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College Sports, Division II, Education

NCAA Division II Secondary Case Review: Competition as Individual/Not Representing Institution and Dual Meets

The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm continues its educational series on NCAA Division II legislation through a review of selected cases involving secondary rules-violations. Today’s post reviews a secondary case involving a violation of NCAA Division II Bylaws 14.7.3.4. These rules provide:

NCAA Division II Bylaw 14.7.3.4: Competition as Individual/Not Representing Institution

It is permissible for a student-athlete to participate in outside competition  as an individual during the academic year in the student-athlete’s sport, as long  as the student-athlete represents only himself or herself in the competition and  does not engage in such competition as a member of or receive expenses from an outside  team.

The bylaws were cited in Secondary Case Number 47457 (June 13, 2011), which involves Division II women’s swimming. The case is summarized below:

Facts: During spring 2011, recruited, mid-year transfer women’s swimming student athlete (SA) impermissibly competed in a date of competition while not otherwise eligible. Specifically, SA first enrolled at Institution No. 1 fall 2010 and participated in two dates of competition. SA was granted a release by Institution No. 1 and transferred to Institution No. 2 spring 2011. Due to her participation fall 2010 at Institution No. 1, both SA and Institution No. 2’s head swimming coach knew she had used a season of competition and was, therefore, ineligible for competition spring 2011. Violation was discovered when Institution No. 2’s sports information director noticed SA participated in a home dual meet and notified compliance coordinator. SA participated in meet because head coach thought SA could compete in open competition if her points did not count and SA swam unattached. SA did not wear Institution No. 2’s uniform and she was not coached by head coach during meet. SA and head coach did not realize dual meet was not considered open competition.

Institution Action: Institution will withhold SA from first regularly scheduled date of competition in the 2011-12 swimming season. Swimming coaching staff and assistants received rules education concerning open competition and seasons of competition.

Enforcement Action: The institution should be required to pay a fine in the amount of $250 ($250 for each contest in which the SA competed while ineligible, up to a maximum amount of $2,500).

Eligibility Action: Eligibility reinstated for SA based on institutional action of withholding SA from the first regularly scheduled date of competition for the 20011-12 swimming season. The date must be among those dates used to qualify for the NCAA championship.

Rationale: Based on case precedent.

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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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