R.B.I is a prospect that signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Ocean State University (OSU) next year. R.B.I will attend summer school (on athletics aid) prior to enrolling this fall. R.B.I does not qualify for any institutional aid and therefore will only receive athletics aid (50%). R.B.I gets hurt during his summer league play and might not be able to play at OSU during the 2013-14 academic year. With the severity of his injury uncertain, R.B.I. tells the coach that he would like to relinquish his athletic aid for the 2013-14 academic year and have his parents pay for his educational expenses.
Is it possible for R.B.I. to relinquish his aid and allow OSU to provide that money to another student-athlete?
No. NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199.5 states that before becoming a counter for an academic year pursuant to a one-year grant-in-aid, if a prospective student-athlete or student-athlete is awarded institutional financial aid unrelated to athletics that is of equal or greater value than his or her signed award of athletically related financial aid, the prospective student-athlete or student-athlete may, on his or her initiative, release the institution of its obligation to provide the athletically related financial aid.
NCAA Staff Interpretation- 9/21/11- Student-Athlete’s Voluntary Release of Institution’s Obligation to Provide Athletically Related Financial Aid (I)- states that once a prospective or enrolled student-athlete signs an institution’s financial aid agreement, it is not permissible to voluntarily release the institution’s obligation to provide athletically related financial aid, except under the conditions set forth in the release of obligation to provide athletically related financial aid legislation.
Boot Leg is a football student-athlete enrolled at an FBS institution. Boot wants to transfer, so he can be closer to his family. The institution he has selected is currently going through the reclassification process to change from FCS to FBS. Is Boot eligible to utilize the one-time transfer exception?
No. NCAA Educational Column- 5/23/13- One-Time Transfer Exception — Application During Reclassification from FCS to FBS (I) – states that NCAA Division I institutions should note that while an institution is reclassifying from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the reclassifying institution is required to meet all applicable FBS requirements (with the exception of scheduling requirements during the first year of reclassification). However, the institution is not an active FBS member until it has completed the reclassification process and been elected to FBS status by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors; therefore, any football student-athletes attending the reclassifying institution who transfer to another FCS institution are FCS to FCS transfers. Consequently, unless the student-athlete is transferring to an FCS institution that does not offer athletically related financial aid in the sport of football, the individual cannot meet the conditions of the one-time transfer exception [see NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52.10-(a)].
Further, an institution in the process of reclassifying its football program from FCS to FBS must certify all incoming transfers under FBS regulations. Therefore, a football student-athlete who transfers from an FBS institution to the reclassifying institution is also unable to meet the conditions of the one-time transfer exception [see Bylaw 184.108.40.206.10-(a)]. Finally, a football student-athlete who enrolls midyear at an FCS institution that will begin the reclassification process from FCS to FBS the next academic year must be re-certified in the fall using the transfer regulations that apply to FBS programs.
[References: Bylaws 220.127.116.11 (general rule), 18.104.22.168.10 (one time transfer exception) and 20.4.2 (football subdivision reclassification options)]
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.
Veer is a football student-athlete who will be initially enrolling full-time at Ocean State University (OSU) this fall. He wants to get a few general requirements out of the way, so Veer has enrolled in a few summer courses at OSU. Veer will receive an athletic scholarship this summer to cover all of Veer’s expenses. Since Veer is receiving athletic aid to attend a summer session, will he be an initial and/or overall counter during the 2013-14 academic year?
Yes for both limits. NCAA Bylaw 22.214.171.124.1 states that in football, a prospective student-athlete who receives athletically related financial aid during a summer term prior to initial full-time enrollment at the certifying institution shall be an initial and overall counter for the ensuing academic year. (See Bylaws 15.02.3 and 15.5.6.) (Adopted: 1/14/12)
If Veer is deemed a non-qualifier or decides not to enroll at OSU after the summer session, will he still be an initial and/or overall counter for the 2013-14 academic year?
Yes. When Proposal 2011-75 was adopted last year, NCAA staff clarified that in football, prospective student-athlete who receives athletically related financial aid during a summer term is an initial and overall counter for the next academic year. This parameter applies even if the prospective student-athlete is a non-qualifier or does not enroll.
Clay Court is a tennis student-athlete at Ocean State University. Clay and a few of his teammates have qualified for the NCAA championships, so they are required to remain on campus to practice. Additionally, Clay has enrolled in summer school classes that will take place while he is preparing for the tournament. Clay is receiving a full athletic scholarship to cover his summer school expenses. As part of his full scholarship, Clay will receive the full cost of room and board.
Is it permissible for Ocean State University to provide Clay with the same room and board stipend as his teammates that are not enrolled in summer school?
