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PARENTS GUIDE TO NCAA RULES COMPLIANCE

WELCOME!
The purpose of this guide is to educate the parents of UAB student-athletes about the ever-changing rules in intercollegiate athletics. This guide will deal with National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and Conference USA (C-USA) rules that apply to you and your son or daughter. While this guide is not all inclusive, it will provide a sample of the type of compliance issues you and your son or daughter will encounter while at UAB.

If you have a question about NCAA or C-USA rules, please contact the Compliance Office at (205) 975-3051. For more information on NCAA and C-USA rules, please visit the Compliance website on uabsports.com.

SEASONS OF COMPETITION - FIVE-YEAR CLOCK
Student-athletes may not engage in more than four seasons of competition in any one sport within five calendar years. A student-athlete's five-year clock starts when the student-athlete initially registers in a regular term of an academic year for a minimum full-time program of studies (12 credit hours) and attends his/her first day of classes for that term.

A student-athlete uses a season of competition if he/she participates in any competition, regardless of the length of time, during a season. For example, if an athlete plays in one minute of one game, he/she has used a season of competition in his/her sport. There is one exception to this rule. During a student-athlete's initial year of enrollment at a four-year institution, he/she may compete in preseason exhibition contests and preseason practice scrimmages without counting such competition as a season of competition.

A student-athlete who does not compete at all during one of his/her seasons will not use a season of competition. This is commonly referred to as a "redshirt" year. An athlete only receives one "redshirt" year within his/her five-year clock.

COMPLIMENTARY ADMISSIONS
UAB may provide a student-athlete with a maximum of four complimentary admissions to regular season home and away competitions, regardless of whether the student-athlete competes in the contest. Student-athletes may not receive "hard" tickets, as complimentary admissions may be provided only through a pass list for individuals designated by the student-athlete. Student-athletes may assign complimentary admissions to family members, relatives and friends. The individual receiving the complimentary admission must present identification at the admission gate in order to receive the complimentary admission. Neither the student-athlete, nor the individual designated to receive the ticket may exchange the ticket for money or any item of value. Doing so would result in a violation of NCAA legislation.

EMPLOYMENT
It is permissible for student-athletes to work during the academic year and vacation periods. There is no limit on the amount of money a student-athlete can earn during the academic year or vacation periods.

Should a student-athlete work, he/she may be paid only for work actually performed and at a rate comparable with the going rate in the locale for the type of work performed. A student-athlete's compensation may not include any remuneration for value or utility that the student-athlete may have for the employer because of the publicity, reputation, fame or personal following that he/she has obtained because of athletics ability. Student-athletes may not receive any special discounts or services from his/her employer unless they are provided to all employees. Student-athletes may not receive transportation to and from work, health benefits, vacation/sick time, bonuses, etc. unless the same benefits are available to all employees.

Student-athletes planning to work during the academic year and/or vacation periods should notify the Compliance Office in advance.

FINANCIAL AID
A student-athlete may not receive athletics aid in excess of a full grant-in-aid. A full grant-in-aid is defined as financial aid that consists of tuition and fees, room, board and required textbooks. Institutions cannot award athletics aid to a student-athlete in excess of one academic year. It is a common misconception that athletics aid is guaranteed for four or five years. In reality, at the end of each academic year, the head coach of your son/daughter's team has the option to renew, reduce or cancel the athletics aid. UAB is required to notify your son/daughter by July 1st whether his/her athletics aid has been renewed, reduced or cancelled for the following academic year.

UAB may not decrease or cancel your son/daughter's athletics aid during the period of the award (i.e., academic year) on the basis of the student-athlete's athletics ability, performance or contribution to a team's success; because of an injury, illness or physical or mental medical condition; or for any other athletics reason. UAB may reduce or cancel athletics aid during the period of the award if your son or daughter renders himself/herself ineligible for intercollegiate athletics competition; fraudulently misrepresents any information on an application, letter of intent or financial aid agreement; engages in serious misconduct warranting substantial disciplinary penalty; or voluntarily withdraws from a sport at any time for personal reasons.

