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College Sports, Division III

NCAA Division III Secondary Case Review: Transfer Regulations

The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm continues its educational series on NCAA Division III legislation through a review of selected cases involving secondary rules-violations. Today’s post reviews a secondary case involving a violation of NCAA Division III Bylaw The rule provides: Four-Year College Prospective Student-Athletes

An athletics staff member or other representative of the institution’s athletics interests shall not make contact in any manner (e.g., in-person contact, telephone calls, electronic communication, written correspondence) with the student-athlete of another NCAA or NAIA four-year collegiate institution, directly or indirectly, without first obtaining written permission to do so, regardless of who makes the initial contact.  If permission is not granted, the second institution shall not encourage the transfer. If permission is granted, all applicable NCAA recruiting rules apply.  If an institution receives a written request from a student-athlete to permit another institution to contact the student-athlete about transferring, the institution shall grant or deny the request within seven business days (see Bylaw 13.02.1) of receipt of the request. If the institution fails to respond to the student-athlete’s written request within seven business days, permission shall be granted by default and the institution shall provide written permission to the student-athlete. Written permission may be granted by: 

  (a) The first institution’s athletics director (or an athletics administrator designated by the athletics director); or

  (b) The student-athlete, if the student-athlete attends a Division III institution (see Bylaw

The bylaw was cited in Secondary Case Number 39108 (December 22, 2009), which involved the institution’s men’s lacrosse program. The case is summarized below:

Facts: The men’s head lacrosse coach made contact with a prospective student-athlete (PSA) prior to obtaining written permission to do so by the PSA’s four-year collegiate institution. Specifically, the head coach made contact with the PSA on January 29, 2009, by e-mail in response to an e-mail from the PSA indicating his interest in transferring from his four-year institution. The contact by the head coach was made prior to obtaining written permission to contact the PSA from PSA’s four-year institution. The violation was discovered when the coach responded to a request from the compliance office for information on prospective transfer student-athletes. The institution subsequently received permission to contact PSA February 2, 2009.

Institution Action: The head coach has attended an education session on compliance, specifically as it applies to applicable legislation. In addition, the coach will receive a letter of admonishment to be placed in his personnel file.

Enforcement Action: No further action.


About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

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


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