Are nonqualifiers allowed to compete for four seasons?

Dear Eligibility Coach:

My son did not qualify to get an athletic scholarship when he graduated from high school. He attends a Division school for football. He sat his first year and played for the last three. We thought that he would be able to compete next fall, but his coach is saying he won’t be able to compete. Are nonqualifiers only allowed to compete for three years?

Dear Parent:

The answer to your question is –it depends. Non-qualifiers are students who either did not graduate for high school, or who, by the first day of classes at their university did not present the core-curriculum grade-point average and/or SAT/ACT score required by the

NCAA sliding scale. These students spent their first year of eligibility as academic redshirts. Non-qualifers are initially granted three seasons of competitive eligibility. If the student-athlete has completed at least 80 percent of his designated degree program before the beginning of the fifth academic year in residence, he is allowed to have a fourth season of competition.

However, non-qualifiers, just like qualifiers, are only awarded athletic scholarships for one year at a time, and must have these scholarships renewed each year. You son may not have completed the 80 percent of his degree. You need to check with either the athletic academic advisor, or the compliance officer to know for sure.

It is possible there is another reason the coach has decided not to renew your son’s scholarship for next year. I would suggest that you ask your son some additional questions regarding his conversation with the coach. Alternatively, you and your son may call the coach together to get a better understanding of his exact situation for next year.

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