Daily Compliance Item- 5/31/13- Current Event

Today will be the last day for the “daily” compliance items.  I will continue to send out “hot topic emails” throughout the summer and will resume regular delivery in August.  I hope you all get some much needed time away from the office during the next couple of months!


Believe it or not, washing a car with university water can be an NCAA violation


At a time when college athletics is overrun with rogue agents, unscrupulous coaches and handlers who exploit athletes for money, it’s reassuring to know not every unrepentant rule-breaker goes unpunished.

Hearty congratulations to the NCAA for penalizing a student-athlete from a West Coast Conference school for the unspeakable crime of washing her car with the university’s water and hose.

Portland basketball coach Eric Reveno tweeted about the violation Wednesday after he learned of it during conference meetings, punctuating his message with the hashtag #stopinsanity. A spokesman for the WCC did not know any further details, but a source familiar with the circumstances revealed what happened.

A WCC school self-reported an extra benefits violation when university officials caught one of their women’s golfers washing her car on campus, according to the source. A secondary violation was ruled to have occurred because the water and hose were not available to regular students and requested the golfer pay back $20, which was deemed to be the value of the water and use of the hose.

NCAA spokeswoman Dana Thomas emailed Thursday that her organization did not participate in the decision and does not consider the car wash to have been an extra benefits violation. Asked why the golfer was penalized, Thomas said “it seems there was a miscommunication at some level” and the WCC is working with the school to clarify.

A WCC spokesman did not immediately return an email seeking further explanation of what happened.

That school administrators actually reported the violation and a penalty was initially assessed is equal parts hilarious and exasperating. What’s next? Charging athletes by the sip at drinking fountains? Or by the gallon after locker room showers?

Too many petty rules like this one or the one governing the use of bagel spreads continue to choke the system and prevent administrators at the school, conference and NCAA levels from focusing on what’s important. Reform is needed throughout college athletics, yet its leaders are too busy calculating the value of a couple buckets of soapy water to attack the real issues.

This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/30/13- Thank You Gift to a Parent

Ocean State University(OSU) women’s golf team participated in the NCAA championships.  One of the student-athlete’s parents lives in the locale of where the regional was conducted, so the team stayed at the parent’s house.  As a thank you for their hospitality, the coaches would like to send an edible fruit basket to the parents.  Is this permissible?

Yes.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 7/11/90-  Providing a gift to parents of a student-athlete for services rendered   – states that  in regard to a member institution that wishes to give the parents of a student-athlete a gift for providing the team lodging at their home during an away-from-home contest; determined that such an arrangement would not be considered an extra benefit, provided the gift is of nominal value (e.g., a meal, flowers) and is in exchange for services the parents rendered.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/29/13- Relinquish Aid

R.B.I is a prospect that signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Ocean State University (OSU) next year.  R.B.I will attend summer school (on athletics aid) prior to enrolling this fall.  R.B.I does not qualify for any institutional aid and therefore will only receive athletics aid (50%).  R.B.I gets hurt during his summer league play and might not be able to play at OSU during the 2013-14 academic year.  With the severity of his injury uncertain, R.B.I. tells the coach that he would like to relinquish his athletic aid for the 2013-14 academic year and have his parents pay for his educational expenses.

Is it possible for R.B.I. to relinquish his aid and allow OSU to provide that money to another student-athlete?

No.  NCAA Bylaw states that before becoming a counter for an academic year pursuant to a one-year grant-in-aid, if a prospective student-athlete or student-athlete is awarded institutional financial aid unrelated to athletics that is of equal or greater value than his or her signed award of athletically related financial aid, the prospective student-athlete or student-athlete may, on his or her initiative, release the institution of its obligation to provide the athletically related financial aid. 

NCAA Staff Interpretation- 9/21/11-  Student-Athlete’s Voluntary Release of Institution’s Obligation to Provide Athletically Related Financial Aid (I)- states that once a prospective or enrolled student-athlete signs an institution’s financial aid agreement, it is not permissible to voluntarily release the institution’s obligation to provide athletically related financial aid, except under the conditions set forth in the release of obligation to provide athletically related financial aid legislation.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/28/13- Baton Rule

With the spring evaluation period coming to an end, the football coaches at Ocean State University want to make sure they get in a few last recruiting trips.  The total number of permissible recruiters is on the road recruiting today and the first assistant coach will complete his recruiting activities at noon.  Another assistant coach will replace him and begin recruiting at 1pm today.  The first assistant coach would like to recruit again tomorrow.  Does he have to return to campus prior to engaging in additional recruiting activities?

