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The California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) has ruled that their athletes can compete this Spring while being enrolled in just 9 units or credit hours. Enrollment in just 9 units or credit hours is almost always classified as part-time enrollment.

A term of part-time enrollment in most cases won’t negatively impact an athlete’s future eligibility for NCAA or NAIA.

However, any CCCAA athlete who competes this Spring while enrolled as a part-time student will need to keep in mind that this will be considered a full-time term of enrollment by NCAA or NAIA standards.

  • For a CCCAA athlete in this situation who is hoping to transfer to an NCAA Division I university to compete next Fall, it could impact the number of hours they will need to have completed toward their specific chosen degree.
  • For an athlete transferring to an NCAA Division II program, it will mean that all 9 units that they are currently taking at their CCCAA college will need to be transferable credits to the Division II university to which they will transfer.
  • For an athlete transferring to an NAIA program, competing this Spring while being enrolled in just nine hours could impact their transfer eligibility under the NAIA’s 24/36 Hour Rule or the Progress Rule.

The document “CCCAA Modifications Due to COVID-19” was most recently updated on March 22nd. It describes the special actions or exceptions that the CCCAA has taken regarding eligibility for their student-athletes due to the impact of COVID-19 on instruction as well as on athletic participation at those colleges. Here’s a link to the full document: https://www.cccaasports.org/coronavirus/CCCAA_Modifications_Due_to_COVID-19_032221.pdf

Do you Have Questions and Need Assistance?

We know that these eligibility rules can be confusing, especially when you also consider that the rules of the CCCAA may not align with the NCAA or the NAIA.

If you have questions or need assistance regarding how these rules could affect your student-athlete, schedule a confidential Eligibility Consult online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

The NCAA recently issued clarification for current Division II spring sport athletes regarding what will constitute the use of a “season of competition” as well as how a Division II spring sport athlete can qualify for an Extension of their eligibility for this Spring sports season.

Season of Competition:

A Division II spring sport athlete who plays during the season for a team that competes in more than 50% of the maximum number of contests or dates of competition for their sport will be charged with the use of a season.

If the athlete’s Division II team does NOT compete in more than 50% of the maximum number of contests or dates of competition for their sport, the athlete will NOT be charged with the use of a season.

Student-athletes in individual sports will be impacted by the same 50% threshold and must also account for any competition in which they are competing individually and not as part of a team competition.

Extension of Eligibility:

Division II student-athletes will be able to receive an Extension of one academic year (two semesters or three quarters) onto their eligibility “clock” as long as the student-athlete was eligible at some point during the academic year AND meets one of the following conditions:

    • Qualifies for a Season of Competition waiver (described in the first section above).
    • Spring sport season was cancelled due to pandemic.
    • Student-athlete opts out of participation in their sport at any time prior to the final game or date of competition.
    • Student-athlete doesn’t compete this season at all.

Possible Impact for a Division II Student-Athlete

Based on the Division II rulings for Spring sport athletes to receive an Extension of their eligibility, here are two examples of how a Division II spring sport student-athlete may be able to benefit from these rulings.

Scenario 1: A spring sport athlete was eligible during the Fall ’20 semester but is not academically eligible to compete this Spring season.

Even though this athlete did not satisfy academic requirements and is not eligible to compete this Spring, he or she can still receive the Extension of Eligibility for two more semesters. This is possible because the athlete was academically eligible during at least a portion of this academic year.

Scenario 2: Spring sport athlete is academically eligible this Spring and plays in the vast majority of the games or dates of competition in their sport, but then chooses to opt out late in the season.

(For this scenario, let’s assume this athlete has been playing with a minor injury this spring and wants to have one more healthy season, or they receive a season-ending injury late in the year just before postseason play begins.)

In this scenario, the athlete will be charged with a season of competition for this Spring 2021 participation since their team competed in more than 50% of a normal season.

However, as long as this athlete still has at least one more season of competition available, he or she will qualify for the Extension of eligibility for two more semesters because they chose to opt out before the end of the season.

We know that these special NCAA rulings can be confusing!

If you have questions and need help understanding how these rules could impact your student-athlete, schedule a confidential Eligibility Consult online, call 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Decisions and rulings issued by the college athletic organizations – especially the NCAA – are occurring frequently and will differ from one organization to another and from one division to another.

Here’s a list of general reminders that we want to provide for college athletes and families (in no particular order):

  • Before your athlete decides to opt out of participation or take a semester off from college attendance, make sure they check with someone – whether that is their college compliance director or through our Informed Athlete services. Making an uninformed decision could have consequences for their remaining athletic eligibility.
  • If you are receiving a scholarship for your sport, be sure you review the conditions under which your coach or athletic department can take away your scholarship. This is especially true if you are considering not taking classes this Fall due to Covid-19. Will your scholarship still be available for the Spring semester?
  • Check with your college to ask if you need to re-apply for admission if you take the semester off from classes and plan to return in the Spring. Also, what will be the impact on any academic scholarship or need-based financial aid that you will be receiving?
  • Because many colleges and universities won’t be conducting competition this Fall, be careful about engaging in any organized competition as an individual or for an outside team not affiliated with your college. There are rules regarding outside competition during the academic year and those rules vary between NCAA divisions as well as with the NAIA. (NCAA Division I approved a waiver for outside competition recently, but certain conditions must be satisfied to participate in such competition.)
  • Starting to attend classes this Fall as a full-time student, even if you drop to part-time status a few days later, will cause this semester to count as one full-time semester toward your ten-semester limit for NCAA Division II, III, or NAIA. Also, if you are an incoming freshman starting at a Division I university, attending classes as a full-time student will start your “5-year clock.”
  • An athlete who participates in organized practice sessions at their college or who begins the semester as a full-time student but then chooses to leave for another college will be considered a transfer student-athlete and will be required to satisfy the transfer rules to be eligible at their new college.

If you have questions about any of these reminders or any other issues that concern you, schedule a confidential eligibility consult online, via email at rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.