About Eligibility

Commitment to academic achievement and adherence to member-created rules are vital parts of the NCAA’s mission to integrate athletics into the fabric of higher education. NCAA member schools create rules to ensure that the Association’s 430,000 student-athletes compete on equal footing. Various NCAA committees and the national office staff members work to make sure rules are applied fairly.

Remaining Eligible

Student-Athlete Reinstatement

The term “student-athlete reinstatement” describes the process used to restore the eligibility of a student-athlete involved in an NCAA rules violation.

People Behind the Decisions

Division I Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement

Kenneth White, Utah State (chair)

Cynthia Rail, Denver

David K. Wells, Mississippi

Tony Hernandez, Miami (Florida)

Megan P. McHugo, The Ivy League

Division II Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement

Denisha Hendricks, Kentucky State

Kim Vinson, Cameron (chair)

Andre Roach, St. Augustine's

Paul H. Englemann, Central Missouri

Will Lynch, Armstrong Atlantic State

Megan Davis, Saint Joseph's (Indiana)

Division III Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement

Kimberly Fierke, Salem

Janine M. Hathorn, Washington and Lee

Danny Miller, Averett (chair)

Jennifer Dubow, Colonial State Athletic Conference

Charlie Wilson, Olivet College

Elizabeth Tollett, Salisbury

Steven Felix Berardi, Ursinus

If an institution determines that a student-athlete was involved in a violation that affects eligibility, it must declare that student-athlete ineligible. At that point, the institution must investigate, gather facts and submit a reinstatement request to the NCAA national office staff.

During the reinstatement process, specially trained NCAA staff members review each case on its own merits and facts. The staff members then provide an initial decision based on guidelines established by the Division I NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement. Those guidelines include the nature and seriousness of the violation, any impermissible benefits received and the student-athlete’s level of responsibility. Staff also considers any relevant case precedent and whatever mitigating factors the university presents.

Reinstatement decisions are independent of the NCAA enforcement process and typically are made once the facts of the student-athlete’s involvement are determined. Most cases are resolved quickly. In fact, many likely conclude before an investigation closes.

The decision can be reinstatement, reinstatement with conditions, or denial.

If the institution disagrees with the NCAA staff’s decision, it can appeal to the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement for the applicable division. Those Divisions I and II groups are composed of representatives from NCAA member institutions and conferences. They can reduce or remove the conditions the staff has imposed, but they cannot increase them.

Last Updated: May 31, 2012