Yes.  NCAA Bylaw states that it is permissible for a coach to leave campus to engage in off-campus contact or evaluation before another coach who is off campus actually returns to campus, provided the total number of coaches recruiting on behalf of the institution at any time does not exceed the permissible number.  The coach being replaced must complete his or her recruiting activities before another coach may begin any off-campus recruiting activity.  Further, the replaced coach may not engage in additional recruiting activities until after he or she has returned to the institution’s campus.

Please note with the adoption of RWG-11-4, the limitation on the number of coaches who may recruit off-campus at any one time has been eliminated.  This legislation as an August 1, 2013 effective date.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/24/13- Currrent Event

Appeals court revives case against video game maker



A federal appeals court panel on Tuesday overturned a district court ruling that had dismissed a former Rutgers football player’s lawsuit against video game manufacturer Electronic Arts for illegally using his likeness and biographical information in its college football games.

By a 2-1 vote, judges in the 3rd Circuit returned the case to U.S. District Court in New Jersey for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.

Michael Rubin, a lawyer who argued for the plaintiff before the Circuit Court panel, said Wednesday that when the case resumes at the district court level, his side will file a motion seeking to have the case certified as a class action.

EA spokesman John Reseburg said the company intends to “seek further court review.” Asked Wednesday whether that would mean asking for a review of the case by all judges of the 3rd Circuit or trying to take the case to the Supreme Court, Reseburg said: “It’s too soon to tell.”

Tuesday’s opinion, written by Circuit Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr., (and a dissent by Judge Thomas L. Ambro) includes observations about some of the same issues being contested in two other federal cases. There is a wider-ranging anti-trust lawsuit before a federal district court in California against EA, the NCAA and Collegiate Licensing Co., the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing and marketing firm, and a case parallel to that one currently under consideration by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The anti-trust suit, whose named plaintiffs include former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, concerns the use of college football and men’s basketball players’ names and likenesses and is heading toward a hearing June 20 on whether it will certified as a class action. If the O’Bannon case is certified as a class action, it likely would bring thousands of current and former college athletes into the case and potentially place billions of dollars in damages at stake.

Meanwhile, three judges from the 9th Circuit are still considering an appeal from EA in a case related to the O’Bannon proceeding that involves former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller and EA’s use of his likeness in video games.The three judges heard arguments on that matter in July 2012. In a footnote to his Tuesday ruling, Judge Greenaway wrote that the Keller case “is simply our own case incarnated in California.”

A transcript of the oral arguments before Greenaway and the 3rd Circuit panel were entered into the record of the Keller case last October.

Also potentially noteworthy about Tuesday’s ruling: it came after the case had been argued before a panel of judges that included one temporarily assigned to the 3rd Circuit, which has jurisdiction over New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, from the 9th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over several western states including California. (This judge, A. Wallace Tashima, was not among the judges handling the appeal in the Keller case.)

A ruling in EA’s favor in the Keller case could set the stage for a Supreme Court review because two federal circuit courts would be in opposition on the same legal issue.

The New Jersey case involves Ryan Hart, a Rutgers quarterback for the 2002 through the 2005 seasons. He filed a presumptive class-action suit in November 2009. U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson dismissed the case in September 2011, saying that EA’s use of Hart’s likeness was protected by the First Amendment, which offers a shield to video games as expressive speech.

However, Greenaway wrote: “As with other types of expressive conduct, the protection afforded to games can be limited in situations where the right of free expression necessarily conflicts with other protected rights. The instant case presents one such situation.”

He noted that EA college football video game’s “success owes to its focus on realism and detail” and that “in NCAA Football 2006, Rutgers’ quarterback, player number 13, is 6’2″ tall, weighs 197 pounds and resembles Hart.”

Greenaway, in another part of the opinion, writes: “… the digital avatar does closely resemble the genuine article. Not only does the digital avatar match Appellant in terms of hair color, hair style and skin tone, but the avatar’s accessories mimic those worn by (Hart) during his time as a Rutgers player. The information, as has already been noted, also accurately tracks (Hart’s) vital and biographical details. . . .

“The digital Ryan Hart does what the actual Ryan Hart did while at Rutgers: he plays college football, in digital recreations of college football stadiums, filled with all the trappings of a college football game.”

