Summer Daily Compliance Item- 15.2.8.1.4- 6 Hour Requirement for Summer Athletic Aid

Break Point will be a freshman tennis student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU) this fall.  Break decided to take two courses in the summer to help get a jump start on his degree requirements.  Break completed 3 hours during summer session 1 and is currently enrolled in 3 hours for summer session 2, so he meets the enrollment requirement (6 hours) in order to receive athletic aid.  Two weeks into the second summer session, Break injured his back.  The injury was severe enough that Break had to withdrawal from the class and return home to get treatment.   
Since Break did not complete the required 6 hours in the summer, does OSU have a financial aid violation?
No.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 6/29/25- Summer Athletics Financial Aid Prior to Initial Full-Time Enrollment at the Certifying Institution (I)- indicates that the legislation which permits an institution to provide athletically related financial aid to individuals during the summer prior to initial, full-time enrollment at the certifying institution and confirmed that:
(1) An institution that offers multiple summer school sessions may award athletically related financial aid to a prospective student-athlete to attend any session prior to initial, full-time collegiate enrollment, provided the prospect satisfies the minimum academic-hours requirement during the entire summer (i.e., either during a single summer session or by combining hours from multiple summer sessions);
(2) A prospective student-athlete may satisfy the minimum academic-hours requirement by initially enrolling in six hours of academic degree credit (other than physical activity courses) during the summer, even if the prospect does not complete such hours; and(3) A prospective student-athlete who receives athletically-related financial aid during the summer prior to initial, full-time enrollment at the certifying institution may receive summer financial aid for a maximum of five summers.
[References:  NCAA Bylaw 15.2.8.1.4 (summer financial aid — prior to initial, full-time enrollment at the certifying institution — athletics aid); 2/16/00 official interpretation, Item No. 3 and 4/11/00 official interpretation, Item No. 11-(c)-3, which have been archived]
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Summer Daily Compliance Item- 7.15.15- 15.02.5.5, 15.02.5.5.2- Transfer Taking Official Visit During Dead Period

Jump Ball is a men’s basketball student-athlete at Bay State College.  Jump wants to transfer to Ocean State University (OSU) this fall.  Before he commits to OSU, he would like to visit campus and meet with the coaches.  There are only 3 dates in the month of July when Jump is available to visit the campus.  All 3 dates happen to fall in a dead period.  Is it permissible for Jump to take an official visit to OSU during a dead period?
 
No.  NCAA Bylaw 13.02.5.5 states that a dead period is a period of time when it is not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off the institution’s campus or to permit official or unofficial visits by prospective student-athletes to the institution’s campus. It remains permissible, however, for an institutional staff member to write or telephone a prospective student-athlete during a dead period.
 
Would Jump be permitted to take an official visit to OSU during a dead period after he signs his written letter of admission to the institution?
 
Yes.  NCAA Bylaw 13.02.5.5.2 states that a prospective student-athlete is no longer subject to the application of a dead period after one of the following events occurs:  
(a) The prospective student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent (NLI) or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid; or
 
(b) The institution receives a financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission.
 
NCAA Educational Column- 4/28/15- Recruiting Activities After a Prospective Student-Athlete Commits to an Institution (I)- notes, pursuant to the exception after commitment legislation, that the exception after commitment legislation, after the institution has received an individual’s financial deposit in response to its offer of admission or the individual has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid the individual is no longer subject to the restrictions of Bylaw 13.1; however, the individual remains a prospective student-athlete for purposes of applying the remaining provisions of Bylaw 13 and other bylaws.
 
The following questions and answers are intended to assist the membership in applying NCAA Division I recruiting legislation after an individual has signed a National Letter of Intent or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or after the institution has received his or her financial deposit in response to its offer of admission (i.e., after the individual’s commitment to the institution).
 
Football.
Question No. 1: In bowl subdivision football, may a coaching staff member have in-person contact, on or off campus, during the December or January dead period with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coaching staff member’s institution?
 