It is permissible for a student-athlete to receive aid (e.g., institutional scholarships, outside awards) in addition to an athletics scholarship. In some instances those scholarships are countable against the student-athlete's full grant-in-aid limit. If that occurs, the student-athlete may have to decline the additional scholarship due to his/her financial aid limits and the team's financial aid limit. Should the student-athlete choose to keep the additional scholarship, his/her athletics aid may have to be reduced in order to accommodate the additional scholarship. For questions regarding financial aid please contact UAB Financial Aid Office or the Compliance Office.

NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT
Many incoming student-athletes sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI) with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. An NLI is an agreement between the incoming student-athlete and UAB which states that the institution will provide the student-athlete with one academic year of athletically related financial aid in return for the student-athlete's attendance at that institution for one academic year (summers excluded). This financial agreement is valid for one academic year only. It does not guarantee that the student-athlete will receive athletics aid in excess of his/her first year of enrollment at the institution. This agreement remains binding even if the student-athlete's coach leaves the institution with which he/she signed. If the student-athlete does not attend the institution or attends the institution for less than one academic year, the athlete will face a penalty should he/she transfer to another NLI institution. For more information on the NLI visit their website at www.national-letter.org.

EXTRA BENEFITS
One area that causes concern and raises the greatest number of questions involves a student-athlete or his/her family member's receipt of an "extra benefit." An extra benefit is defined as any special arrangement by an institutional employee or booster to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete's relatives or friends a benefit not authorized by the NCAA. The receipt of a benefit not authorized by NCAA regulations by a student-athlete or his/her parents, relatives or friends will immediately place the student-athlete's eligibility for intercollegiate athletics competition in jeopardy.

Examples of extra benefits include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A special discount, payment arrangement or credit on a purchase or service (e.g., dry cleaning, legal representation);
  • Free or reduced-cost housing;
  • Transportation, an automobile or use of an automobile;
  • Services (e.g., movie tickets, dinners, use of a car) from commercial agencies (e.g., movie theaters, restaurants, car dealers) without charge or at reduced rates; and
  • Cash, gift certificates or other items with value.

Please contact the Compliance Office should you have any questions regarding extra benefits.

BOOSTERS
As the parent of a UAB student-athlete, you should be aware that the NCAA has imposed limitations and boundaries on the kinds of interactions you may have with people whom the NCAA defines as "representatives of the UAB's athletics interests" or booster. A booster is an individual who is a member of an organization that supports and promotes UAB athletics; made any financial contributions to the athletics department (e.g. Blazer Club); been involved in promoting UAB's athletics program; been a season ticket holder or provided benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their relatives or friends.

Once an individual has been identified as a booster, he/she retains that status forever. This is true even if the person no longer contributes to UAB's athletics program. While your son or daughter is enrolled at UAB, it is a possibility that you may befriend a person who is defined per NCAA regulations as a booster. If this occurs, please be aware that your friendship with a booster does not change their status and your responsibility to adhere to NCAA rules. In general, these individuals may not provide benefits to you or your son or daughter.

There may be circumstances when someone other than a parent or legal guardian may provide a student-athlete with a benefit or service. The NCAA uses the following four questions as an objective guideline in determining whether to permit a student-athlete's receipt of such benefits.
1. Did the relationship between the student-athlete (or the student-athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) develop as a result of the student-athlete's participation in athletics or notoriety related thereto?
2. Did the relationship between the student-athlete (or the student-athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) predate the athlete's status as a prospective student-athlete?
3. Did the relationship between the student-athlete (or the student-athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) predate the student-athlete's status achieved as a result of his/her athletics ability or reputation?
4. Was the pattern of benefits provided by the individual to the student-athlete (or the student-athlete's parents) prior to the student-athlete attaining notoriety as a skilled athlete similar in nature to those provided after attaining such stature?

