University of South Florida - click to return to home page
Home > Student-Athlete Academic Services > Student-Athlete Handbook
Search the USF Web site USF Site map USF home page Links for Prospective Students Links for Our Students Links for Visitors Links for Faculty & Staff Links for Alumni & Parents USF Campuses Links for Business & Community


STUDENT-ATHLETE HANDBOOK 2003-2004


NCAA ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Compliance

The University of South Florida Division of Intercollegiate Athletics implements many policies , practices, procedures, systems and educational programs designed to promote compliance with NCAA, federal, state, and Board of Regents legislation. In addition, the compliance program has been designed to function within the philosophies and policies of the University. The program operates under the direction of the Director of Athletics and is executed by the Assistant Director of Athletics/Compliance in cooperation from all Athletic Department Staff and student-athletes.

The University of South Florida is committed to the standards of the NCAA and the principle of "institutional control". The USF Athletic Department has instituted appropriate systems and modifications to improve the institution's compliance and to ensure "institutional control".

USF, based on its membership in the NCAA and Conference USA agrees to abide by established rules and regulations. These rules impact student-athletes, coaches, staff members, alumni and boosters. As a student-athlete at USF, you too are required to comply with those rules and regulations. It is your responsibility to be aware of the NCAA, Conference USA and Board of Regents rules and regulations that may impact your athletic eligibility and/or athletically related financial aid at USF. We are here to assist you with knowledge of and compliance with these rules. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Assistant Athletic Director, Steve Horton at 974-6858.

Back To Top

NCAA Student-Athlete Statement

Each year you will participate in a team meeting to review a NCAA summary form of eligibility rules and regulations. You will be required, in your team meeting, to sign the NCAA Student- Athlete Statement declaring your knowledge of and compliance with those rules. Should you have any questions regarding the NCAA Student-Athlete Statement, contact Mr. Horton.

Back To Top

Athletic Eligibility

The following are important NCAA Division I athletic eligibility requirements:

  1. You have four years of intercollegiate eligibility available in your sport(s);
  2. You have five years to complete your four years of eligibility from the time you first register as a full-time student in any collegiate institution (2- or 4-year college);
  3. You must maintain your amateur status in that sport to be eligible for intercollegiate competition.

DO NOT:

  1. Accept or designate to anyone else payment for your athletic performance;
  2. Use the services of a professional sports agent or agree to play professionally;
  3. Play on a professional team.
  4. Accept payment for promoting a commercial product or allow free of charge your name or picture to be used for the promotion of a commercial product or service. .

Back To Top

Academic Eligibility

Full Time Status for Practice and/or Competition

Student-athletes must be registered for at least a minimum, full-time program of studies as defined by the institution, which shall not be less than 12 semester hours each term. Exception: student-athletes in the final semester of the baccalaureate program and with less than 12 semester hours needed to graduate, may obtain written verification from their advisor to be enrolled in less than 12 hours.

In an effort to protect your eligibility, you may not drop any course without receiving prior permission from an Athletic Department Academic Advisor.

Designation of a Degree Program

  • The NCAA requires all continuing and new transfer student-athletes to designate a program of studies leading toward a specific baccalaureate degree at the certifying institution by the beginning of the fifth semester of full-time enrollment.
  • USF Declaration of Major

    First-year students often enter the university undecided about their career plans and intended majors and that usually creates little difficulty for them. Many of the more than 90 majors at USF allow students considerable options in their early course choices. However, some programs require completion of particular courses within the first two years. For instance, students with majors in fine arts and engineering should begin specific coursework in their first year and are best served by declaring their majors upon entering the university. In other fields, such as nursing, natural and physical sciences, education, and business, students must satisfy state mandated course prerequisites and complete specific general education courses during the first two years to be admitted to those major as juniors and to allow graduation on a timely basis. Therefore, students must make early decisions about those majors as well.

    Unless restricted by limited access requirements, all students are expected to be officially declared in a major by the time they have completed 45 semester hours of course work. Beginning Fall Semester 2004, FTIC students who have not declared a major (or pre-major) and who have completed 45 or more credits of college level coursework will not be allowed to register for further credit coursework at the university until they have declared a major or pre-major.

