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College Sports, Division I

New NCAA Division I Interpretation: Nonqualifiers Participating in Promotional Activities

On January 6, 2012, the academic and membership affairs staff issued an interpretation non-qualifying student-athletes participating in promotional activities.  Specifically, the staff confirmed that “a nonqualifier may participate in a promotional activity during his or her first academic year in residence provided the activity does not involve a countable athletically related activity.”

This interpretation referenced NCAA Bylaws 12.5.1.1 (institutional, charitable, education or nonprofit promotions); 14.3.2.1 (nonqualifier); 14.3.2.1.1 (eligibility for aid, practice and competition); 14.3.4 (residence requirement); 16.10.1.7 (charitable, educational or nonprofit activities); staff determination [Reference: 11/08/11, Item No. 1]; and staff interpretation [Reference: 01/03/89, Item No. g] which has been archived.

In light of this interpretation, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions’ athletics compliance: a) include the interpretation in the next scheduled rules-education session for the athletics staff and coaches; b) review current student-athlete promotional and/or marketing policies and procedures; c) include the interpretation in the next scheduled rules-education session for student-athletes; and d) make appropriate changes to the institution’s student-athlete handbook.

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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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