For 2014–15, the NCAA is making some significant changes to the Division I Manual. Not so much in the content of the bylaws, beyond the changes passed during this legislative cycle, but in how the bylaws are organized.
Bylaw 14 is getting all the changes. Currently titled “Eligibility: Academic and General Requirements”, Bylaw 14 includes all of the NCAA’s core academic rules. But it also includes a hodgepodge of other rules and has become something of a “junk drawer” for any rule related to eligibility. The reorganization will trim down Bylaw 14 by moving non-academic rules to other, more logical sections of the rule book.
Some of the NCAA’s most fundamental rules, those which set the five-year clock and four seasons of competition limits will move to Bylaw 12. Bylaw 12 will be renamed from “Amateurism” to “Amateurism and Athletics Eligibility”. Also moving to Bylaw 12 are:
- Delayed enrollment rules;
- Rules governing service academies;
- Certification of eligibility; and
- Ineligibility and restoration of eligibility.
Bylaw 17 (playing and practice seasons) will pick up the rules governing outside competition and its effect on eligibility. The limits and regulations governing outside competition are already in Bylaw 17.
Within Bylaw 14, a new section will be created specifically for graduate student eligibility, which should include rules governing graduate student transfers and continuing eligibility for graduate students. Finally, the bylaw which covers how athletes regain eligibility after they become academically ineligible will be moved from Bylaw 14.1 to Bylaw 14.4, which covers academic eligibility for continuing student-athletes.
The NCAA staff will move the rules through a series of editorial revisions, a type of NCAA proposal used for making these types of procedural or non-substantive changes. Those will be published in July, around the time that new NCAA manuals for 2014–15 are sent to the membership and become available for purchase.