Member College Support or Benefit Provided to a Student-Athlete in the Off-Season

SITUATION:

Student-Athlete R has been selected to compete in an all-star / showcase event which will be held in the summer.  Because this is a prestigious event, is it possible for the member college to provide financial assistance to the student-athlete and if so what is permissible?

ANSWER:

It is not permissible for a member college or any of it’s representatives to provide any form of benefit or support for Student-Athlete R to attend the all-star / showcase event in the off-season.  Article V, Section 6.G.3 states, “No college funds may be used for any current or prospective student-athlete during the off-season”. The student-athlete is fully responsible for all expenses for such an event.  It is not permissible for the college to provide any support which includes allowing the student-athlete to ride with a college representative in the representatives private vehicle.  Additional information regarding this type of situation can be found on page 309 of  the 2013/2014 NJCAA Handbook in case #33.

The same limitations apply regardless if the student-athlete is participating in a showcase, tournament and or league. Due to the fact that it is the off-season, no support may be provided to the student-athlete or recruit by the college or any of its representatives.

The only all-star / showcase events which takes place in the off-season where a member college is able to assist with expenses are all-star / showcase events sponsored by NJCAA Coaches Associations and endorsed by the NJCAA National Office.

Football Signing Date and Dead Period

NJCAA Football Athletic Directors and Coaches,

Please be aware that the NJCAA Football Recruiting Dead Period begins on Monday (Feb. 3rd). Below is the exact description of the dead period rule taken from Section 8 of the football procedures of the 2013-14 NJCAA bylaws (page 118 of the handbook).

Section 8.        Football Signing Date – Recruiting Dead Period

The signing date for football each year will be 8:00 a.m. (local time) on the first Wednesday in February. The Dead Period begins Monday 12:01 am (local time) prior to the First Wednesday in February and ends Friday 12:01 am (local time) following the national signing day. The Dead Period is that period of time when it is not permissible to make in person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off the member institution’s campus or to permit official or unofficial visits by prospects to the institution’s campus.

The provision of complimentary admissions to a prospect during such a dead period is prohibited. During the dead period, a coaching staff member may not serve as a speaker at or attend a meeting or banquet at which prospects are in attendance and may not visit the prospects’ educational institutions. It remains permissible, however, for an institutional staff member to write or telephone prospects during such a dead period.

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This message has been generated from the NJCAA

Signing Day!

Signing Day is a big day for both the school and the student-athlete.  Both parties want to get the exposure and recognition when the new class commits.  While this is a celebration, be sure that NJCAA bylaws are followed so the party is not spoiled.

Q: Is it permissible for the college to give the signee a t-shirt or similar item to wear designating the school of choice while they sign their LOI?

A: An NJCAA member college may loan a signee a t-shirt or similar item to wear while they sign their LOI for photo opportunities.  The items must be collected back from the signee.  The member college would be in violation if they gave the items to the students and did not collect them back up following the signing.

 

Q: Is it permissible to print the LOI and have the Athletic Director sign the LOI prior to the signing date?

A: Yes, a member college may print the LOI prior to the signing date and the AD may sign it.  Understand that the recruit has 14 days to sign the LOI and return it to the offering school or it becomes invalid.  The 14 day window begins on the date of issuance. It is not permissible for a recruit to sign the LOI prior to the official signing date.

 

Q:  Are member colleges permitted to offer any type of agreement/contract for an athletic scholarship other than the official NJCAA Letter of Intent?

A:  No, all athletic scholarships must be documented on an official NJCAA LOI.  Any document other than an official NJCAA LOI is invalid.  a member college who uses an agreement / contract for an athletic scholarship other than the NJCAA LOI is in violation of a sanctionable offense. Sample NJCAA LOI

 

Q: I received my LOI offer in the mail.  How long do I have to think about my decision?

A: An LOI offer should be signed in a timely manner and returned to the member college who made the offer.  The LOI will expire 14 days from the date of issuance.

 

Q: Once I sign my LOI, am I permitted to practice with the school even though I wont be on campus until the fall?

A: No, in order to practice with the school you must be enrolled at the school in the current term and have a valid physical on file.

 

 

Eligibility Recertification of Two-Term Sports

As the  fall term comes to a close on most campuses, eligibility recertification becomes the hot topic of discussion.  Member colleges ask, “when do i need to recertify my eligibility now that fall grades are in”.  The answer is not as simple as the question leads it to be.  The answer varies based on the academic successes of the team from the fall term as well as if the college wants to add new players to the eligibility roster.

Below is an exert from the current NJCAA casebook which provides guidance to member colleges as to  when a they must recertify their eligibility.

Case 15
Section 13.D.3 (pg. 269 of the 2013-2014 Handbook) – Recertification Scenarios –
When to Recertify for the Second Term for a Two-Term Sport

All athletes remain eligible from the fall.
~ Recertify the team on or before the 15th calendar day of the spring term.

All athletes who participated during the fall are all eligible for the spring and ineligible athletes who did not participate in the fall but have become eligible for the spring term.
~ If you are adding these athletes before the 20th calendar day after the end of the fall term, the entire team must be recertified for the spring term at the same time. Those athletes completing a probationary period can be added once their terms of the probation are completed.
~ If you are adding these athletes after the 20th calendar day after the end of the fall term, then you must certify that athlete on a spring term eligibility form and recertify the remainder of the team before the 15th calendar day of the spring term.

There are ineligible athletes from the fall who cannot play during spring term and there are no new athletes to add for the spring term.
~ Ineligible athletes may participate during the next 20 days following the end of the fall term. On the 21st day those ineligible athletes may not continue participating.
~ Recertify the remainder of the team on or before the 15th calendar day of the spring term.

There are ineligible athletes from the fall who cannot play during spring term and newly eligible athletes to be added for the spring term (2 different scenarios):
1. If you allow ineligible athletes to participate for the 20 days following the end of the fall term, you may not allow the newly eligible athletes to participate during those 20 days. If you choose this scenario, the ineligible athletes must cease participation on the 21st day and the newly eligible athletes can be added anytime on or after this 21st day on a spring eligibility form. These athletes must be certified prior to participation.
** The remaining team members must be recertified before the 15th calendar day of the spring term.
2. If you choose to exchange the ineligible athletes for the newly eligible athletes before the 20th day after the end of the fall term, the remainder of the team must be recertified for the spring term at the same time. The exchange of these athletes must occur on the same day. Ineligible and newly eligible athletes cannot be participating at the same time.

Personnel Leaving The Bench During An Altercation – Basketball

In a message dated 16-Oct-13 – NJCAA Office wrote:

It has come to the attention of NJCAA Headquarters, that the NCAA women’s basketball rule change (below) is in conflict with the NJCAA sportsmanship policy relative to bench personnel leaving the bench when a fight may break out or has broken out.  Please review the following interpretation and share this with your coaching staff, game officials and regional assignors.

As per NCAA Rule 10-4.8 – Bench Technical Foul (Ejection) – It is a flagrant 2 foul for bench personnel, other than the head coach and one assistant coach, to leave the bench area when a fight may break out or has broken out.  The head coach and one assistant coach may leave the bench area in this case to prevent the situation from escalating.

However, as per Article XVIII (Sportsmanship) of the NJCAA bylaws, an ejection for violent behavior is an act in which any bench personnel other than the head coach (or in the absence of the head coach the acting head coach) leave the bench area when a fight may break out or has broken out.

Because the NJCAA interpretation of bench personnel leaving the bench area in the event of a fight, or possible fight, is the stricter of the two rules all NJCAA teams must abide by the NJCAA rule.  Failure to do so will result in a violent ejection of any bench personnel other than the head coach.