On a more general basis, Greenaway wrote that EA “seeks to create a realistic depiction of college football for the users. Part of this realism involves generating realistic representations of the various college teams — which includes the realistic representations of the players.”

How this could affect the O’Bannon case remains to be seen.

For example, a filing made public on Monday includes portions of a deposition from one of the other named plaintiffs in the case, former Connecticut basketball player Tate George, in which George said that the avatars in several versions of a video game that are supposed to represent him do not resemble him. George also said the face of his avatar also appears on other players representing other teams.


This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/23/13- Football Transfers

Boot Leg is a football student-athlete enrolled at an FBS institution. Boot wants to transfer, so he can be closer to his family.  The institution he has selected is currently going through the reclassification process to change from FCS to FBS.  Is Boot eligible to utilize the one-time transfer exception?


No.   NCAA Educational Column- 5/23/13- One-Time Transfer Exception — Application During Reclassification from FCS to FBS (I) – states that  NCAA Division I institutions should note that while an institution is reclassifying from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the reclassifying institution is required to meet all applicable FBS requirements (with the exception of scheduling requirements during the first year of reclassification). However, the institution is not an active FBS member until it has completed the reclassification process and been elected to FBS status by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors; therefore, any football student-athletes attending the reclassifying institution who transfer to another FCS institution are FCS to FCS transfers. Consequently, unless the student-athlete is transferring to an FCS institution that does not offer athletically related financial aid in the sport of football, the individual cannot meet the conditions of the one-time transfer exception [see NCAA Bylaw].


Further, an institution in the process of reclassifying its football program from FCS to FBS must certify all incoming transfers under FBS regulations. Therefore, a football student-athlete who transfers from an FBS institution to the reclassifying institution is also unable to meet the conditions of the one-time transfer exception [see Bylaw]. Finally, a football student-athlete who enrolls midyear at an FCS institution that will begin the reclassification process from FCS to FBS the next academic year must be re-certified in the fall using the transfer regulations that apply to FBS programs.

[References: Bylaws (general rule), (one time transfer exception) and 20.4.2 (football subdivision reclassification options)]

Notice about Educational Columns: Educational columns and hot topics are intended to assist the membership with the correct application of legislation and/or interpretations by providing clarifications, reminders and examples. They are based on legislation and official and staff interpretations applicable at the time of publication. Therefore, educational columns and hot topics are binding to the extent that the legislation and interpretations on which they are based remain applicable. Educational columns are posted on a regular basis to address a variety of issues and hot topics are posted as necessary in order to address timely issues.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/22/13- Football Summer Aid

Veer is a football student-athlete who will be initially enrolling full-time at Ocean State University (OSU) this fall.  He wants to get a few general requirements out of the way, so Veer has enrolled in a few summer courses at OSU.  Veer will receive an athletic scholarship this summer to cover all of  Veer’s expenses.  Since Veer is receiving athletic aid to attend a summer session, will he be an initial and/or overall counter during the 2013-14 academic year?

Yes for both limits.  NCAA Bylaw states that in football, a prospective student-athlete who receives athletically related financial aid during a summer term prior to initial full-time enrollment at the certifying institution shall be an initial and overall counter for the ensuing academic year.  (See Bylaws 15.02.3 and 15.5.6.) (Adopted: 1/14/12)

 If Veer is deemed a non-qualifier or decides not to enroll at OSU after the summer session, will he still be an initial and/or overall counter for the 2013-14 academic year?

Yes.  When Proposal 2011-75 was adopted last year, NCAA staff clarified that in football,  prospective student-athlete who receives athletically related financial aid during a summer term is an initial and overall counter for the next academic year.  This parameter applies even if the prospective student-athlete is a non-qualifier or does not enroll.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/21/13- Receipt of Degree

Hail Mary is a football student-athlete who will be transferring to Ocean State University (OSU) this fall.  Hail will have all the requirements met for graduation at his current school prior to transferring to OSU, but he will not have received his degree prior to the transfer.  Is Hail still eligible to use the graduate one-time transfer exception?


Yes with conditions.  NCAA Educational Column- 4/11/13-  Graduate Student-Athlete Eligibility (I) – states that  NCAA Division I institutions should note that a student-athlete who is enrolled in a graduate or professional school of the same institution from which he or she previously received a baccalaureate degree, a student-athlete who is enrolled and seeking a second baccalaureate or equivalent degree at the same institution, or a student-athlete who has graduated and is continuing as a full-time student at the same institution while taking course work that would lead to the equivalent of another major or degree as defined and documented by the institution, may participate in intercollegiate athletics, provided the student has eligibility remaining and such participation occurs within the applicable five-year period.


