but it is an option. 
  3. Grades remain an important factor in the recruiting process so keep grades on point. As the scholarship monies for college coaches reduces having high marks can help tip the scholarship budget in your favor. 
  4. For many student-athletes junior colleges are also in the recruiting mix. If the opportunity is available the JUCO option is worth considering. There is no shame in the game of trying to improve and better your situation. In fact, many athletes have used junior colleges as a springboard to successful professional careers.
  5. Lastly, if you haven’t to this point, be honest with yourself and find someone to help you. If you’ve been trying to manage your recruiting all by yourself and haven’t gotten the results you wanted obviously what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working. Swallow your pride then go ask someone like a coach, mentor, or recruiting coach like me to help you. 

Good luck!


PrepStar has identified Tyler Chaffee as one of the top baseball prospects in Southern California for the class of 2019. Chaffee is an athletic versatile player with a big arm and big stick. Chaffee has been a key pitcher to the Empire League co-Championship and Nationally ranked Cypress HS varsity baseball team since his Sophomore season. In the 2018 fall season Chaffee’s fastball velo has been consistently recorded in the 85-87 range. For the season Chaffee went 4-2 with 1 save and a 2.06 ERA. At the plate Chaffee hits for power and produces RBI’s for his team. Batting .323 with 1 homers, 18 runs batted in and .411 OBP. Chaffee has lots of upside potential to be an impact player. A fine student-athlete with a 4.0 GPA and SAT score of 1260 is the type of player who can dominate on the mound or play a big role as a run producing position player in-between his starts.