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NCAA Loosens Permission to Contact a Very Tiny Bit

This morning the NCAA published a new interpretation of the permission to contact rules. It is not a radical change by any means, but it will help student-athletes in some cases:

The academic and membership affairs staff determined that an institution that has received a four-year college prospective student-athlete’s signed acceptance of admission or a financial deposit in response to its offer of admission is not required to obtain written permission from another NCAA or NAIA four-year collegiate institution to make contact with the prospective student-athlete; however, the institution is required to obtain written permission from the four-year college prospective student-athlete’s previous institution to provide the student-athlete with athletically related financial assistance during the student-athlete’s first year of full-time enrollment at that institution.

Imagine this not-uncommon scenario: A student-athlete wants to transfer from one institution to another. Her first institution denies permission to contact the other school. But she decides to transfer to the second school anyway.

Before this interp, the student-athlete’s new athletic department could have no contact with her prior to arriving on campus for the first day of school or showing up for preseason practice. And while the institution can still not provide an athletic scholarship without permission to contact, at the very least they can help the incoming student get prepared to attend the university once she is admitted or pays a deposit.

Two other interps were issued today. One allows entertainment expenses when student-athletes are representing the institution in non-athletic events. The other confirmed that once a student-athlete receives excess financial aid (i.e. athletic aid beyond a full grant-in-aid), the institution cannot avoid a violation by having the athlete pay back the excess aid.

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