Answer: No. During the December or January dead period, it is not permissible to have contact with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the institution. However, it is permissible for the institution to have contact with a prospective student-athlete who has arrived in the locale of the institution for initial full-time enrollment.
 
Question No. 2: In football, may a coaching staff member have contact with a committed prospective student-athlete while the prospective student-athlete is participating in an all-star contest?
 
Answer: No. It is not permissible for an institution to make in-person contact, on- or off-campus, with a prospective student-athlete participating in an all-star contest from the time the prospective student-athlete arrives in the locale of the contest until he returns to his home or to his educational institution.
 
Question No. 3: In bowl subdivision football, during the spring evaluation period, may the head coach visit the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution after he has committed to the coaching staff member’s institution?
 
Answer: No. It is not permissible for an institution’s head coach, or any coach who has been publicly designated to become the next head coach, to make in-person, off-campus contact with a prospective student-athlete during the April 15 through May 31 evaluation period at any location, even if the prospective student-athlete has signed the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or the institution has received the prospective student-athlete’s financial deposit in response to its offer of admission.
 
Question No. 4: May a coaching staff member have contact outside of a contact or evaluation period with a prospective student-athlete, who has committed to the coaching staff member’s institution, at the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution?
Answer: Any visit to a prospective student-athlete’s educational institution during a contact period counts as a contact for all prospective student-athletes in that sport at that educational institution.
 
All Sports.
Question No. 1: In sports other than bowl subdivision football, may a coaching staff member have in-person contact, on or off campus, during a dead period with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coaching staff member’s institution?
Answer: Yes. A prospective student-athlete is no longer subject to the application of the dead period legislation after he or she signs an NLI or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid, or the institution receives a financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission; however, the dead period legislation still applies to all other prospective student-athletes.
 
Question No. 2: May a coaching staff member have contact outside of a contact or evaluation period (or a recruiting period in men’s basketball) with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coaching staff member’s institution, at the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution?
 
Answer: No. It is not permissible to have contact outside of a contact or evaluation period (or a recruiting period in men’s basketball) with a prospective student-athlete at his or her educational institution, because recruiting rules still apply to all other prospective student-athletes at the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution.
 
Question No. 3: May a coaching staff member have in-person contact, on- or off-campus, with a nonqualifier who is enrolled in his or her first year of college at a two-year institution after he or she commits to the coaching staff member’s institution?
 
Answer: Yes; however, it is not permissible to provide such a prospective student-athlete an official visit until he or she has completed an academic year at a two-year college.
 
Question No. 4: Is an institution required to obtain permission to contact a four-year college prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution?
 
Answer: No. An institution that has received a four-year college prospective student-athlete’s signed acceptance of admission or a financial deposit in response to its offer of admission is not required to obtain written permission from another NCAA or NAIA four-year collegiate institution to make contact with the prospective student-athlete; however, the institution is required to obtain written permission from the four-year college prospective student-athlete’s previous institution to provide the student-athlete with athletically related financial assistance during the prospective student-athlete’s first year of full-time enrollment at that institution.  Further, if the four-year college student-athlete is transferring from an NCAA or NAIA member institution, the student-athlete’s previous institution must certify in writing that it has no objection to the student-athlete using the one-time transfer exception.
 
Question No. 5: Do the restrictions on telephone calls (e.g., one telephone call per week) and electronic correspondence apply to a prospective student-athlete once the individual commits to the coach’s institution?
 
Answer: No.
 
Question No. 6: Do the restrictions on the number of contacts apply to a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution?
 
Answer: No.
 
Question No. 7: Do the restrictions on the number of evaluations apply to a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution?
 
Answer: Although the institution does not use an evaluation for the prospective student-athlete who has commited to the institution, a visit (without contact) to a prospective student-athlete’s educational institution counts as an evaluation for all prospective student-athletes in that sport at that educational institution.  In addition, in team sports, the institution uses an evaluation for all prospective student-athletes participating in the practice or competition in which the committed prospective student-athlete participates. In football, an observation that occurs during a permissible contact period counts only as a contact.

