Can you play college sports after graduating? The short answer is, yes. But let’s look more into it! Sports have always been a big part of our lives. We watch it to unwind, get excited, and support our favorite teams. However, the athletics seen in colleges are what comes before the big leagues. College sports have always had a specific place in the public eye. Because of this, colleges take their athletics very seriously to ensure they meet public expectations. Colleges have been known to recruit students based solely on their athletic abilities. Being the star of a college athletics team will surely get your foot in the door to the big leagues.

How Long Can You Play College Sports After Graduation

Can You Play College Sports After Graduating? | My Education Compass

The National Collegiate Athletic Association allows students to use their four-year eligibility for five years. Therefore, if you obtain a bachelor’s degree from college, you’ll still be eligible to play sports. When you’re enrolled as a full-time graduate student, you can play sports at your college. If graduation occurs before your fours years have been completed, you will still be eligible to play sports until you finish your four-year term.

Can You Play College Sports After Graduating from College

Can You Play College Sports After Graduating? | My Education Compass

According to The National Collegiate Athletic Association, you have five years to compete in four seasons, with the fifth being known as a “red-shirt” year. A red-shirt year has been implemented to allow athletes to sit out of a year’s competition. In case of injury or match for playing time, athletes can use their red-shirt year. This will allow athletes to still compete in all four years of competition. It’s essential to consider the age limit. The National Collegiate Athletic Association only permits a one-year grace period after secondary school. 

How Old Is too Old to Play College Sports

Can You Play College Sports After Graduating? | My Education Compass

Your age does not limit you in The National Collegiate Athletic Association as an athlete. Division I athletes, however, do need to follow specific requirements. These requirements state that they must enroll in college one calendar year after graduating high school. It is then required of them to complete a four-year degree within five years. Consider that an athlete’s eligibility will begin to be influenced one within one year of his secondary school graduation. This, however, does not count for tennis, hockey and skiing. These athletes won’t have their eligibility start to count until after their twenty-first birthday. 

There is no law in place about college athletics that promotes any age limit. There are, however, principles put in place to decide whether a candidate is qualified or not. However, a candidate won’t be ineligible based solely on age, even with these principles. 

For How Long Am I Eligible to Play College Sports

Can You Play College Sports After Graduating? | My Education Compass

If you are a Division I student, you are allowed to stay in school for five years. You may also receive athletically related financial aid for those five years. As a Division I student, you must earn at least six credit hours each term to remain eligible for the following time. It is also required of you to reach the minimum grade-point average requirements. You are suitable for five years, with four active years of playing and one red-shirt year.

Can I be Recruited for College if I Take a Gap Year?

If you are considering a gap year, don’t worry. You can apply to colleges the same way as any other student-athlete. However, it is in your best interest to contact your college coaches and discuss it. Your plan for your gap year will depend on the reaction of your coaches. Also, a gap year might not be as easily obtained if you are on an athletic scholarship. Therefore the discussion with the right people is essential to ensure your athletic future at your desired college.

The Takeaway

It is possible to play college sports after graduation if you are within your five-year term. The NCAA sets out specific requirements to be eligible to participate in college sports. There is no age-based discrimination in sports. However, it could affect your eligibility.