Sports Eligibility

Andrew Cummins

With the first day of the spring signing period for men’s college basketball just a day away, fans across the country are starting to look forward to next year’s squads.

However, without student-athletes first gaining eligibility through the NCAA Eligibility Center, fans won’t be seeing any signees on the court next season.

The process to become certified is one that is full of requirements many potential student-athletes are about to complete.

Amateurism certification for incoming freshmen
– Every college-bound student attending a Division I institution for the first time must be certified by the NCAA before they practice, compete or receive any scholarships.
– Prospects initially register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at the beginning of their junior years in high school. Prospective student-athletes then update records and forms regularly and send an updated transcript to the center after six high school semesters are completed.
– The only deadline for certification is that student-athletes must be certified before they receive scholarships, practice, or compete.

Amateurism Pre-enrollment Bylaws
Doing the following things before enrollment into college may make a prospect ineligible for NCAA Division I competition:
– Entering into a contract with a professional team.
– Accepting prize money in excess of actual and necessary expenses for the competition.
– Entering into a contract with or receiving money from an agent.
– Accepting salary from a professional team.
– Competing on a team with professionals.
– More than 48 hours of expenses-paid tryouts for a professional team.
– If a prospective athlete has violated pre-enrollment bylaws, he or she may still be eligible through, among other things, paying back money he or she has received or sitting out of competitions.
– If deemed ineligible, a prospect can appeal to the NCAA with approval from the institution they wish to compete for.
– Tennis, swimming and diving stipulations:
– Prospects have one year after high school graduation to enroll in college, or lose one year of Division I eligibility for each year they play at a non-Division I collegiate level.

Academic Requirements
(Effective for incoming enrollment after Aug. 1)
– Graduate with high school class with the following sixteen core courses complete, while satisfying the minimum grade point average. Prospects graduating with their class are allowed to take one core class after graduating.
– Four years of English
– Three years of math – Algebra 1 or higher
– Two years of natural/physical science (one year of lab science if offered)
– One extra year of the English, math or science
– Two years of social science
– Four years of extra core courses (any category above, or language, no doctrinal religion and philosophy)
– GPA must match test scores from SAT or ACT on sliding scale.
– Core-Course GPA details:
– Plusses and minuses are not used in factoring GPA
– NCAA uses best grades from 16 core classes
– Pass-fail counts as lowest grade offered for coursew
– SAT/ACT score details:
– Writing portions are not included in score
– Can be taken more than once, with best scores from each section considered.
– Score results must be reported directly from testing agency to Eligibility Center.

Source: NCAA Eligibility Center/ stephen maturen, Daily file photo