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Ed Column Determines When Violation Occurs with Basketball Hires

The NCAA released an Educational Column on Thursday, November 11, which clarifies how to handle the hiring of individuals associated with a prospect in a men’s basketball program. If an institution hires an individual associated with a basketball prospect to a noncoaching position, the prospect is permanently ineligible at that institution. But there is a way to at least make an argument that the institution should be allowed both to hire the individual and have the student-athlete on the team.

The core of the ed column is that the hire is what controls, not the enrollment of the prospect. If an institution knows they are going to hire someone associated with a prospect the basketball team will be recruiting, the institution files a waiver request before hiring the individual. The ed column also says full relief, partial relief, or no relief may be granted by the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief (SLR). This suggests that waiver requests of this rule will skip the NCAA staff and go straight to the committee level.

If the hire is made though, the violation or potential violation has occurred, even if the prospect has not enrolled. The institution has to submit a reinstatement request and violation for any enrolled student-athlete and committed prospective student-athlete. The institution can also submit reinstatement requests for any uncommitted prospect which the institution anticipates will enroll.

What does not appear anywhere in the ed column is guidance about what type of situations will warrant relief from this rule. The strict prohibition (although not without a big loophole) and stiff penalty suggests mitigation would have to be very compelling.

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