Graduate Student Participation

Dear Eligibility Coach:

I have been at my college for four years and just graduated. I did not play the first two years at all. I played football for the next two years. I want to know if I can get a waiver so that I can play football next year while in graduate school?

Dear Student-Athlete:

Since you are a graduate student at the same school where you received your undergraduate degree, and you have time remaining on your five-year clock, you do not need a waiver in order to compete, you are eligible to compete based on NCAA legislation. Reference NCAA Bylaw 14.6.

Dear Eligibility Coach:

I really want to play for two years. How do I get a waiver so I can get a sixth year of eligibility?

Dear Student-Athlete:

It is very difficult to get a sixth year of eligibility. You must show the NCAA that there were two years where you were unable to participate in athletics because of situations that were beyond your control. In addition, you should not have had any of the situations that are listed as within your control. Remember that you must be able to provide written proof of any of the circumstances beyond your control to the NCAA Committee that will make the decision on your waiver request.

Circumstances Beyond Control [NCAA Bylaw 12.8.1.5.1.1]

Circumstances considered to be beyond the control of the student-athlete or the institution and do not cause a participation opportunity to be used shall include, but are not limited to, the following:  Revised: 7/31/14

(a) Situations clearly supported by contemporaneous medical documentation, which states that a student-athlete is unable to participate in intercollegiate competition as a result of incapacitating physical or mental circumstances;

(b) The student-athlete is unable to participate in intercollegiate athletics as a result of a life-threatening or incapacitating injury or illness suffered by a member of the student-athlete’s immediate family, which clearly is supported by contemporaneous medical documentation; 

(c) Reliance by the student-athlete upon written, contemporaneous, clearly erroneous academic advice provided to the student-athlete from a specific academic authority from a collegiate institution regarding the academic status of the student-athlete or prospective student-athlete, which directly leads to that individual not being eligible to participate and, but for the clearly erroneous advice, the student-athlete would have established eligibility for intercollegiate competition;  

(d) Natural disasters (e.g., earthquake, flood); and

(e) Extreme financial difficulties as a result of a specific event (e.g., layoff, death in the family) experienced by the student-athlete or by an individual upon whom the student-athlete is legally dependent, which prohibit the student-athlete from participating in intercollegiate athletics. These circumstances must be clearly supported by objective documentation (e.g., decree of bankruptcy, proof of termination) and must be beyond the control of the student-athlete or the individual upon whom the student-athlete is legally dependent.  

Circumstances Within Control [NCAA Bylaw  12.8.1.5.1.2]

Circumstances that are considered to be within the control of the student-athlete or the institution and cause a participation opportunity to be used include, but are not limited to, the following: Revised:  7/31/14

(a) A student-athlete’s decision to attend an institution that does not sponsor his/her sport, or decides not to participate at an institution that does sponsor his/her sport;

(b) An inability to participate due to failure to meet institutional/conference or NCAA academic requirements, or disciplinary reasons or incarceration culminating in or resulting from a conviction;

(c) Reliance by a student-athlete upon misinformation from a coaching staff member;

(d) Redshirt year;

(e) An inability to participate as a result of a transfer year in residence or fulfilling a condition for restoration of eligibility; and

(f) A student-athlete’s lack of understanding regarding the specific starting date of his or her five-year period of eligibility.

 

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