Daily Compliance Item- 11/12/13-, Mailing NLIs

The women’s basketball staff at Ocean State University is preparing its National Letter of Intent (NLI) packets to be sent out today via federal express.  Included in this mailing is the NLI, NLI instructions, institutional financial aid agreement and a sports information questionnaire.

Are all of these items permitted to be in this packet?



No.  It is not permissible to send a questionnaire using express mail services.  NCAA Bylaw states that an institution is not permitted to use express mail delivery services and may only use first-class mail or a lesser rate of service (e.g., parcel post) with no extra services (e.g., certified mail, delivery confirmation) to provide permissible printed recruiting materials to prospective student-athletes, their parents or legal guardians, their coaches or any other individual responsible for teaching or directing an activity in which a prospective student-athlete is involved, who resides within the 50 United States, other than the National Letter of Intent or other written admissions and/or financial aid commitment to attend the institution and necessary pre-enrollment information per Bylaw  [D] (Adopted: 4/28/05 effective 8/1/05,  Revised:  5/12/05, 1/14/08, 4/15/08)

NCAA Bylaw states that an institutional or conference financial aid form may be included in the normal mailing of the National Letter of Intent, but none of the forms enclosed in the mailing may be signed by the prospective student-athlete prior to the initial signing date in that sport in the National Letter of Intent program. [D] (8/5/04)


PLEASE NOTE:  This is an actual fact pattern of a Division I secondary rules violation posted on LSDBi.  

Daily Compliance Item- 8/7/13- Additional Football PTD Requirement

Hash Mark is a football student-athlete at Ocean State University. Here is Hash’s academic record for the 2012-13 academic year:

Fall 2012 semester- 6 degree applicable hours

Spring 2013 semester- 15 degree applicable hours

Summer 2013- 6 degree applicable hours

For this example, Hash is meeting the other progress toward degree requirements for GPA and % of degree.

Will Hash be eligible to compete during the 2013 season?


Yes with conditions.  NCAA Bylaw states that in football, a student-athlete who is a member of the institution’s football team and who does not successfully complete at least nine-semester hours or eight-quarter hours of academic credit during the fall term or does not earn the Academic Progress Rate eligibility point for the fall term or does not successfully complete either requirement shall not be eligible to compete in the first four contests against outside competition in the following playing season.  (Adopted:  4/28/11 effective 8/1/11, Revised:  5/28/13)

Because Hash earned 27 academic credits prior to the start of the fall 2013 term, he can regain some or all of his eligibility back for the 2013 season.

NCAA Bylaw states that a student-athlete who is ineligible, pursuant to Bylaw, to compete in the first four contests of a playing season against outside competition may regain eligibility to compete in the third and fourth contests of that season, provided he or she successfully completes at least 27-semester hours or 40-quarter hours of academic credit before the beginning of the next fall term.  A student-athlete in his or her initial year of full-time collegiate enrollment may use credit hours earned at the certifying institution during the summer prior to initial full-time enrollment and credit hours earned during the summer following the regular academic year to satisfy the 27-semester/40-quarter credit-hour requirement.  (Adopted:  4/28/11 effective 8/1/11, Revised: 2/6/12)

NCAA Bylaw states that one time during a student-athlete’s five-year period of eligibility, a student-athlete who does not successfully complete at least nine-semester hours or eight-quarter hours of academic credit during the fall term or earn the Academic Progress Rate eligibility point for the fall term may regain eligibility to compete in the first four contests against outside competition in the following playing season, provided he or she successfully completes at least 27-semester hours or 40-quarter hours of academic credit before the beginning of the next fall term.  A student-athlete in his or her initial year of full-time collegiate enrollment may use credit hours earned at the certifying institution during the summer prior to initial full-time enrollment and credit hours earned during the summer following the regular academic year to satisfy the 27-semester/40-quarter credit-hour requirement.  (Adopted: 4/28/11 effective 8/1/11, Revised: 2/6/12)

Daily Compliance Item 7/19/13- NIT vs. NCAA Championships

From an NCAA legislative standpoint, is the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) considered an NCAA Championship?


No.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 7/8/13- Distinction between National Invitation Tournament and NCAA Championships (I) – states that for purposes of applying NCAA legislation, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) is not an NCAA championship.

Every year institutions have questions on how to apply NCAA legislation and/or interpretations when their student-athletes are participating in the NIT.  Although the interpretation is brief, below are the many bylaw references to which the interp will apply.


