All student-athletes at NCAA Division I schools are required to pass six hours of course work each semester to be eligible to compete the following semester. Beginning this fall, football student-athletes at both the Football Bowl Subdivision [FBS] and the Football
Championship Subdivision [FCS] must successfully complete nine-semester, or eight-quarter hours, of academic credit or their eligibility to compete the following fall semester will be limited.
The NCAA awards Academic Progress Rate [APR] points, one eligibility point each semester for student-athletes who are eligible to compete the following semester, and one retention point for student-athletes who return to the university. Beginning this fall, football student-athletes must earn the NCAA Division I APR Eligibility Point for the fall term or they will not be able to compete in the first four contests against outside competition the following fall semester.
A football student-athlete in his first year of collegiate enrollment may use credits earned in summer school, both the summer prior to full-time collegiate enrollment and the summer between the first and second years of college, to meet the 27-semester hour or 40-quarter hour requirements.
Football student-athletes may regain their eligibility to compete in the third and fourth contests of the football season if they complete 27-semester hours or 40-quarter hours of academic credit before the beginning of the next fall term. However, they would still be ineligible to compete in the first two football contests.
One time during the football student-athlete’s five-year period of eligibility, he may regain his eligibility to compete in the first four contests of the following football season provided he completes at least 27-semester or 40-quarter hours of academic credit before the beginning of the next fall term. This will allow each football student-athlete one opportunity to have a bad fall semester and to make up the credits during the spring and summer terms.
This legislation was sponsored by the Atlantic Coast Conference [ACC] in an effort to ensure that football student-athletes are progressing toward a degree. The exception written into the legislation is to recognize the fact that any student can have a bad term academically during his or her enrollment. By giving the student-athlete the opportunity to fully regain his or her eligibility one time, it allows the student-athlete to recover academically and get back on track toward a degree without imposing an overly harsh penalty. Since this exception may
only be used one time during the student-athlete’s collegiate career, it is not subject to abuse by repeat offenders.