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College Sports, Division I

New Division I Interpretation: Football Additional Credit Hour Requirements — Application of the Two- or Four-Game Penalty to the Following Playing Season

On April 9, 2012, the academic and membership affairs staff issued an interpretation concerning additional credit hour requirements in football. Specifically, the staff determined that “the two- or four-game penalty for failure to successfully complete at least nine-semester hours or eight-quarter hours of academic credit during the fall term and earn the Academic Progress Rate (APR) eligibility point for the fall term applies to the immediately ensuing playing season.” The staff further noted, “the penalty is satisfied if the student-athlete does not compete in that season, regardless of whether the student-athlete is eligible for competition (e.g., fulfilling a transfer residence requirement, enrolled less than full-time, etc.).”

This interpretation referenced NCAA Division I Bylaws 14.4.3.1 (fulfillment of credit-hour requirements), 14.4.3.1.6 (additional requirements — football), 14.4.3.1.6.1 (regaining eligibility for two contests), 14.4.3.1.6.2 (regaining full eligibility — one-time exception), and staff interpretations (1/20/12, Item No. a), (2/16/12, Item No. a) and (2/16/12, Item No. b).

In light of this interpretation, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions’ athletics compliance include the interpretation in the next scheduled rules-education session for the athletics staff and coaches.

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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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