NCAA Governance and Legislation

Graduate Student-Athlete Transfer Rule is Overridden

At the 2007 NCAA Convention, Division I institutions recently overturned a rule that would allow graduate student-athletes who want to transfer to a new institution to compete immediately.  Despite strong support from Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (“SAAC”), the rule was overwhelmingly overturned by 70%.  While not many student-athletes had been taking advantage of the new rule, those supporting the override, including many coaches, saw the new rule as creating a new recruiting period for graduates with remaining eligibility.  Despite the override, graduate student-athletes who are interested in transferring for academic purposes will still be able to utilize the waiver process. 

 

Latest Interpretations

 

Educational Column -- Student-Athlete Involvement in Institutional Team Fundraising Activities Subsequent to Enrollment.  (I/II/III)

 

Date Issued:  Jan 02, 2007 Type:  Ed. Column Item Ref:  1

 

Interpretation:  NCAA Divisions I, II and III institutions should note that NCAA amateurism rules govern the fundraising activities of student-athletes.  It is important that funds raised by student-athletes to supplement team costs be obtained and dispersed in accordance with NCAA amateurism rules so as not to jeopardize the student-athlete’s eligibility for intercollegiate competition in that sport. 

Fundraising by Student-Athletes

It is permissible for an individual to participate in fundraising activities for a team, including activities that involve the use of athletics ability (e.g., swim-a-thons, free-throw shooting, 5-k runs); however, a student-athlete may not receive a benefit based on athletics skill or reputation.  Also, a student-athlete may not have a personal sponsor other than an individual of whom the student-athlete is naturally or legally dependent.  The funds raised cannot be solicited on behalf of or earmarked for any particular individual.  It is also not permissible for an individual’s ability to participate in an upcoming competition or event, including practices in preparation for such competition, be contingent on the amount of money raised by the individual or whether he or she participates in the fundraising activity.  As such, funds raised must be provided to the team or institution as a general donation, rather than as a credit toward a specific student-athlete’s expenses.  In addition, all donations should clearly indicate that they are made directly to the institution (e.g., a check should not be made out directly to the student-athlete).

Examples of prohibited activities include crediting funds raised towards an individual’s specific expenses and the use of solicitation materials requesting funds for a specific named individual. 

[References:  Divisions I and II Bylaws 12.1.2 (amateur status), 12.1.2.1 (prohibited forms of pay), 12.1.2.1.4.5 (expenses from sponsor other than parents/legal guardians or nonprofessional sponsor of event), 12.1.2.1.6 (preferential treatment, benefits or services), 12.1.2.4.3 (exception for institutional fundraising activities involving athletics ability of student-athletes).  Division II Bylaw 12.1.2.4.2 (exception for institutional fundraising activities involving athletics ability of student-athletes).  Division III Bylaws 12.1.1 (amateur status), 12.1.1.1 (prohibited forms of pay), 12.1.1.1.4.5 (expenses from sponsor other than parents/legal guardians or nonprofessional sponsor of event), 12.1.1.1.6 (preferential treatment, benefits or services) and 12.1.1.4.2 (exception for institutional fundraising activities involving the athletics ability of student-athletes).]


Educational Column -Bylaw 11.7 - Limitations on the Number and Duties of Coaches - Participation of Noncoaching Staff Members in Practice.  (I)

 

Date Issued:  Dec 04, 2006
Type:  Ed. Column
Item Ref:  1

 

Interpretation:   

Division I institutions should note that any individual who participates in any manner in the coaching of a sport in practice, games or organized activities directly related to that sport must be counted as a coach as stipulated in the limitations for that sport in Bylaw 11.7.  In addition to competitive equity, the intent of the coaching limitations is to restrict the actual coaching of student-athletes to those individuals who are identified as coaches.  Other athletics department staff members, including managers and noncoaching staff members with sport-specific responsibilities (e.g., administrative assistants, directors of operations), do not have to be identified as coaches provided they do not engage in any on- or off-field coaching activities and are not involved in recruiting activities.

Managers

The former NCAA Interpretations Committee clarified during its February 11, 1993, meeting that it is not permissible to hire a manager to perform only on-court or on-field activities (e.g., ball shagging, bounce-passing drills, throw batting practice).  Nonstudent managers may not perform any on-court or on-field duties that could be considered coaching without counting in the coaching limitations stipulated in Bylaw 11.7.  Student managers may perform limited on-court or on-field activities provided they also perform traditional managerial functions (e.g., run clock at practice, laundry, fill water bottles).  Finally, under no circumstances can a manager provide skill instruction without being counted in the coaching limitations.

Noncoaching Staff Members with Sport-Specific Responsibilities

These individuals may not perform any on-court or on-field duties that could be considered coaching (e.g., ball shagging, bounce-passing drills, throw batting practice) without counting in the coaching limitations stipulated in Bylaw 11.  For example, if a director of softball operations throws batting practice, the director of softball operations must be counted toward the coaching limitations in Bylaw 11 even if no skill instruction is provided.  While noncoaching staff members with sport-specific responsibilities should not be involved in any manner with practice activities, it is permissible for these individuals to observe practice without having to count toward the coaching limitations.

[References:  Bylaw 11.7 (limitations on the number and duties of coaches), a 2/11/93 Item No. 9 official interpretation and the 2004 Hot Topic #2]