    Transfer students, especially those who have completed 60 hours of work prior to transferring to USF, should declare their majors upon entry to the university. Transfer students who have not declared a major (or pre-major) and who have completed 75 or more credits of college coursework will not be allowed to register for further credit coursework at the university until they have declared a major or a pre-major. Students transferring in 75 or more credits will be required to declare a major (or pre-major) at the time of admission.

    Many resources are made available by the university to assist students in making career decisions and choosing their majors. Information about these resources is readily available from academic advisors. All entering FTIC students who have not made a career/major decision upon entry to the university will be encouraged to enroll in the University Experience course.

Satisfactory Progress for all Student-Athletes that matriculated full time enrollment prior to Fall 2003

Certification after you have utilized one season of eligibility in a sport shall be based upon :

  1. 24 Hours of Degree Applicable Credit Per Year
    • Satisfactory completion of 24 semester hours of credit applicable to your designated degree since the beginning of the previous Fall semester or;
    • Satisfactory completion of an accumulative total of semester hours of degree applicable credit taken at USF that is equivalent to an average of 12 semester hours during each of the previous enrolled academic terms and;
    • Seventy-five percent of the 24 hours (18 hours) must be earned during the regular academic year (Fall & Spring) with no more than 25 percent (6 hours) earned during the Summer term.

    Hours earned in the summer semester may be utilized to satisfy these requirements within the 75/25% regulation.

  2. 25/50/75% Degree Completion
    • Student-athletes entering their third year (5th semester) of full-time collegiate enrollment must have completed 25% of the course requirements in their designated degree program;
    • Student-athletes entering their fourth year (7th semester) of full-time collegiate enrollment must have completed 50% of the course requirements in their designated degree program;
    • Student-athletes entering their fifth year (9th semester) of full-time collegiate enrollment must have completed 75% of the course requirements in their designated degree program.
  3. Fulfillment of Minimum Grade Point Average Requirements
    • Student-athletes entering their third year (5th semester) of full-time collegiate enrollment must present a cumulative minimum grade point average that equals 90% of the grade point average required for graduation (2.0 at USF);
    • Student-athletes entering their fourth and future years (7th semester) of full-time collegiate enrollment must present a cumulative minimum grade point average that equals 95% of the grade point average required for graduation (2.0 at USF).
  4. Good Academic Standing
    • Student-athletes must be in good standing at USF based on the USF policies on good academic standing as determined by the academic authorities who determine good standing for all students at USF.

Back To Top

Satisfactory Progress for Student-athletes who matriculated to the university on August 1, 2003 or thereafter

Year of Initial Collegiate Enrollment Initial Eligibility Standard Entering 2nd Year of Collegiate Enrollment Entering 3rd Year of Collegiate Enrollment Entering 4th Year of Collegiate Enrollment Entering 5th Year of Collegiate Enrollment
Prior to 2003N/A24 semester credits
18 credits earned during the academic year
12 hours remedition
25% of degree requierements
18 credits earned during academic year
90% of GPA for graduation
Six credits/term
Declaration of degree program
50% of degree requierements
18 credits earned during academic year
95% of GPA for graduation
Six credits/term
75% of degree requierements
18 credits earned during academic year
100% GPA for graduation
Six credits/term
2003 and 2004Current or new standard24 semester credits
18 credits earned during academic year
90% of GPA for graduation
Six credits/term
Mid-year GPA certification
A maximum of six semester hours remedial courses
40% of degree requierements
18 credits earned during academic year
95% of GPA for graduation
Six credit/terms
Mid-Year GPA certification
Declaration of degree program
60% of degree
18 credits earned during academic year
100% of GPA for graduation
Six credits/term
Mid-Year GPA certification
80% of degree requierements
18 credits earned during academic year
100% of GPA for graduation
Mid-year GPA certification
2005, 2006 & 2007New standard
(partial qualifier eliminated)
200816 core classes

Initial Eligibility

In 2003 and 2004, a prospective student-athlete may use either the new 14 core-course or the current 13 core-course initial eligibility requirements to become a qualifier. Elements of the two standards MAY NOT be combined to attain qualifier status. Beginning in 2005, all prospective student-athletes must be certified under the 14 core-course standard.

