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I have received several calls regarding coaches at Power Five universities (those in the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, and PAC-12, plus Notre Dame), telling student-athletes that their athletic scholarships aren’t being renewed for next year.
Here are some key points to keep in mind if this situation could apply to you:

  • If you received an athletic scholarship in your first year attending a Power Five university (and if the scholarship was signed after January of 2015), a coach is limited in their ability to take away your scholarship.
  • The coach can’t take the scholarship away if you have an injury or illness impacting your ability to compete in your sport, and they can’t take the scholarship away just because you didn’t perform in your sport up to their expected standards.
  • However, the coach CAN take away your scholarship if you’ve lost your academic eligibility, had a student misconduct issue, or have violated team or athletic department rules or policies.

A student-athlete needs to be very careful that they have not violated a team or athletic department rule or a school conduct policy.  If a coach at a Power Five university wants to cancel your athletic scholarship, this is the most likely way for them to do so, other than just telling you that you won’t see playing time if you stay, and then hoping you will choose on your own to transfer to another university.

If your student-athlete has been verbally informed by the coach that their athletic scholarship is being reduced or won’t be renewed for next year, I suggest that you contact your compliance director to request information about the hearing opportunity as soon as possible.

Because each student-athlete’s situation most likely has some unique circumstances involved, we can provide a confidential phone consultation to discuss non-renewals and options to consider including your rights in such a situation and assisting with preparation for a hearing.

Contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com to schedule a confidential consultation.

Last week at the annual NCAA Convention in Indianapolis, proposed rule changes were voted on by Division I, II, and III representatives.

Here’s a brief summary of some of the rule changes most important to student-athletes and their families.

**NCAA Division I “Power Five” universities will be required, effective August 1, 2018, to provide student-athletes with medical care for athletically-related injuries for at least two years after an athlete graduates or leaves their university.  Each university will have the discretion to determine whether an injury is athletically-related, how it will provide the medical care, and to establish policies for implementing the medical care.

**NCAA Division I universities that are not in the “Power Five” group will have the option to follow the same rule but will not be required to do so.

**“Power Five” universities also voted to allow men’s ice hockey athletes who have not yet attended college to be represented by an agent if they are drafted by a professional ice hockey team.  This rule change is effective immediately.

Hockey athletes using an agent will be required to pay the agent the going rate for their services and to terminate the agreement with the agent prior to full-time collegiate enrollment if the athlete does not sign a contract with the professional team.  This same rule was approved for high school baseball recruits drafted by a professional team two years ago.

**Rule changes regarding recruiting by NCAA Division I coaches were approved at the committee level to move forward through the NCAA legislative process but won’t be voted on until April 2018 at the earliest.

These proposals will restrict recruits in all sports other than basketball and football from making unofficial visits prior to Sept. 1 of their junior year of high school BUT at the same time will allow Division I programs to provide official visits to recruits as early as Sept. 1 of their junior year.

**NCAA Division II proposals were limited to the starting dates for football and volleyball seasons, revising the penalties for sports gambling by athletes and coaches, and allowing universities in Mexico to apply for membership in the NCAA.

**Students who graduate from an NCAA Division III college will be allowed to compete as a graduate student (or one seeking a second undergraduate degree) at a different Division III college, as long as the student has eligibility remaining.

If you have questions about NCAA rules, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.