Question No. 8: In sports with evaluation days (i.e., football, softball, women’s volleyball and women’s sand volleyball), does the institution use an evaluation day for observing a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution?

 
Answer: If the prospective student-athlete who has commited to the coach’s institution participates in a team sport that has evaluation days (e.g., football), then an evaluation day is used when the coach engages in an evaluation of the committed prospective student-athlete participating in practice or competition in the team sport.
 
For example, a committed prospective student-athlete participates in both softball and golf. The institution’s softball coach observes the committed prospective student-athlete participating in a softball tournament. In this scenario, an evaluation day is used.  However, if the institution’s softball coach observes the committed prospective student-athlete participating in golf, an evaluation day is not used.
 
Question No. 9: Do the restrictions on the number of recruiting opportunities apply to a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution?
 
Answer: No.
 
Question No. 10: Is a coaching staff member permitted to have contact with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution after the prospective student-athlete has reported on call and before she has been released by the appropriate authority?
 
Answer: Yes. However, recruiting regulations still apply to all other prospective student-athletes participating in the practice or competition.
 
Question No. 11: In men’s basketball, women’s basketball and football, is a coaching staff member permitted to visit a prospective student-athlete’s educational institution more than once per week after the prospective student-athlete commits to the coach’s institution?
 
Answer: No. While a prospective student-athlete is no longer subject to the restrictions of Bylaw 13.1 after commitment, recruiting regulations still apply to all other prospective student-athletes at the prospective student athlete’s educational institution.
 
Question No. 12: In women’s basketball, during the July evaluation period, may a coaching staff member have communication with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution?
 
Answer: Yes. During the July evaluation period in women’s basketball, a coaching staff member may have communication with a prospective student-athlete, her relatives or legal guardians, her coach or any individual associated with her as a result of her participation in basketball, provided she has committed to the coach’s institution. However, because the recruiting regulations still apply to all other prospective student-athletes, it is not permissible for a coaching staff member to have communication with a prospective student-athlete’s coach or any other individual associated with the prospective student-athlete if the individual has not committed to the coach’s institution.
 

There seems to be a lot of confusion from the coaches with this part of the legislation.  The exception for after commitment is intended to apply to the institution with which the PSA committed.  Once he/she enrolls at that institution and another institution receives permission to contact, the individual is considered a PSA again and would have to commit to the certifying institution in order for the exception to apply. 

 

The current dead period for July applies to all PSAs.

 
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Summer Daily Compliance Item- 5.29.15- 15.02.5- SAF to Cover COA Expenses

Ocean State University (OSU) administrators are finalizing the scholarship budget for next year.  They have committed to providing COA to a few of the teams, and have revised their financial aid agreements accordingly.  However, they do not have the budget to pay this increase in expenses.  OSU’s conference office, Ocean’s Eleven, has indicated it is okay per conference policy to use Student Assistant Fund (SAF) dollars to cover the COA expenses.  Is this permissible per NCAA legislation?  Do the SAF expenses covering COA have to be considered countable aid?
Yes it is permissible within NCAA legislation and yes those dollars would be considered countable aid.  The Autonomy Legislation Q&A Document (updated 5/22/15) provides further clarification on this matter.
Question #9:
Question:  If a financial aid agreement specifies that it will provide “other expenses related to attendance”, can the SAF be used to provide those expenses?
Answer: It is permissible to use SAF to provide other expenses related to attendance at the institution when those expenses are included in a financial aid agreement, provided the SAF funds used in such a manner are counted toward the student’s individual and team financial aid limits. Institutions remain responsible for ensuring that SAF funds, including those disbursed under these circumstances, are not used to provide tuition and fees, room and board or required course-related books during a regular term and are not included when reporting athletics aid for revenue distribution or other NCAA Bylaw 20 purposes. Finally, for purposes of NCAA financial aid legislation it remains permissible, subject to institutional and conference policies and procedures, to use SAF for other expenses related to attendance at the institution that are not included in the student’s financial aid agreement without affecting the student’s individual or team financial aid limits.
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

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