[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws (NCAA promotional activities exception); (exception-quarter institution); 14.1.9 (change in eligibility status); (eligibility for championship in progress); (expenses for spouse/children to postseason football game or NCAA championship); (exceptions); (general rule); (incidental expenses at NCAA championships, national governing body championships in emerging sports and bowl games); (exception — championship practice); (exceptions); 17.1.7 (general regulations for computing playing seasons applicable to all sports); (annual exemptions); 17.3.4 (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); 17.24.9 (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); (annual exemptions); and Figure 16-1]

Daily Compliance Item- 5/31/13- Current Event

Today will be the last day for the “daily” compliance items.  I will continue to send out “hot topic emails” throughout the summer and will resume regular delivery in August.  I hope you all get some much needed time away from the office during the next couple of months!


Believe it or not, washing a car with university water can be an NCAA violation


At a time when college athletics is overrun with rogue agents, unscrupulous coaches and handlers who exploit athletes for money, it’s reassuring to know not every unrepentant rule-breaker goes unpunished.

Hearty congratulations to the NCAA for penalizing a student-athlete from a West Coast Conference school for the unspeakable crime of washing her car with the university’s water and hose.

Portland basketball coach Eric Reveno tweeted about the violation Wednesday after he learned of it during conference meetings, punctuating his message with the hashtag #stopinsanity. A spokesman for the WCC did not know any further details, but a source familiar with the circumstances revealed what happened.

A WCC school self-reported an extra benefits violation when university officials caught one of their women’s golfers washing her car on campus, according to the source. A secondary violation was ruled to have occurred because the water and hose were not available to regular students and requested the golfer pay back $20, which was deemed to be the value of the water and use of the hose.

NCAA spokeswoman Dana Thomas emailed Thursday that her organization did not participate in the decision and does not consider the car wash to have been an extra benefits violation. Asked why the golfer was penalized, Thomas said “it seems there was a miscommunication at some level” and the WCC is working with the school to clarify.

A WCC spokesman did not immediately return an email seeking further explanation of what happened.

That school administrators actually reported the violation and a penalty was initially assessed is equal parts hilarious and exasperating. What’s next? Charging athletes by the sip at drinking fountains? Or by the gallon after locker room showers?

Too many petty rules like this one or the one governing the use of bagel spreads continue to choke the system and prevent administrators at the school, conference and NCAA levels from focusing on what’s important. Reform is needed throughout college athletics, yet its leaders are too busy calculating the value of a couple buckets of soapy water to attack the real issues.

This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/30/13- Thank You Gift to a Parent

Ocean State University(OSU) women’s golf team participated in the NCAA championships.  One of the student-athlete’s parents lives in the locale of where the regional was conducted, so the team stayed at the parent’s house.  As a thank you for their hospitality, the coaches would like to send an edible fruit basket to the parents.  Is this permissible?

Yes.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 7/11/90-  Providing a gift to parents of a student-athlete for services rendered   – states that  in regard to a member institution that wishes to give the parents of a student-athlete a gift for providing the team lodging at their home during an away-from-home contest; determined that such an arrangement would not be considered an extra benefit, provided the gift is of nominal value (e.g., a meal, flowers) and is in exchange for services the parents rendered.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/29/13- Relinquish Aid

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 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.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/28/13- Baton Rule

With the spring evaluation period coming to an end, the football coaches at Ocean State University want to make sure they get in a few last recruiting trips.  The total number of permissible recruiters is on the road recruiting today and the first assistant coach will complete his recruiting activities at noon.  Another assistant coach will replace him and begin recruiting at 1pm today.  The first assistant coach would like to recruit again tomorrow.  Does he have to return to campus prior to engaging in additional recruiting activities?

Yes.  NCAA Bylaw states that it is permissible for a coach to leave campus to engage in off-campus contact or evaluation before another coach who is off campus actually returns to campus, provided the total number of coaches recruiting on behalf of the institution at any time does not exceed the permissible number.  The coach being replaced must complete his or her recruiting activities before another coach may begin any off-campus recruiting activity.  Further, the replaced coach may not engage in additional recruiting activities until after he or she has returned to the institution’s campus.

