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College Sports, Division I

New NCAA Division I Interpretation: Use of Credits Earned During an Interim Term for Midyear Certification

On February 9, 2012, the academic and membership affairs staff issued an interpretation concerning the use of credits earned during an interim term for midyear certification. Specifically, the staff determined that “credits earned during an academic year interim term (e.g., J-term, mini-term) may be used for purposes of a midyear certification to satisfy the 24/36-hour, 18/27-hour and percentage of degree requirements, regardless of how the credits appear on the student-athlete’s transcript (e.g., as part of the interim term or either the preceding or immediately following regular academic term). The staff further confirmed “such credits must be used for purposes of midyear certification of the grade-point-average requirement and the institution must document that the interim term credits were satisfactorily completed prior to the start of the regular academic term immediately following the interim term.”

This interpretation referenced NCAA Division I Bylaws 14.4.3.1 (fulfillment of credit-hour requirements), 14.4.3.1.1 (regular academic year), 14.4.3.2 (fulfillment of percentage of degree requirements), 14.4.3.3 (fulfillment of minimum grade-point-average requirements), and 14.4.3.4.7 (credit from other institutions), and staff interpretations (12/21/11, Item No. d), (12/20/06, Item No. 1) and (11/8/89, Item No. e), which has been archived.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, coaches and staff members with athletically related responsibilities; and b) review current midyear athlete certification policies and procedures.

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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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