In summary, NCAA rules would not allow a student-athlete to receive benefits from persons who have come to know the athlete as a result of his/her achieved status, reputation or participation as an athlete. Please contact the Compliance Office prior to accepting anything from a booster.

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS
Once your son or daughter begins taking classes at UAB, he/she will be expected to maintain certain academic standards in order to be eligible for practice and competition. NCAA legislation requires that student-athletes maintain progress toward a degree in order to maintain their academic eligibility. In addition to NCAA requirements, student-athletes are required to meet UAB and Conference USA academic standards as well.

In general, to be eligible to participate in practice and competition, a student-athlete must be enrolled in a minimum full-time program of studies (i.e., 12 credit hours). As student-athletes progress through each term, they are required to meet additional academic requirements.

First, student-athletes must complete a minimum of six credits per term (excluding summers) to be eligible for competition the next term. In addition, student-athletes must complete a minimum of 18 credits during the academic year. Finally, student-athletes must earn a minimum number of credits prior to the start of each academic year.

In addition to credit hour requirements, student-athletes must earn a minimum grade-point average each year of enrollment.

As student-athletes enter their third year of enrollment they are required to designate a degree and make progress toward that degree by completing a minimum percentage of requirements for that degree.

Student-athletes who fail to meet NCAA and/or UAB academic requirements will be rendered ineligible for competition until their academic deficiency has been corrected.

For more information on NCAA and UAB academic standards please see the charts below.

NCAA REQUIREMENTS
Entering 2nd Year of Enrollment Entering 3rd Year of Enrollment Entering 4th Year of Enrollment Entering 5th Year of Enrollment
• 24 semester credits

• 18 credits earned during academic year

• 90% of GPA for graduation (certify term by term)

• 6 credits/term

• 40% of degree requirements

• 18 credits earned during academic year

• 95% of GPA for graduation (certify term by term)

• 6 credits/term

• Declaration of degree program

• 60% of degree requirements

• 18 credit earned during academic year

• 100% of GPA for graduation (certify term by term)

• 6 credits/term

• 80% of degree requirements

• 18 credit earned during academic year

• 100% of GPA for graduation (certify term by term)

• 6 credits/term

GPA REQUIREMENTS
  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 & after
UAB 1.8
(On academic probation if below 2.0)
1.9
(On academic probation if below 2.0)
2.0 2.0
NCAA 1.8 1.9 2.0 2.0
C-USA Same as NCAA Same as NCAA Same as NCAA Same as NCAA

GAMBLING
The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering. Sports wagering includes placing, accepting or soliciting a wager of any type with any individual or organization on any intercollegiate, amateur or professional team or contest. Examples of sports wagering include, but are not limited to, the use of a bookmaker or parlay card; Internet sports wagering; auctions in which bids are placed on teams, individuals or contests; and pools or fantasy leagues in which an entry fee is required or there is an opportunity to win a prize. The prohibition against sports wagering applies to all UAB athletics department staff members and student-athletes.

This means that student-athletes are prohibited from participating in the following activities:

  • No wagers for any item (e.g., cash, dinner, clothing) on any UAB practice or intercollegiate, amateur or professional competition.
  • No sports "pools".
  • No Internet gambling on sports events.
  • No fantasy leagues that award a prize or require a fee to participate.
  • No exchange of information about a UAB team and/or student-athlete with anyone who gambles including information about injuries, new plays, team morale, discipline problems, etc.

A student-athlete who participates in any sports wagering activity involving UAB or who engages in activities designed to influence the outcome of an intercollegiate contest or in an effort to affect win-loss margins ("point shaving") shall permanently lose all remaining regular-season and postseason eligibility in all sports.

AGENTS AND AMATEURISM
Per NCAA legislation only an amateur student-athlete is eligible for intercollegiate athletics participation. A student-athlete may jeopardize his/her amateur status if he/she has inappropriate contact with an agent or his/her representatives. Please keep the following in mind if agents or their representatives contact you or your son/daughter in an attempt to persuade you to allow them to represent your child's athletics interests.

