Daily Compliance Item- 5.19.15- 15.2.8, 15.3.2.2- Summer Aid Agreement

Ocean State University is providing several student-athletes with athletic aid to attend summer school.  Is the institution required to provide these student-athletes with a written grant-in-aid agreement noting the amount, etc.?
 
No.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 7/30/12-  Notification of Summer Financial Aid Award (I) – states that  an institution that is providing a financial aid award to a student-athlete for attendance at the institution’s summer session is not required to provide the recipient with a written statement of the amount, duration, conditions or terms of the award.
  [References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 15.2.8 (summer financial aid) and 15.3.2.3 (written statement requirement); a staff interpretation (5/31/12, Item c) and an official interpretation (10/14/92, Item No. 5-c-(4)) which have been archived]
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Daily Compliance Item- 5.6.15- 15.2.8.1.2, 16.5.2- Summer Aid During Vacation Period

Several Ocean State University (OSU) track and field student-athletes have qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championship.  Most of these student-athletes will also be enrolled in summer school while they are participating in this post-season event.  
 
If the student-athletes are receiving athletic aid to attend summer school, is OSU permitted to provide them financial assistance for participating in the NCAA championship?
 
Yes with conditions.  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 15.2.8.1.2 (enrolled student-athletes), 16.5.2 (vacation-period expenses) and staff interpretation (04/12/1991, Item Ref d), which has been archived]
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Daily Compliance Item- 5.5.15- 15.5.3.2- Equivalency Computation for Part-Time Enrollees

Striker, a men’s soccer student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU), will only need to enroll in 6 hours during the fall 2015 semester to fulfill graduation requirements.  When calculating Striker’s scholarship equivalency, OSU will include the actual or average cost of a full grant in aid for a full-time student in the denominator.  
A.  True
B.  False
 
The answer is A.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 5/1/15- Equivalency Computation Method for a Student-Athlete Enrolled Part-Time (I)- states that a student-athlete is eligible for institutional financial aid while enrolled part-time during any regular term of the academic year (e.g., meets final semester/quarter exception), the student-athlete’s denominator for equivalency calculation purposes shall be based on the actual or average cost of a full grant-in-aid for all students enrolled in a minimum full-time program of studies at the institution.
[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 14.2.2.1.3 (final semester/quarter), 15.01.5 (eligibility for student-athletes for institutional financial aid), 15.5.3.2 (equivalency computations), and 15.5.3.2.1 (additional requirements)]
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Daily Compliance Item- 4.6.15- 15.3.3.1- Multi-Year Agreements

Dub L. Fault is a prospective student-athlete who signed a National Letter of intent (NLI) to play tennis for Ocean State University (OSU) next year.  The aid agreement that OSU provided Dub with the NLI was as follows:
2015-16- 75%
2016-17- 75%
2017-18- 0%
2018-19- 100%
Is this a permissible aid agreement?
Yes.  NCAA Educational Column- 4/3/15- Multi-year Financial Aid Agreements (I)- states that with the adoption of NCAA Proposal Nos. 2014-13 (as amended by Proposal No. 2014-13-1) and 2014-14, the membership has raised additional questions regarding multi-year agreements. While the January 24, 2012, question and answer column regarding the multi-year agreement legislation remains an important resource, the following is intended to provide additional clarification for the membership.
Question No. 1: How is the period of award for a multi-year agreement defined?
Answer: The period of award for a financial aid agreement begins in the academic year in which aid is first provided and ends once the agreement no longer specifies that it will provide athletically related financial aid for additional academic terms or years. The following examples are intended to illustrate the period of award for various financial aid awards:

1) Scenario: Provides a 50-percent equivalency for the first academic year and no athletically related financial aid for the second and third academic years.

Analysis: One academic year. The agreement is a one-year financial aid agreement for the student-athlete’s first academic year at the certifying institution and would need to be renewed or not renewed after the initial year.

2) Scenario: Provides no athletically related financial aid for the first academic year and a 50-percent equivalency for the second and third academic years.

Analysis: Two academic years. The agreement is a two-year financial aid agreement that does not begin until the student-athlete’s second academic year of enrollment at the certifying institution. Note that because no athletics aid was provided in the initial year of enrollment, this financial aid agreement would not validate an NLI.

3) Scenario: Provides a 50-percent equivalency for the first academic year, no athletically related financial aid for the second academic year and a 50-percent equivalency for the third academic year.

Analysis: Three academic years. The agreement is a three-year financial aid agreement that begins with the student-athlete’s first academic year at the certifying institution.

