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Here is a lon-n-ng story and request for info.

My son has played 2 years of college baseball for a D3 (right handed pitcher). His spring season just ended, as did his school year.

He came home and wanted to discuss academics. It turns out that he wants to switch to a major that is not offered at the small D3 he attends. The major is offered at a large nearby D2 that was his second choice out of high school.

It would be hard to leave his teammates (but the colleges are close to each other so he would still see them). He is about 50-75% sure he wants to transfer to the D2 for academics -- whether or not he can play baseball. But if he had a pretty good chance to make the baseball roster at the D2 as a walk-on he would be 90%+ sure today.

He would be a walk-on but not unknown to the D2 coach. In senior year of HS he applied and was accepted at the D2 academically, and the D2 coach was mildly interested in him but said he needed to get stronger and throw harder. He does throw a little harder now (up from about 80 to mid-80s and he is 6'4" and up from 175 lbs to 185-190).

Coincidentally he pitched against the D2 team in a non-conference game and did pretty well (3 scoreless innings then gave up 2 runs in the 4th -- but he got their top hitter out 3 of 3 at-bats). The D2 coach was of course watching every pitch. We don't think the D2 coach would be jumping up and down to have him since some of their pitchers throw upper 80s to 90 mph, but he might think "maybe he could contribute a few innings over the next two years". If my son could be on the roster and contribute a few innings here and there he would be very happy. Of course he would work hard to earn more than that.

The question:

Can my son call the D2 coach and re-introduce himself, tell him he is planning to transfer for academics, and ask about the likelihood of at least getting a shot at making the roster next fall as a walk-on? As I said, his school year and college season just ended last week. He wanted to discuss the situation with us (today) before making a decision, so he has not had an opportunity to discuss this with his D3 coach yet, but would prefer not to discuss it with him until he makes his academic transfer decision.

I know a D1 player couldn't talk to another D1 coach without a release, but I wonder about D3/D2. Of course there is no scholarship to be released from at the D3.

Thank you for any info.
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Certainly not an expert, but this is my understanding of how the process works.

Yes, your son needs a release, but in DIII, it is a "self-release". The one-time transfer exemption should still apply so he won't have to sit out a year (at this time. Next year that might not be the case.) I don't have anymore details, I just remember reading about DIII requiring a "self-release" before talking to another school. The NCAA transfer guides will answer your question, and there are probably some others here who have direct experience, perhaps they will chime in.
the DIII self release is only applicable if you are looking to transfer DIII to DIII, it is not applicable if you are looking to DII or DI. He can call the coach, however, the Coach could not speak to him about baseball etc until he received a release from the DIII school. I usually recommend the player talking to his coach, if he is DEFINATELY leaving then it's a non issue...
Thank you all for your input. I looked at the site and found it somewhat confusing but learned a few things. I noticed the same thing VJC said about the self-release being D3 to D3 only.

We are doing more research on and making sure that the academic side of the question comes first. My son is not definite on his decision to change majors yet. Getting a degree has to be the top priority unless the player is going to play baseball professionally after college.

I'm not sure it matters that much which degree he earns. How many of you parents are working in a job or career that depended completely on the specific degree you earned? I have had several interesting careers in the past 25 years since college and they all required a 4-year degree but none of them were tied to a specific degree.
Last edited by CollegeParent48

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