No. Clay is receiving financial aid to cover the full cost of room and board, and he is not permitted to receive any expenses in excess of the full cost of room and board. 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 126.96.36.199.2 (enrolled student-athletes), 16.5.2 (vacation-period expenses) and staff interpretation (04/12/1991, Item Ref d), which has been archived]
Dub Ell is a baseball student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU). Dub is not on athletic aid, but he is receiving an institutional scholarship based on his academic success. As part of the application for this scholarship, Dub was asked to list his achievements and extracurricular activities. Dub included both athletic and academic accomplishments. Since the application did not specifically request information related to Dub’s athletic participation and the selection committee will not use such information when determining scholarship recipients, can OSU certify that this scholarship is unrelated to athletics ability and therefore not consider Dub to be a counter for the baseball team?
Yes. NCAA Official Interpretation- 3/12/12- Certification of Institutional Aid Unrelated to Athletics Ability (I)- states that an institution is not permitted to certify that a student-athlete’s institutional financial aid is unrelated in any degree to athletics ability if the student-athlete’s athletics participation or achievements are criteria specifically requested as part of the application process for such aid. An institution may certify that the student-athlete’s aid is unrelated in any degree to athletics ability (even if the student-athlete lists athletics participation or achievements as part of his or her extracurricular activities), provided such factors were not specifically requested as part of the application process and were not taken into consideration in awarding the institutional aid to the student-athlete.
[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 15.5.1 (counters), 188.8.131.52 (no athletics aid — certification required), 184.108.40.206 (football or basketball, varsity competition); and a staff interpretation (09/12/11, Item No. a), which has been archived]
PLEASE NOTE: There are several secondary violations posted on LSDBi involving certification of non-countable financial aid. Institutions need to make sure that the official certification of a student-athlete’s noncounter status is completed by the institution prior to the first competition…this includes obtaining signatures on the designated forms.
Libero is a volleyball student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU) who graduated this past December. Although she has exhausted her eligibility for volleyball, Libero is going to enroll this spring in a graduate program and participate on the women’s golf 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 2013?
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 220.127.116.11 (midyear replacement – women’s volleyball), 18.104.22.168.5 (midyear replacement) and official interpretation (6/3/98, Item No 1), which has been archived]
Strike Zone is a softball student-athlete at Ocean State University. Strike is a senior and will graduate at the end of the spring 2013 semester. Strike has worked hard both on and off the field, so the coaches would like to reward her by providing an athletic scholarship for the spring 2013 semester. Since Strike has never received athletic aid before, is this permissible?
Yes. NCAA Bylaw 22.214.171.124.1 states that an institution may award athletically related financial aid to a student-athlete for a period of less than one academic year only under the following circumstances: (Adopted: 4/27/06 effective 8/1/06)
(a) Midyear Enrollment. A student-athlete whose first full-time attendance at the certifying institution during a particular academic year occurs at midyear (e.g., the beginning of the second semester or second or third quarter of an academic year) may receive a financial aid award for the remainder of that academic year. (Revised: 5/9/06)
(b) Final Semester/Quarter. A student-athlete may receive athletically related financial aid for less than one academic year, provided the student is in the final semester or final two quarters of his or her degree program and the institution certifies that the student is carrying (for credit) the courses necessary to complete the degree requirements.
(c) Graduated During Previous Academic Year and Will Exhaust Eligibility During the Following Fall Term. A student-athlete who graduated during the previous academic year (including summer) and will exhaust his or her athletics eligibility during the following fall term may be awarded athletically related financial aid for less than one academic year. (Adopted: 1/15/11 effective 8/1/11)
(d) One-Time Exception. One time during a student-athlete’s enrollment at the certifying institution he or she may be awarded athletics aid for less than a full academic year, provided the student-athlete has been enrolled full time at the certifying institution for at least one regular academic term and has not previously received athletically related financial aid from the certifying institution. (Revised: 5/19/09)
(e) Eligibility Exhausted/Medical Noncounter. A student-athlete who has exhausted eligibility and is exempt from counting (per Bylaw 126.96.36.199) in the institution’s financial aid limit, or a student-athlete who is exempt from counting (per Bylaw 188.8.131.52) due to an injury or illness may receive athletically related financial aid for less than one academic year. If an institution awards aid under this provision, the institutional financial aid agreement shall include specific nonathletically related conditions (e.g., academic requirements) the student-athlete must satisfy in order for the aid to be renewed for the next academic term or terms. If the student-athlete satisfies the specified conditions, the institution shall award financial aid at the same amount for the next term or terms of the academic year. If the student-athlete does not satisfy the specified conditions, he or she must be provided a hearing opportunity per Bylaw 184.108.40.206. (Adopted: 4/24/08 effective 8/1/08)