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New NCAA Division I Interpretation: Football Additional Credit Hour Requirements — 27-semester or 40-quarter Requirement and Transfers

On December 16, 2012, the academic and membership affairs staff issued an interpretation concerning additional credit hour requirements in football and the 27-semester or 40-quarter requirement. Specifically, the staff determined that “a football transfer student-athlete who must complete 27-semester or 40-quarter hours of academic credit before the beginning of the next fall term to regain eligibility for two or four contests may combine credits earned from the previous institution and the certifying institution in the applicable academic year (and the following summer) to satisfy the requirement. The credit hours earned at the previous institution may be applicable toward the student-athlete’s degree program at the previous institution or toward the student-athlete’s degree program at the certifying institution (or any of either institution’s degree programs for student-athletes in their first two years of enrollment).”

This interpretation referenced NCAA Bylaws (additional requirements — football), (regaining eligibility for two contests), (regaining full eligibility — one-time exception), (hours earned or accepted for degree credit), (one-time transfer exception), (eligibility for institutional athletically related financial aid), and a staff interpretation (11/10/89, Item No. e).

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; and b) include the interpretation in the next scheduled-rules education session or target mail involving the office of the registrar.


About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

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


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