Question No. 2: Is it permissible to provide a student-athlete a temporary increase during the period of the award and return the student-athlete to the original award during the period of the award without the return to the original award being considered a reduction? For example, a student-athlete is awarded a three-year financial aid agreement for a 25-percent equivalency from athletics. At the start of the second term of the student-athlete’s first academic year, additional athletically related financial aid is available and the decision is made to award it to the student-athlete for that term only. After that term, the student-athlete will return to the 25-percent equivalency for the remainder of the period of award.
Answer: Yes, a temporary increase during the period of award may occur at any time during the period of award. However, at the time of renewal, the new financial aid agreement would be considered a reduction if it does not cover the same term (or remainder of the student-athlete’s eligibility) and does not average equal to or more than the average of the previous agreement, including any increases.
Question No. 3: Is it permissible to adjust a multiyear financial aid agreement to decrease in one academic year and increase in an equal value in a later academic year if the total equivalency provided equals or exceeds the value stated in the original financial aid agreement? For example, the original multiyear agreement provides a 25-percent equivalency per academic year for five academic years. Can the institution adjust the agreement to provide a 25-percent equivalency for the first three academic years, a 35-percent equivalency for the fourth academic year and a 15-percent equivalency for the fifth academic year?
Answer: The answer depends on the wording of the financial aid agreement. If, as in the example above, the agreement states that it provides a 25-percent equivalency per academic year for five academic years, then it is not permissible to reallocate the award in such a way that would result in the award for any academic year within the period of award to be less than a 25-percent equivalency, absent a renegotiation of the terms that results in an overall increase to the student-athlete. If, however, the financial aid agreement specifies that it provides an average of a 25-percent equivalency over five academic years, then the reallocation described above would be permitted as long as the student-athlete receives an average of at least 25-percent of an equivalency over the five-year period of the award. As a best practice, institutions that offer awards that specify
an average amount of athletics aid to be provided over multiple academic years are encouraged to notify the student-athlete of the specific equivalency he or she will receive for the upcoming academic year not later than legislated date for providing student-athletes with renewal notifications.
Question No. 4: May a one-year agreement be extended prior to the end of the agreement to make it a multi-year agreement?
Answer: Yes, but the terms of the agreement depend on whether the student-athlete’s agreement is subject to the new NCAA Bylaw 15.3.4.3. If it isnot subject to the new Bylaw 15.3.4.3, the agreement must maintain the terms of the single year agreement for that initial year, but may be for any amount for the subsequent years. If the existing agreement is subject to the new Bylaw 15.3.4.3, the new agreement cannot average any less than the amount received by the student-athlete under the single-year agreement. For example, a one-year agreement for 2015-16 for a 50-percent equivalency not subject to the new Bylaw 15.3.4.3 could be extended post signing to a three-year award of 50-percent for 2015-16, 10-percent for 2016-17 and 10-percent for 2017-18 (or any other terms for 2016-17 and 2017-18). That same three-year agreement subject to the new Bylaw 15.3.4.3 could be extended to 50-percent, 25-percent, 75-percent or 25-percent, 50-percent, 75-percent, but not less than any other term combination that averages to 50-percent over the new three-year period of the award.
[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 15.02.7 (period of award), 15.3.2.3 (hearing opportunity), 15.3.2.3.1 (reduction of a multi-year award), 15.3.3 (period of institutional financial aid award), 15.3.3.1 (period of award), 15.3.4.1 (increase permitted), and 15.3.4.3 (reduction or nonrenewal not permitted) (effective August 1, 2015)]
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.
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Daily Compliance Item- 3.26.15- 15.2.8.1.2.3- Summer School Aid

Clay Court is a full athletic scholarship men’s tennis student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU).  Clay was also awarded an academic scholarship, so his athletic aid was reduced pursuant to NCAA financial aid limits.  His equivalency against team limits is now 75%. 
Clay is going to attend summer school and OSU would like to provide athletic aid to help with expenses.  Which of the following is a true statement?
A. Clay  may receive a 75% scholarship to attend summer school
B. Clay  may receive a full scholarship to attend summer school
C. Clay  may not receive any athletic aid to attend summer school
D.  None of the above
The answer is BNCAA Bylaw 15.2.8.1.2.3 states that if an institution provides a student-athlete with a full athletics grant during the academic year but is required to reduce the grant in accordance with Bylaw 15.1.4 (reduction when excess aid is awarded), the institution may provide the student-athlete full athletically related financial aid to attend the institution’s summer term.

