Daily Compliance Item- 3.22.17- NCAA Proposal 2016-114- Study-Abroad Programs

With the adoption of NCAA Proposal 2016-114, student-athletes will be permitted to participate in a study-abroad program (as regulated by their institutions) and exempt that time from counting against their five-year clock. When applying this new legislation, which of the following is true?

A. This legislated exception only applies to a regular academic term, not the summer.

B. If a student-athlete participates in a study-abroad program, the institution may replace that student-athlete’s scholarship with another student-athlete already on the team.

C. Student-Athletes are not permitted to participate in outside competition while participating in the study-abroad program.

D. All of the Above.

The answer is D. The following bylaws are associated with this new legislation. There are a lot of moving parts to this exception, so institutions will need to educate their coaches and student-athletes to make sure they understand all the parameters associated with qualifying for the exception with regard to the student-athlete’s eligibility and financial aid.

NCAA Bylaw 12.8.1.3 Academic Study Abroad Exception. Time spent participating in a full-time study-abroad program during a regular term of an academic year may be excepted from the application of the five-year rule, provided:

(a) The institution recognizes the student-athlete as a full-time student at the time he or she participates in the study-abroad program;

(b) At the time of participation in the study-abroad program, the student-athlete is academically eligible for competition and is not subject to an athletically related suspension;

(c) The student-athlete does not participate in practice or competition with the institution’s team and does not engage in outside competition while participating in the study-abroad program;

(d) The student-athlete satisfactorily completes the study-abroad program; and

(e) The student-athlete earns a baccalaureate degree within five years or fewer.

NCAA Bylaw 15.5.2.5 Academic Study Abroad Replacement. A student-athlete who is participating in a full-time study abroad program pursuant to Bylaw 12.8.1.3 may be replaced as a counter for the term or terms of participation by a student who already has enrolled in the institution and is a member of the team.

NCAA Bylaw 5.5.3.2.4.4 Academic Study Abroad Exception. All countable financial aid of a student-athlete who is participating in a full-time study-abroad program pursuant to Bylaw 12.8.1.3 is exempt from an institution’s equivalency computation. Countable financial aid in an amount equal to the countable financial aid provided to the participating student-athlete may be provided to a student who already has enrolled in the institution and is a member of the team for the term or terms of participation in the study-abroad program.

NCAA Bylaw 15.5.6.3.10 Academic Study Abroad Replacement. A student-athlete who already has enrolled in the institution and is a member of the team may replace a counter who is participating in a full-time study abroad program pursuant to Bylaw 12.8.1.3 for the term or terms of participation without being counted as an initial counter.

NCAA Bylaw 15.5.6.4.3 Academic Study Abroad Replacement. A student-athlete who is participating in a full-time study abroad program pursuant to Bylaw 12.8.1.3 may be replaced as a counter for the term or terms of participation by a student who already has enrolled in the institution and is a member of the team.

NCAA Educational Column- Proposal No. 2016-114 Athletics Eligibility — Five-Year Rule — Exception — Study Abroad Programs (I)– provides further clarification on the correct application of the legislation.

This document contains questions and answers to assist the NCAA membership in its understanding of Proposal No. 2016-114 (study abroad programs).

Eligibility.

Question No. 1: What does “satisfactorily completes” the study abroad program mean (e.g., a letter grade or pass fail)?

Answer: Satisfactory completion of the study abroad program is determined by the member institution. It must be completed in accordance with policies and procedures for completion of a study abroad program for all students at the institution.

Question No. 2: What happens if the student-athlete does not satisfactorily complete the study abroad program?

Answer: The exception to the five-year rule cannot be used if the study abroad program is not satisfactorily completed.

Question No. 3: Does the length of the program matter (e.g., two weeks, month or semester)?

Answer: Yes. In order for the exception to apply the student-athlete must participate in the study abroad program for an entire regular academic term or terms.

Question No. 4: Does the term matter (e.g., fall, spring or summer)?

Answer: Yes. In order to satisfy the legislation, the study abroad program must occur during a regular academic term or terms (i.e., fall/winter/spring semester or quarter).

Question No. 5: How does the legislation apply to a summer study abroad program?

Answer: No. The legislation does not apply to a summer study abroad program. Such a program would not be exempted from a student-athlete’s five-year period.

Question No. 6: Must the student-athlete’s participation in the study abroad program occur during the term that is the championship segment?

Answer: No. The exception may apply during a term that is either the championship or nonchampionship segment.

Question No. 7: May a student-athlete participate on an outside team while studying abroad?

Answer: No. A student-athlete is prohibited from participating on an outside team while studying abroad.

Question No. 8: May the legislation be applied to both domestic and international institutional study abroad programs?

Answer: Yes, provided the other criteria of the legislation are satisfied.

Question No. 9: Must the study abroad program be conducted by the student-athlete’s institution?

Answer: No. However, the study abroad program must be completed in accordance with normal institutional policies and procedures and the student-athlete must be recognized as a full-time student at the student-athlete’s institution.

Question No. 10: May an institution pay the study abroad cost at another institution?

Answer: No, an institution may not provide financial aid to a student-athlete to attend another institution.

Question No. 11: When must the study abroad program be completed?

Answer: The study abroad program must be completed in accordance with normal institutional policies and procedures.

Question No. 12: Does this legislation apply to student-athletes who are serving an academic year of residence (i.e., transfer student-athlete or nonqualifier) at the institution?

Answer: A nonqualifier or transfer student-athlete who is serving an academic year of residence is not academically eligible for competition, so the legislation would not apply.

Financial Aid.

Question No. 13: May a school reduce or cancel future financial aid if a student-athlete does not satisfactorily complete the study abroad program?

Answer: Current financial aid legislation applies regarding the reduction or cancellation of athletically related financial aid (15.3.4.2 Reduction or Cancellation Permitted).

Question No. 14: How are multiyear agreements affected when a student-athlete is used as a replacement for when another student-athlete is studying abroad?

Answer: A student-athlete’s multiyear agreement remains the same after the student-athlete returns to the team. This legislation does not impact the timing of or continuing effect of a multiyear agreement.

Question No. 15: If a second year student-athlete who had not previously received athletically related financial aid remains on aid after being used as a replacement counter due a study abroad replacement, must the institution retroactively apply counter status to the previous year?

Answer: No. The counter status does not have to be retroactively applied.

Question No. 16: May the student-athlete who is participating in a full-time study abroad program be replaced as a counter by an incoming student-athlete?

Answer: No. The student-athlete who is participating in a full-time study abroad program may be replaced as a counter only by a student-athlete who was enrolled full time in the previous regular academic term and who participated with the team in the previous regular academic term.

Jennifer M. Condaras
Deputy Commissioner, NCAA Relations & Administration
Colonial Athletic Association

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION or JumpForward. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

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