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January 5, 2009
When will a student-athlete who transfers from one four-year institution to a second four-year institution be eligible for competition?

Answer: In general, a transfer student from a four-year institution will not be eligible for competition at the second institution until the student fulfills a residence requirement of one full academic year at the second institution. There are exceptions to this rule. The most common exception to the rule is the one-time transfer exception. The one-time transfer rule states that in all sports other than baseball, basketball, bowl subdivision football or men's ice hockey, a student-athlete can be immediately eligible for competition at the second four-year institution, provided the student has not transferred previously from one four-year institution; the student was in good academic standing and met progress-toward-degree requirements at the first institution; and the first institution states in writing that it has no objection to the student being granted an exception to the transfer-residence requirement. A student-athlete who does not qualify for the exception due to his/her sport (e.g., baseball, basketball, bowl subdivision football, men's ice hockey) may use the one-time transfer exception, provided he/she was not recruited by the original four-year institution and has never received athletically related financial aid from any four-year institution.

November 17, 2008
What is the penalty if a prospect does not fulfill his/her NLI obligation to the school with which he/she signed?

Answer: If a student-athlete does not attend the institution with which he/she signed or attends the institution for less than one academic year, and that student enrolls at another NLI institution, that student may not represent the second institution in intercollegiate competition for one academic year. In addition, the student will lose one season of eligibility. It is possible for an institution to release a student from his/her NLI obligation prior to the student attending the institution with which he/she signed.

November 10, 2008
What does a prospect agree to when he/she signs a National Letter of Intent?

Answer: When a prospect signs a National Letter of Intent with an institution he/she agrees to attend that institution for one academic year in exchange for athletically related financial aid for one academic year.

November 3, 2008
What is a dead period?

Answer: A recruiting dead period is a period of time when coaches may not make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off campus. In addition, prospects may not make official or unofficial visits to campus during a dead period. Prospects may not receive complimentary admissions during a dead period; it is permissible for a coach to write or telephone a prospect.

October 20, 2008
Can a prospective student-athlete on an unofficial visit eat at an off-campus location with current student-athletes and prospects on an official visit?

Answer: No. It is not permissible for current student-athletes to dine off-campus with prospects on an unofficial visit.

October 13, 2008
Is it permissible for a prospective student-athlete to serve as a ball girl or ball boy at an MSU athletics event?

Answer: No. It is not permissible for a prospect to serve as a ball girl or ball boy at an MSU athletics event. Individual in eighth grade or below may serve as ball girls/boys.

October 6, 2008
Is it possible for a student-athlete to earn a season of eligibility back if he/she becomes injured?
Answer: Yes. A student-athlete may be granted an additional year of competition if the student-athlete sustains an incapacity resulting from an injury or illness. The injury or illness must occur in one of the four seasons of competition. The injury or illness must occur prior to the first competition of the second half of the playing season and results in the inability to compete for the remainder of the playing season. The student-athlete may not compete in more the 3 contests or dates of competition or 30% of the institution's scheduled competitions (whichever is greater).

September 8, 2008
How does an athlete get a sixth year of eligibility?
Answer: In general, an athlete may not engage in more the four season of competition within a five-year window. A student-athlete's five-year clock begins when he/she initially registers in a regular term of an academic year for a minimum full-time program of studies and attends the student's first day of classes. A student-athlete may be granted a sixth year of eligibility if he/she is unable to participate in his/her sport for more than one season within the five-year period due to circumstances beyond the control of the student-athlete.

Circumstances considered beyond the control of the student-athlete include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Situations clearly supported by contemporaneous medical documentation, which states that a student-athlete is unable to participate in intercollegiate competition as a result of incapacitating physical or mental circumstances;
2. The student-athlete is unable to participate in intercollegiate athletics as a result of a life-threatening or incapacitating injury or illness suffered by a member of the student-athlete's immediate family, which clearly is supported by contemporaneous medical documentation;
3. Reliance by the student-athlete upon written, contemporaneous, clearly erroneous academic advice provided to the student-athlete from a specific academic authority from a collegiate institution regarding the academic status of the student-athlete or prospective student-athlete, which directly leads to that individual not being eligible to participate and, but for the clearly erroneous advice, the student-athlete would have established eligibility for intercollegiate competition;
4. Natural disasters (e.g., flood, earthquake); and
5. Extreme financial difficulties as a result of a specific event (e.g., layoff, death in the family) experienced by the student-athlete or by an individual upon whom the student-athlete is legally dependent, which prohibit the student-athlete from participating in intercollegiate athletics. These circumstances must be clearly supported by objective documentation and must be beyond the control of the student-athlete or the individual upon whom the student-athlete is legally dependent.

Circumstances considered to be within the control of the student-athlete or the institution include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. A student-athlete's decision to attend an institution that does not sponsor his/her sport, or decides not to participate at the institution that does sponsor his/her sport;
2. An inability to participate due to failure to meet institutional/conference or NCAA academic requirements, or disciplinary reasons or incarceration culminating in or resulting from a conviction;
3. Reliance by a student-athlete upon misinformation from a coaching staff member;
4. Redshirt year;
5. An inability to participate as a result of a transfer year in residence or fulfilling a condition for restoration of eligibility; and
6. A student-athlete's lack of understanding regarding the specific starting date of his/her five-year period of eligibility.

September 2, 2008
Are there restrictions on the content of a telephone call between a coach and a prospect's parents?
Answer: No. If the content of the telephone call is recruiting in nature the call must count against the telephone call limitations for that prospect, regardless of whether the coach speaks to the prospect.

August 18, 2008
What academic requirements does an incoming freshman need to meet in order to be eligible for practice, competition and athletically related financial aid his/her first term of enrollment?
Answer: In order to be eligible for practice, competition and athletically related financial aid, an incoming freshman must graduate from high school, complete 16 core-courses and earn a minimum grade-point average and ACT and/or SAT score based on a sliding school. For more information on Division I initial eligibility standards visit the NCAA website ( and search for the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.

August 11, 2008
If a former player is on campus visiting during the same time a recruit is on campus for a visit, can the former student-athlete join the recruit and coach for lunch?
Answer: NO. Boosters (e.g., alumni) cannot be involved with the recruitment of a prospect.

August 4, 2008
Is it permissible for a booster to provide transportation to a student-athlete to return to campus for preseason practice and/or fall classes?
Answer: NO. Boosters may not provide student-athletes with transportation to and from campus for any reason. Providing transportation to a student-athlete is considered an extra benefit.

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