Further, a graduate student-athlete who is enrolled in a graduate or professional school of an institution other than the institution from which he or she previously received a baccalaureate degree may participate in intercollegiate athletics if the student fulfills the conditions of the one-time transfer exception and has eligibility remaining.


Finally, a graduate student-athlete who does not meet the one-time transfer exception due to participation in a sport for which the exception is not available, shall qualify for the one-time transfer exception as a graduate student, provided the student:


(a) Fulfills the remaining conditions of the one-time transfer exception;

(b) Has at least one season of competition remaining; and

(c) The student’s previous institution did not renew his or her athletically related financial aid for the following academic year.


The following questions and answers are designed to assist the Division I membership with the application of graduate student-athlete eligibility legislation.


Admission and Enrollment

Question No. 1: Is it permissible for a graduate student-athlete to compete if he or she is considered a nondegree seeking graduate student?

Answer: No. Graduate student-athletes must be regularly enrolled, degree seeking students.


Question No. 2: Is a graduate student-athlete who is a regularly enrolled, degree seeking student eligible to compete even though he or she is not enrolled in a specific graduate degree program (e.g., graduate at large)?

Answer: Yes.


Question No. 3: Is a graduate student-athlete eligible to compete if he or she is a regularly enrolled, degree seeking student but is required to earn, as a condition of continued enrollment in the graduate program, an enhanced grade-point-average (e.g., 3.00 or above) in each term of his or her first academic year as a graduate student at the certifying institution?

Answer: Yes, provided the student-athlete is considered to be in good academic standing as interpreted for all students by the appropriate academic officials at the institution.


Transfer Graduate Student-Athletes

Question No. 4: May a student-athlete use the graduate student one-time transfer exception to pursue a second baccalaureate degree at the next institution?

Answer: No. A student-athlete who has previously graduated must be enrolled in a graduate or professional school at the next institution to qualify for the one-time transfer exception.


Question No. 5: Can a student-athlete who graduates after three years and has more than one season of competition remaining use the graduate student one-time transfer exception?

Answer: Yes, provided the student meets the requirements of the exception and is regularly enrolled as a degree seeking student in a graduate or professional school at the next institution.


Question No. 6: In sports for which the standard one-time transfer exception does not apply, may a student-athlete who is notified of the nonrenewal of athletics aid after indicating intent to transfer to another institution use the one-time transfer exception for graduate student eligibility?

Answer: Yes. The timing of the nonrenewal of athletics aid does not impact a student-athlete’s ability to qualify for the graduate student one-time transfer exception, provided all criteria for the exception are met.


Question No. 7: May a student-athlete who transfers after completing all necessary degree requirements for graduation from a four-year institution but prior to receiving a degree be eligible to use the graduate one-time transfer exception?

Answer: Yes, provided the student-athlete is accepted for enrollment as a degree seeking student in a graduate or professional school of an institution other than the institution he or she previously attended as an undergraduate.


Question No. 8: May a baseball or basketball graduate student-athlete who qualifies for the one-time transfer exception but initially enrolls as a full-time student at the certifying institution after the first term of the academic year (e.g., midyear transfer) be eligible for competition immediately?

Answer: No. Such a student-athlete cannot be eligible for competition until the following academic year.


Progress-Toward Degree Certification

Question No. 9: Is a football student-athlete who graduated with a baccalaureate degree required to earn nine semester hours or eight quarter hours and the APR eligibility point during the fall term to be eligible for all contests during the following playing season?

Answer: No.


Question No. 10: Must credits earned by a graduate or postbaccalaureate student-athlete be degree applicable to satisfy the six semester or quarter hour requirement?

Answer: Credits acceptable toward any degree program offered by the certifying institution (graduate or undergraduate) may be used to satisfy the six semester or quarter hour requirement, provided the student-athlete is permitted to complete such courses in accordance with published institutional policies applicable to graduate students.