Partial qualifier certification will be eliminated for a prospective student-athlete who enters August 2005 and thereafter .

A nonqualifier will continue to have the opportunity to earn a fourth season of eligibility if he or she obtains his or her degree by the beginning of his or her fifth year of collegiate enrollment.

Continuing Eligibility

Transfers

A midyear transfer is subject to the above requirements and is able to use transferable degree credits to satisfy the requirements.

A transfer student-athlete (foreign or domestic) who initially enrolls as a full-time student in any collegiate institutionís regular academic term on or after August 1,2003, will be subject to the academic requirements set forth above.

Part-Time Enrollment

A student-athlete is responsible to earn 18 semester credit hours in any academic year in which the student-athlete was full time one or more terms. Part-time hours may be used to fulfill this requirement.

Exceptions: A student-athlete who enrolls in his or her first full-time term of collegiate enrollment following the fall term will not be responsible for earning 18 credit hours until he or she has spend a full academic year at the institution.

Summer Credit Hours

May be used to satisfy the 24 credit hour requirement when certifying a student-athlete entering his or her second year of collegiate enrollment. Summer hours may also be used to meet the 40/60/80 percentage-degree requirements.

Remedial, Tutorial or Noncredit Courses

May be used when earned during his or her first year of enrollment and when certifying a student-athlete entering his or her second year of enrollment.

Six Credit Hours

All student-athletes, including those currently enrolled, must successfully complete at least 6 semester hours in the previous regular academic term of full time enrollment to be eligible to participate in the next regular academic term.

New Legislation

Sportsmanship

The NCAA and Conference USA bases their existence on the concept of integrity and fair competition among its membership. The USF athletic department prides itself in this area as reflected by the sportsmanship of staff, coaches and athletes alike. You, as a USF student-athlete, must continue to uphold the virtues of good sportsmanship through your approach to competitive situations, actions during contests and attitudes towards winning and losing. You are held in high esteem by fellow students and community supporters, so the sportsmanlike manner in which you conduct yourself is an integral part of this process. Problems in this area will be dealt with individually and could result in possible reprimand, suspension or even termination.

Back To Top

Complimentary Admissions

Athletic Events-All USF students are admitted free to athletic events. You need to show your validated student I.D. to gain admission to events other than your own sport.

Own Sport-For your own sport, if admission is charged to the general public, you are permitted a maximum of four complimentary admissions. You will be required to submit names of your guests prior to the contest and your guests must present proper identification at the ticket gate. Your respective coach will discuss the particulars with you at the appropriate time.

Back To Top

Playing and Practice Season Time Limits

Pre & Post Season-A student-athlete's participation in required athletically related activities outside the playing season is limited to a maximum of 8 hours of conditioning activities per week. In sports other than football, student-athletes may request 2 hours (within the 8 hours per week) of skill instruction utilizing the equipment of the sport. The skill instruction is limited to groups of four student athletes at any one time in any location.

Playing Season-A student-athlete's required participation in athletically related activities during the playing season is limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week with no more than four (4) hours per day. All competition and any associated athletically related activity on the day of competition shall count as three (3) hours regardless of actual duration of activities. In addition, a "day off" from mandatory athletically related activities during one calendar day per week is required. Travel Days can be considered as a "day off" if no other athletically related activities occur during that day.

Missed Class Time for Practice Activities- It is not permissible for a student-athlete to miss class time for practice except when the team is traveling to an away from competition and the practice is held in conjunction with that contest.

Missed Class Time for Competition- All student-athletes participating in USF approved and scheduled athletic contests are required to submit excuse forms to professors of each class prior to departing campus. These class-excuse forms are available from your coach and Athletic Department Academic Advisors. It is recommended that at the beginning of each semester, you make an appointment with your professor during his/her office hours and provide your instructor with a copy of your schedule and class-excuse form. Instructors are usually more than willing to assist you in resolving a conflict when advance notice is given and the approach is done with tact and respect.

