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College Sports, Division II, Education

NCAA Division II Secondary Case Review: Participation Before Certification

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 Bylaw 17.1.6.2.3. The rule provides:

12.1.1.1.3.1: Participation Before Certification

If a recruited or nonrecruited student-athlete reports for athletics participation before the student-athlete’s amateur status has been certified, the student-athlete may practice, but not compete, for a maximum of 45 days, provided the student-athlete is enrolled full time or has been accepted for enrollment as a regular full-time student.  After this 45-day period, the student shall have established minimum requirements as an amateur (as certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center) to continue practicing or to compete.

The bylaw was cited in Secondary Case Number 46522 (March 2, 2011), which involved the institution’s women’s basketball program. The case is summarized below:

Facts: Institution permitted sophomore women’s basketball student-athlete (SA) to travel and compete in four contests prior to SA receiving final amateurism certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center.  Specifically, SA who initially enrolled for 2009-10 academic year, competed in four contests (November 3, 9, 11 and 16, 2010) prior to SA obtaining final amateurism certification by NCAA Eligibility Center November 18, 2010.  SA was a member of the track and field program during 2009-10 as a freshman, but SA did not participate in women’s basketball until 2010-11 academic year.  Due to confusion when SA was listed as a returning SA, her amateurism certification status was not verified by compliance.  SA subsequently added women’s basketball for amateurism certification purposes and was immediately certified by NCAA Eligibility Center without conditions.

Institution Action:  Institution withheld SA from next two regularly scheduled contests once SA was otherwise eligible.

Enforcement Action: No further action.  Please note that relief from the standard financial penalty has been provided inasmuch as the SA had received amateurism certification in her primary sport prior to competing.  In addition, please note that this case is being forwarded to the appropriate NCAA Division II Championships Committee for nullification of the contests in which the SA competed while ineligible.

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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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