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College Sports, Division I, Education

Kansas Basketball Student-Athletes Declared Ineligible: A Review on Non-Qualifier Legislation

Midnight Madness (which signifies the first date NCAA Division I institutions can conduct men’s basketball practices) is an exciting time for coaches, student-athletes and fans. However, the beginning of men’s basketball season also brings with it not so pleasant news. For example, the University of Kansas will be without freshmen student-athletes according to an ESPN.com report. ESPN.com noted the three student-athletes have been declared “partial-qualifiers” by the NCAA. However, the NCAA does not have a “partial-qualifier” designation anymore, so it is more likely the student-athletes were declared “non-qualifiers”. The student-athletes will be prevented from participating in athletically-related activities during their first academic year in residence. The following constitutes NCAA legislation on non-qualifiers:

Bylaw 14.02.11.2 – Nonqualifier.

A nonqualifier is a student who has not graduated from high school or who, at the time specified in the regulation (see Bylaw 14.3), has not successfully completed the required core-curriculum or has not presented the required minimum core-curriculum grade-point average and/or the corresponding SAT/ACT score required for a qualifier.

Bylaw 14.3.2.1.1 – Eligibility for Aid, Practice and Competition.

An entering freshman with no previous college attendance who was a nonqualifier at the time of enrollment in a Division I institution shall not be eligible for regular-season competition or practice during the first academic year in residence.  However, such a student shall be eligible for nonathletics institutional financial aid that is not from an athletics source and is based on financial need only, consistent with institutional and conference regulations. (Revised: 1/10/95 effective 8/1/96)

Bylaw 14.3.2.2 – Practice-Session Attendance.

A student-athlete who is a nonqualifier and who, therefore, is not eligible for practice, may not attend any practice sessions in any capacity, nor may the student-athlete attend any meeting characterized as practice (see Bylaw 17.02.1). (Revised: 1/10/95 effective 8/1/96, 1/9/96 effective 8/1/96)

Bylaw 14.3.2.3 – Outside Competition — Nonqualifier.

A nonqualifier may participate in the institution’s intramural program (provided the intramural team is not coached by a member of the institution’s athletics department staff), but during the first year of enrollment, such an individual is not permitted to practice or compete on an institutional club team or on an outside sports team.

Bylaw 14.3.3 – Seasons of Competition — Nonqualifier.

Nonqualifiers, recruited or nonrecruited, shall not engage in more than three seasons of competition in any one sport. A student who transfers to a Division I member institution from another collegiate institution shall not engage in more than four seasons of competition with not more than three of those seasons in Division I.

Bylaw 14.3.4 – Residence Requirement — Nonqualifier.

A nonqualifier must fulfill an academic year of residence in order to be eligible for practice, competition and athletically related financial aid (see Bylaw 14.3.2.1.1).    (Revised: 1/10/90 effective 8/1/90, 1/10/95 effective 8/1/96, 1/3/06, 4/14/10)

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About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

An attorney who provides clients with internal investigation, civil litigation, estate planning and compliance services.

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