Can I lose my Scholarship by Seeking Permission to Contact Another School?

istock_000004271852small11.jpgHere’s a question that I was recently asked:

Can a scholarship be canceled if a student-athlete asks for permission to contact another school during the award period? Or does it depend on the school policy?

Under NCAA rules, no.   Bylaw provides that a coach or university may only cut your scholarship during the school year if you:

  1. Become ineligible;
  2. Fraudulently misrepresent any information on a university document;
  3. Engage in serious misconduct; or
  4. Voluntarily withdraw from your team.

However, this rule may not stop a coach from threatening to cancel your scholarship during the award period or even trying to do so.  In this situation, a student-athlete should speak with an athletic director, compliance officer or perhaps an attorney.  Also note that scholarships are almost always year-to-year, so if you ask for permission to explore a transfer but ultimately decide to stay at your present school, there is no guaranty that your scholarship will continue.

Please note that if a coach or university does attempt to cancel your scholarship during the award period (basically the school year), you have the right to appeal and to a hearing.


  1. If I have a four year scholarship, and I seek permission to speak to other schools during my freshman year (and end up staying at my current school), can the school non-renew the portion of my scholarship award for my sophomore through senior years? Thanks!

  2. If I refuse to play in interscholastic scrimmages in fall ball, can a coach pull my scholarship mid-year?

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