Daily Compliance Item- 10/15/14- Contract to Play on a Club Team

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 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)

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