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College Sports, Division I

New Division I Interpretation: Graduation and Credit-Hour Requirements

On August 24, 2012, the academic  and membership affairs staff issued an interpretation concerning graduation and credit-hour requirements. Specifically, the staff confirmed that “a student-athlete who receives a baccalaureate degree is not required to have met the credit-hour requirements in the preceding regular academic term or terms in order to be eligible for competition in the regular academic term immediately following the receipt of the degree.”

This interpretation referenced  NCAA Division I Bylaws 14.4.3.1 (fulfillment of credit-hour requirements), 14.4.3.1.6 (additional requirements — football), 14.4.3.1.6.1 (regaining eligibility for two contests), 14.4.3.1.6.2 (regaining full eligibility — one-time exception), and 14.4.3.5 (exceptions to progress-toward-degree rule)].

In light of this interpretation, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions’ athletics compliance offices include the interpretation in the next scheduled rules-education session for athletics department staff members and staff members whose responsibilities interface with athletics eligibility.

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About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

Bar Admissions (North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee) Practice Area (College Sports Law)

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