There are many reasons why student-athlete transfer rates have continued to increase over the years. This new trend causes a lot of unforeseen circumstances and problems for student-athletes and their families. For example, depending on where the student-athlete is transferring to and from, they may have to sit out and waste a year of eligibility.
Another problem student-athletes and their families don’t consider what problems transferring may cause to their expected graduation date. Sometimes, student-athletes have to postpone graduation because their credits and class schedule won’t allow them to complete their degree on time. Probably, because of how their credits aligned at their new institution.
Sometimes, student-athletes and their families have to make that tough decision to transfer.
There’s a lot of reasons that college trasnfer rates are climibing. Student-athletes and their families have their own reasons for making this decision but here are a few common ones that are almost always preventable.
Student-athletes commit to colleges as early as their freshman year in high school. Yes, offers come that early in sports such as volleyball and softball. That means the recruiting process starts while the athletes are in junior high and the college coach saw their potential talent.
Many things happen during an athlete’s four years of high school. Typically, the decision made at 14-years-old is significantly different than the wants and needs of an 18-year-old. On the flip side, maybe the athlete has not developed as the college coach thought, or the coach has left for another school, and the athlete no longer fits into the current program. Often student-athletes commit to a school based on the relationship forged with the coach, not the university itself. There is so much more to being a college athlete. You need to be a student as well. Is this a school you can see yourself attending for academics alone?
Contrary to athletes who make early commitments are those with late starts to the process. Because of this they a lack of offers and options. High school athletes trust that if they are on travel teams and are good enough, or if they have a high school or club coach who “has it covered,” they will be recruited. We have seen numerous athletes who should have had lots of coaches beating down their doors go unnoticed, and they panic their senior year. Then when they do have an offer materialize, they accept it without doing enough research. Usually, out of fear that they may not receive another one. Because of this, so many student-athletes go to that school and realize it is not the right fit and want to leave.
The Athlete Hasn’t Done Their Research
Lack of guidance and research is a big mistake in the recruiting process. Too many student-athletes have a picture in their head about what they want in a college experience. Most of what they know is what they see on TV. They want a big school, a big city or to play Division I. This is great for some, but when it comes down to it, will you succeed in that environment? With a class size larger than some high school graduating classes, will you get the academic help you need? In a big city, will you be distracted by outside factors? Being on a Division I team, will you play? Athletes want to compete, not just be on the sidelines. Is it more fun to compete and be on a winning team no matter the division, or to sit the bench on a losing team?
At National Scouting Report, we help our athletes through the entire process. We not only promote our athletes, but we help them find the right fit. We ask the right questions to make student-athletes think about what is truly important to them. Throughout the process, we share our knowledge with the families. So, when student-athletes make that commitment to a university, it is a four-year (or more) commitment.
If an athlete is unhappy, everybody is unhappy. Nobody wants to go through the transfer process. It is usually tricky; you can lose eligibility, have graduation delayed, increased schooling and travel costs, along with so many other uncertainties. So start early, do your research, get help and decide what is important to you as the student-athlete.