Back To Top

Gambling and Bribery

The NCAA opposes all forms of gambling and adamantly opposes all forms of sports gambling. The NCAA membership has adopted specific legislation prohibiting Athletics Department staff members and student-athletes from engaging in gambling activities as they relate to intercollegiate and professional athletic events. The NCAA opposes sports gambling because it undermines or carries the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests and because it sends entirely the wrong message concerning the purpose and meaning of "sport".

It is hoped that you, as a student-athlete, will never be approached in an attempt to involve you in a gambling or bribery situation. However, on some campuses in the past student-athletes have become involved in organized gambling operations. The results of this involvement have been both severe and tragic, not only for the individual but for the entire University athletics program.

NCAA Legislation Governing Gambling

  • Student-athletes of NCAA member institutions shall not knowingly: (a) solicit a bet on any intercollegiate or professional athletics team; (b) provide information to individuals involved in organized gambling activities concerning intercollegiate athletics; or (c) accept a bet on any team representing the institution.

    Any of the following activities may render a student-athlete ineligible:

    • Providing information (eg. team morale, game plans, and injuries) to any individual who could assist anyone involved in organized gambling activity;
    • Making a bet on any intercollegiate or professional athletics contest;
    • Accepting a bribe or agreeing to fix, throw, or influence illegally the outcome of any intercollegiate athletic contest;
    • Failing to report any bribe or offer or any knowledge of any attempt to throw, fix a game or influence the outcome of any intercollegiate contest;
    • Participating in any gambling activity involving intercollegiate athletics through a book maker, parlay card or any other method employed by organized gambling.

      Because of the extreme importance of this problem, you are asked to report to your coach any attempt to secure information concerning situations which might alter the normal performance of your team.

  • If you have any questions about the above guidelines, ask your coach or the Assistant Athletic Director/Compliance before you act.

Back To Top

Amateurism Do's and Don'ts

Do you know what you can/cannot do regarding professional sports and NCAA regulations?

You are permitted to:

  1. Compete professionally in sports other than your college sport;
  2. Retain an agent in those other sports;
  3. Seek counseling from an institution's staff member regarding professional sports;
  4. Retain an attorney for personal matters which include evaluating the terms of a proposed professional contract provided the attorney does not represent you in the negotiation of such contract and you are paying normal attorney fees;
  5. Talk to an agent provided you do not agree to be represented or accept anything of value from the agent;
  6. Ask a professional league or team about eligibility to be drafted.

You are not permitted to:

  1. Agree, orally or written, to be represented by an agent until after completion of your last intercollegiate contest which includes postseason games. This includes agreements that are "not effective" until after the last game;
  2. Sign a playing contract in any sport in which you plan to compete intercollegiately;
  3. Ask to be placed on a professional league's draft list. This includes whether you later withdraw your name, you are not drafted, or you do not sign the professional contract.
  4. An exception to this rule exists for basketball. NCAA Bylaw 12.2.4.2.1 allows an athlete in the sport of basketball to enter a professional league's draft one time during his/her collegiate career provided the athlete is not drafted by any team in the league and declares his/her intention in writing to the director of athletics to resume intercollegiate participation within 30 days after the draft;
  5. Accept gifts or expenses of any kind (including meals or transportation) from an agent;
  6. Receive preferential benefits or treatment because of your reputation, skill, or pay-back potential as a professional athlete;
  7. Allow your coach or other members of the athletic staff to represent you in the marketing of your ability to a professional organization in which they receive compensation for such activity .

Back To Top

Common Questions and Answers Regarding Professionalism

To assist students in making the best possible decision regarding professional sports, the following questions and answers have been developed to help students sort through some of the issues that they, their parents and NCAA institutions will confront.

Question No. 1:I have been contacted by agents who wish to represent me. Can I reach an agreement with an agent to represent me without jeopardizing my eligibility at an NCAA school?