  • A student-athlete MAY NOT agree, either orally or in writing, to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his/her athletics ability or reputation in a sport. In addition, it is not permissible for a student-athlete to enter into a verbal or written agreement with an agent for representation in future professional sports negotiations once his/her collegiate eligibility has expired in that sport.
  • Student-athletes (or their relatives or friends) MAY NOT accept transportation or other benefits (e.g., dinner, lodging) from anyone who wishes to represent their athletic interests.
  • A student-athlete MAY NOT enter into any kind of agreement to compete in professional athletics, either orally or in writing, regardless of the legal enforceability of that agreement.
  • Student-athletes MAY NOT receive any type of pay or compensation for play (either directly or indirectly).
  • Student-athletes MAY NOT be involved in any commercial endorsements for a product, service or establishment.

It is permissible for a student-athlete to secure legal advice from a lawyer concerning a proposed, professional sports contract, provided the lawyer DOES NOT represent the student-athlete in negotiations for such a contract. A lawyer may not be present during discussions of a contract offer with a professional organization or have any direct contact (in person, by telephone or by mail) with a professional sports organization on behalf of the student-athlete. A lawyer's presence during such discussions is considered representation by an agent.

A student-athlete may inquire of a professional sports organization about eligibility for a professional-league player draft or request information about his/her market value without affecting his or her amateur status.

For more information on agents and amateurism please visit the NCAA website at www.ncaa.org.

PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES
Each year the athletics department receives many requests from the community for our student-athletes to make public appearances. It is permissible for student-athletes to participate in promotional activities, provided certain criteria are met.

  • Student-athletes MAY NOT allow their name, picture or personal appearance to advertise, recommend or promote the sale or use of any commercial products, services or businesses.
  • Student-athletes must receive written approval from the Compliance Office PRIOR to participating in any promotional activities.
  • The student-athlete may not miss class.
  • The student-athlete may not receive payment for his/her appearance at a promotional activity.
  • The Promotional Activity must be in the state of Alabama and within 100 miles of UAB campus.

In order to protect a student-athletes eligibility, it is important to check with the Compliance Office before the student-athlete participates in any promotional activity with an outside organization.

CONSEQUENCES OF NCAA RULES VIOLATIONS
A violation of NCAA rules by a student-athlete will immediately put his/her eligibility to compete in intercollegiate athletics in jeopardy. A violation of NCAA rules by the parents, relatives and/or friends of a student-athlete will have a similar affect. As a result, the eligibility status of a UAB student-athlete may be adversely impacted by the actions of his/her parents or others (e.g., boosters), even if the student-athlete did not have any knowledge of the events and circumstances that led to the violation of NCAA rules. Please be aware that your actions, regardless of your son's/daughter's knowledge or approval, may have eligibility ramifications for him/her.

TRANSFER 101
If your son and/or daughter decides to transfer from UAB to another institution (regardless of division) he/she must first receive permission from his/her head coach before talking to the second institution. If the student-athlete does not obtain permission to contact the second institution, the coach from that institution may not have any written or verbal contact with the student-athlete.

The general rule regarding transferring from one Division I institution to another Division I institution is that the student-athlete must serve one academic year in residence at the second institution before being eligible for competition. In sports other than baseball, basketball, and bowl subdivision football an athlete may receive a one-time transfer exception from the first institution which allows the individual to be immediately eligible for competition at the second institution upon transfer, provided the student-athlete meets all academic requirements.

For more information regarding transfers visit the NCAA website at www.ncaa.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

NCAA Website
www.ncaa.org

Conference USA Website
www.conferenceusa.cstv.com

National Letter of Intent Website
www.national-letter.org

"ALWAYS ASK FIRST"
UAB ATHLETICS COMPLIANCE OFFICE

Chad Jackson
(205) 975-3051

Tony Dollison
(205) 975-4604

BRTW East Tower
1530 3rd Ave. South
Birmingham, AL 35294-1160

 
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