Phenom is a women’s basketball prospect in her senior year of high school. Phenom is hoping to attend Ocean State University (OSU) next fall and play basketball. For the past 2 years, Phenom has participated on a club team in Sweden, her home country. Prior to participating, Phenom signed a contract that entitled her to receive actual and necessary expenses plus $500 a month. The contract expires the day after the last game of her senior year in high school.
Is it permissible for Phenom to receive actual and necessary expenses plus a small salary for participating on this club team?
No. NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52.2 states that in sports other than men’s ice hockey and skiing, before initial full-time collegiate enrollment, an individual may compete on a professional team (per Bylaw 12.02.10), provided he or she does not receive more than actual and necessary expenses to participate on the team. (Adopted: 4/29/10 effective 8/1/10; applicable to student-athletes who initially enroll full time in a collegiate institution on or after 8/1/10)
Are there any eligibility implications with the above scenario?
Yes. Institutions that encounter such situations should review the NCAA Division I Committee On Student-Athlete Reinstatement Guidelines [Division I ACP Guidelines Chart]– (see link below). It is very important to note that these type of situations are factually driven, so each one will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
For this particular situation, the guidelines indicate that Phenom would be ineligible for intercollegiate athletics and OSU will have to submit a waiver to ask that her eligibility be reinstated.
From the Guidelines: Prospective student-athlete signed an agreement or contract that provides for the receipt of money above expenses (including, but not limited to, salary, bonuses and stipends).
Eligibility not reinstated. (June 2006),(May 2008)