[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws (admission), (special admission), 14.1.8 (graduate student/postbaccalaureate participation), (one-time transfer exception), (one-time transfer exception), (fulfillment of credit-hour requirements) (additional requirements — football), (regaining eligibility for two contests), (regaining full eligibility — one-time exception), (exceptions to progress-toward-degree rule — graduate student/postbaccalaureate exception), staff interpretations (09/26/2006, Item No. 1a, 03/15/2013, Item No. a), and official interpretations (4/17/2007, Item No. 15-a, 10/19/2012, Item No. 3)]

Daily Compliance Item- 5/20/13-, 16.5.2- Summer Aid vs. Summer Expenses

Clay Court is a tennis student-athlete at Ocean State University.  Clay and a few of his teammates have qualified for the NCAA championships, so they are required to remain on campus to practice.  Additionally, Clay has enrolled in summer school classes that will take place while he is preparing for the tournament.  Clay is receiving a full athletic scholarship to cover his summer school expenses.  As part of his full scholarship, Clay will receive the full cost of room and board.

Is it permissible for Ocean State University to provide Clay with the same room and board stipend as his teammates that are not enrolled in summer school?

No.  Clay is receiving financial aid to cover the full cost of room and board, and he is not permitted to receive any expenses in excess of the full cost of room and board.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 5/13/11- Summer Financial Aid and Vacation Period Expenses (I)- states that a student-athlete who is enrolled in an institution’s summer term, and is required to remain on campus for organized practice sessions (e.g., practice in preparation for an NCAA championship), may receive financial aid in accordance with the summer financial-aid legislation and vacation-period expenses, provided the student-athlete does not receive vacation-period expenses, in combination with any room and board financial aid, in excess of the full cost of room and board (as determined for financial aid purposes) during the time in which the student-athlete is required to remain on campus for practice or competition.

[References: NCAA Bylaws (enrolled student-athletes), 16.5.2 (vacation-period expenses) and staff interpretation (04/12/1991, Item Ref d), which has been archived]

Daily Compliance Item- 5/17/13- Current Event


How college players saved 1-year-old boy’s life


Most college baseball teams are content with relaxing after a day of traveling.

The Millersville University Marauders planned to take it easy, but instead played the role of rescuers on a rainy day in Johnstown, Pa., on May 8.

Seven Millersville players came to the rescue of a family by saving their 1-year-old boy’s life. Lancaster Online was first to report the story.

The Millersville Athletics department noted that Zach Stone, David Pine, Tyler McDonald, Tyler Orris, Dan Stoltzfus, Evan King and Tyler Thomas were all at the scene when Braydin Norman’s parents were screaming for help. The main paramedic from Johnstown EMS, Mindy Maraj-Owens, confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday that several baseball players were present when the ambulance arrived to a 911 call.

Stone, Pine and McDonald were the main heroes when it came to saving the child’s life.

The boy, who had a 104-degree fever, was suffering a febrile seizure and choking when the players first encountered the family around 1 a.m. while they were going out for a late snack.

Via Lancaster Online:

“We heard two people screaming in a car, and it turned into driveway right in front of us,” Stone told Lancaster Online. “A dad hopped out of a car and picked up his kid. He just looked limp. … The kid didn’t look like he had any life to him.”

Pine added, “He was screaming and yelling, ‘My son is choking! He’s having a seizure! Somebody help!’ ”

According to the Lancaster Online report, McDonald coached the mother, Megan Norman, and the father, Shane Norman, through CPR while Pine called 911 on his cellphone. Stone was checking for Braydin’s pulse while team members helped comfort the family. After several minutes of CPR, the boy began to open his eyes.

“The parents were very appreciative of the boys,” Maraj-Owens said. “They were panicked and worried for their child’s life when he stopped breathing. They said the players helped save (Braydin). He was alert and oriented when I arrived.”

Mike Brawley, manager of the EMS in Johnstown, said Braydin was transported to Conemaugh Hospital from the family’s location at Somerset and Napoleon streets.

After the team’s heroics, the family tracked down the team through Facebook. One of the Millersville players had placed a bracelet around Braydin’s wrist before he went in the ambulance. The family attended a May 10 game against Gannon as fans.

“Them being there, and being calm, and telling me what to do — it made all the difference in the world,” Megan Norman told Lancaster Online.

“If they hadn’t been walking to get something to eat at 1 in the morning, we could have lost him. I’m very grateful. They are a great group of kids. They have some true fans for life.”

Millersville’s baseball team is 18-6 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and 38-16 overall. They are playing in the Division II NCAA Atlantic Regional today in North Carolina