Answer: No. If you or your parents reach a verbal or written agreement with an agent, this will jeopardize your eligibility at an NCAA school.

Question No 2: I have been told by some people that it is permissible to have an advisor, but not an agent. Is this true? If so, what is the difference between and advisor and an agent?

Answer: You are correct. It is permissible for you to have an advisor (but not an agent) without jeopardizing your eligibility at an NCAA school. Under NCAA regulations you and your parents are permitted to receive advice from a lawyer or other individuals concerning a proposed professional sports contract, provided the advisor does not represent you directly in negotiations for the contract. In this regard, it is permissible for an advisor to discuss the merits of a proposed contract with you and give you suggestions about the type of offer you should consider. In order to maintain your eligibility at an NCAA school, however, you may not use this advisor as a link between you and the professional sports team rather, you must view the advisor as an extension of your own interests and not as a source to contact a professional team. If you use the advisor as a direct contact with a professional team, the advisor shall be considered an agent and you will have jeopardized your eligibility at an NCAA school. For example, an advisor may not be present during the discussions of a contract offer with a professional team or have any direct contact ( i.e in person, by telephone or by mail) with the professional sports team on your behalf. Finally, it is important to note that in order to maintain your eligibility at the NCAA school, if you receive the assistance from an advisor, you will be required to pay that advisor at his or her normal rate.

Question No 3: May I receive any benefits (e.g. transportation or meals) from an agent or advisor without jeopardizing my NCAA eligibility?

Answer: No. You will be ineligible if you accept any transportation or other benefits from any person who wishes to represent you in the marketing of your athletics ability. This rule does not prohibit you from having a meal with someone who wishes to assist you in your negotiations, provided you each pay for the actual cost of your meals and arrange for transportation separately.

Question No 4: Am I permitted to negotiate directly with a professional sports team?

Answer: Yes. NCAA rules were changed in 1992 to allow you and your parents or legal guardians to negotiate directly with a professional team.

Question No 5: Am I permitted to reach any kind of agreement for a contract with a team and still retain my eligibility?

Answer: No. If you reach a written or verbal agreement for any portion of the terms of a professional contract, you will have jeopardized your eligibility at an NCAA school. No matter how vigorously individuals may attempt to persuade you that it is permissible to reach a verbal agreement for the terms of a contract, be assured that NCAA regulations do not permit you to reach an oral agreement for the terms of a contract.

Question No. 6: Can my family or I accept any items of value (e.g. clothing, meals, etc.) from the major league team that drafted me without jeopardizing my NCAA eligibility?

Answer: No. The receipt of any items of value will jeopardize your eligibility at an NCAA school.

Question No 7: What happens to my eligibility if a professional team offers to fly me and my parents to their city to watch a game? Is the team permitted to take me or my parents to dinner or entertain us in any other way?

Answer: In order for you to retain your NCAA eligibility would not be permitted to receive any kind of entertainment expenses from the professional team. This includes a representative of the professional team purchasing a meal for you or your parents or paying expense for you to visit the city of the league team.

Question No 8: I've heard that I can receive an expense-paid tryout to the city of a professional team. Is this true?

Answer: Yes, but only if you have not yet enrolled in a collegiate institution (including a two-year college). In this regard, NCAA rules do permit, prior to enrollment in a college, a student-athlete to receive an expense-paid tryout with a professional team, provided such a visit does not exceed 48 hours and any payment or compensation in connection with the visit was not in excess of actual and necessary expenses. Thus, you may receive an expense-paid visit from a professional team provided you participate in tryout activities that allow that club to evaluate you. After you enroll as a full time student you may tryout with a professional team at your own expense anytime other than the regular academic year. However in either case, during the tryout you may not take part in any outside competition (games or scrimmages) as part of the professional team.

Back To Top

Summary of NCAA Regulations-Division I (Part I)

Summary of NCAA Regulations-Division I (Part II)

Back To Top


spacer
Copyright © 2003, University of South Florida, Intercollegiate Athletics Department,
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620 -- (813) 974-5017
spacer
Direct questions or comments about the Web site to notter@admin.usf.edu