Daily Compliance Item- 3.12.15- 15.5.9.1.1- Counting Aid for Multi Sport Athletes

Stutter Step is a freshman track student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU). Stutter is receiving a full athletic scholarship during the 2014-15 academic year.  The OSU football coaches have talked to Stutter about playing football next year.  If Stutter plays football during the 2015-16 academic year and receives athletic aid, does he have to count as an initial counter in the sport of football since he received athletic aid the previous year for a different sport?
Yes.  NCAA Bylaw 15.5.9.1.1 states that a counter who previously has not been counted in football shall be considered an initial counter even though the student-athlete already has received countable financial aid in another sport.

Daily Compliance Item- 3.10.15- 15.2.8, 15.3.2.2- Summer Aid

Ocean State University (OSU) administrators are reviewing student-athletes’ records to determine which student-athletes need to enroll in summer school.  If OSU provides those student-athletes athletic aid to attend summer school, do they need to provide them with a written aid agreement?
No.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 7/30/12- Notification of Summer Financial Aid Award (I)- states that an institution that is providing a financial aid award to a student-athlete for attendance at the institution’s summer session is not required to provide the recipient with a written statement of the amount, duration, conditions or terms of the award.
[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 15.2.8 (summer financial aid) and 15.3.2.3 (written statement requirement); a staff interpretation (5/31/12, Item c) and an official interpretation (10/14/92, Item No. 5-c-(4)) which have been archived]

Daily Compliance Item- 1.22.15- 15.5.1.10.1- FBS NLI/GIA Signing Limit

The Ocean State University (OSU) football coaches are finalizing their list of National Letters of Intent (NLIs) for next month’s signing period. Is there a limit on how many prospects can sign with OSU?
Yes.  NCAA Bylaw 15.5.1.10.1 states that in bowl subdivision football, there shall be an annual limit of 25 on the number of prospective student-athletes who may sign a National Letter of Intent or an institutional offer of financial aid from December 1 through May 31.

Daily Compliance Item- 1.8.15- 15.5.2.3- Mid-Year Replacement

Setter is a volleyball student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU) who graduated this past December.  Although she has exhausted her eligibility for volleyball,Setter  is going to enroll this spring in a graduate program and participate on the softball team.  The volleyball team is currently using all 12 scholarships.  If OSU continues to provide her with athletic aid, can the coach use the mid-year replacement legislation and provide a scholarship to a freshman that just initially enrolled spring 2015?
 
Yes.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 4/22/11- Midyear Replacement of a Multisport Participant (I)- states that an institution may replace a football or women’s volleyball student-athlete who graduates at midyear or who graduated during the previous academic year (including the summer) with another counter (who, in football; shall count as an initial counter), even if the student-athlete being “replaced” remains enrolled as a graduate student receiving athletically related financial aid and/or participates in another sport.
[References: NCAA Bylaws 15.5.2.3 (midyear replacement – women’s volleyball), 15.5.6.3.5 (midyear replacement) and official interpretation (6/3/98, Item No 1), which has been archived]
NCAA Bylaw 15.5.2.3 states that in women’s volleyball, the financial aid of a counter who graduates at midyear or who graduates during the previous academic year (including summer) may be provided to another student-athlete without making the second student-athlete a counter for the remainder of that academic year. (Adopted: 1/11/89, Revised:  1/16/10 effective 8/1/10)

Daily Compliance Item- 1.5.15- 15.3.4.2- Voluntarily Quit at Conclusion of Term

Red  Card, men’s soccer student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU), voluntarily quit the team at the conclusion of the fall 2014 semester.   OSU has not yet begun its spring 2015 semester.  Is OSU permitted to cancel Red’s athletic scholarship and provide it to another student-athlete on the team during the spring 2015 semester?  
Yes.  NCAA Bylaw 15.3.4.2 states that institutional financial aid based in any degree on athletics ability may be reduced or canceled during the period of the award if the recipient: (Revised: 1/10/92, 1/11/94, 1/10/95, 1/9/96, 12/13/05, 9/11/07)  
(a) Renders himself or herself ineligible for intercollegiate competition;  
(b) Fraudulently misrepresents any information on an application, letter of intent or financial aid agreement (see Bylaw 15.3.4.2.3);   (c) Engages in serious misconduct warranting substantial disciplinary penalty (see Bylaw 15.3.4.2.4); or  
(d) Voluntarily (on his or her own initiative) withdraws from a sport at any time for personal reasons; however, the recipient’s financial aid may not be awarded to another student-athlete in the academic term in which the aid was reduced or canceled.  A student-athlete’s request for written permission to contact another four-year collegiate institution regarding a possible transfer does not constitute a voluntary withdrawal.