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College Sports, Division I, Education

New NCAA Division I Interpretation: Departure Restriction for Extended Road Trip That Includes Multiple Competition Sites

On August 12, 2011, the academic and membership affairs staff issued an interpretation concerning an extended road trip that includes multiple competition sites. The staff determined that “in sports other than men’s basketball, a member institution may provide travel expenses for a student-athlete representing the institution in multiple competitions on an extended road trip, provided each competition occurs within 84 hours of the first or each subsequent competition (i.e., institution may provide expenses 36 hours after each competition and 48 hours prior to the subsequent competition, for a total of 84 hours between competitions). In men’s basketball, an institution may provide travel expenses to a student-athlete representing the institution in multiple competitions on an extended road trip, provided each competition occurs within 72 hours of the first or each subsequent competition (i.e., 24 hours after each competition and 48 hours prior to the subsequent competition, for a total of 72 hours between competitions).” The interpretation references NCAA Division I Bylaws 16.7.1 (away-from-home contests and vacation periods) and 16.8.1.2.1 (departure/return expense restrictions) and a staff interpretation (4/26/91, Item No. a), which has been archived.

In light of this interpretation, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions’ athletics compliance offices: a) review policies and procedures regarding providing travel expenses to student-athletes during extended road trips; b) include the interpretation in the next scheduled rules-education session for the athletics staff; and c) monitor and keep accurate records of any expenses paid out to student-athletes.

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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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