Please note with the adoption of RWG-11-4, the limitation on the number of coaches who may recruit off-campus at any one time has been eliminated.  This legislation as an August 1, 2013 effective date.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/24/13- Currrent Event

Appeals court revives case against video game maker



A federal appeals court panel on Tuesday overturned a district court ruling that had dismissed a former Rutgers football player’s lawsuit against video game manufacturer Electronic Arts for illegally using his likeness and biographical information in its college football games.

By a 2-1 vote, judges in the 3rd Circuit returned the case to U.S. District Court in New Jersey for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.

Michael Rubin, a lawyer who argued for the plaintiff before the Circuit Court panel, said Wednesday that when the case resumes at the district court level, his side will file a motion seeking to have the case certified as a class action.

EA spokesman John Reseburg said the company intends to “seek further court review.” Asked Wednesday whether that would mean asking for a review of the case by all judges of the 3rd Circuit or trying to take the case to the Supreme Court, Reseburg said: “It’s too soon to tell.”

Tuesday’s opinion, written by Circuit Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr., (and a dissent by Judge Thomas L. Ambro) includes observations about some of the same issues being contested in two other federal cases. There is a wider-ranging anti-trust lawsuit before a federal district court in California against EA, the NCAA and Collegiate Licensing Co., the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing and marketing firm, and a case parallel to that one currently under consideration by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The anti-trust suit, whose named plaintiffs include former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, concerns the use of college football and men’s basketball players’ names and likenesses and is heading toward a hearing June 20 on whether it will certified as a class action. If the O’Bannon case is certified as a class action, it likely would bring thousands of current and former college athletes into the case and potentially place billions of dollars in damages at stake.

Meanwhile, three judges from the 9th Circuit are still considering an appeal from EA in a case related to the O’Bannon proceeding that involves former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller and EA’s use of his likeness in video games.The three judges heard arguments on that matter in July 2012. In a footnote to his Tuesday ruling, Judge Greenaway wrote that the Keller case “is simply our own case incarnated in California.”

A transcript of the oral arguments before Greenaway and the 3rd Circuit panel were entered into the record of the Keller case last October.

Also potentially noteworthy about Tuesday’s ruling: it came after the case had been argued before a panel of judges that included one temporarily assigned to the 3rd Circuit, which has jurisdiction over New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, from the 9th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over several western states including California. (This judge, A. Wallace Tashima, was not among the judges handling the appeal in the Keller case.)

A ruling in EA’s favor in the Keller case could set the stage for a Supreme Court review because two federal circuit courts would be in opposition on the same legal issue.

The New Jersey case involves Ryan Hart, a Rutgers quarterback for the 2002 through the 2005 seasons. He filed a presumptive class-action suit in November 2009. U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson dismissed the case in September 2011, saying that EA’s use of Hart’s likeness was protected by the First Amendment, which offers a shield to video games as expressive speech.

However, Greenaway wrote: “As with other types of expressive conduct, the protection afforded to games can be limited in situations where the right of free expression necessarily conflicts with other protected rights. The instant case presents one such situation.”

He noted that EA college football video game’s “success owes to its focus on realism and detail” and that “in NCAA Football 2006, Rutgers’ quarterback, player number 13, is 6’2″ tall, weighs 197 pounds and resembles Hart.”

Greenaway, in another part of the opinion, writes: “… the digital avatar does closely resemble the genuine article. Not only does the digital avatar match Appellant in terms of hair color, hair style and skin tone, but the avatar’s accessories mimic those worn by (Hart) during his time as a Rutgers player. The information, as has already been noted, also accurately tracks (Hart’s) vital and biographical details. . . .

“The digital Ryan Hart does what the actual Ryan Hart did while at Rutgers: he plays college football, in digital recreations of college football stadiums, filled with all the trappings of a college football game.”

On a more general basis, Greenaway wrote that EA “seeks to create a realistic depiction of college football for the users. Part of this realism involves generating realistic representations of the various college teams — which includes the realistic representations of the players.”

How this could affect the O’Bannon case remains to be seen.

For example, a filing made public on Monday includes portions of a deposition from one of the other named plaintiffs in the case, former Connecticut basketball player Tate George, in which George said that the avatars in several versions of a video game that are supposed to represent him do not resemble him. George also said the face of his avatar also appears on other players representing other teams.


This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/23/13- Football Transfers

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].


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]. 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 (general rule), (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.

Daily Compliance Item- 5/22/13- Football Summer Aid

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 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.