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December 1999

The Interpreter, FSU Office of Compliance


Interpreter Archives

The 20 Hour Rule: After 20 Hours, Let Em’ Hit The Showers!

Ladies and gentlemen, Seminole sports are currently in full swing! That’s right, our fabulous coaches are doing their best to squeeze every ounce of talent out of our student-athletes. However, in the quest for greatness, it is important that we remain cognizant of all relevant NCAA rules.

NCAA Bylaw 17.1.6.1 limits the amount of time student-athletes may participate in countable athletically related activities. This bylaw states that a student-athlete’s participation in countable athletically related activities, shall be limited to a maximum of four hours per day and 20 hours per week.

The NCAA defines countable athletically related activities as practice, meetings, or any other instruction or activity involving sports-related information. Such activities have an athletics purpose, and are held for one or more student-athletes at the direction of, or supervised by, any member of an institution’s coaching staff. Further, practice is considered to have occurred if one or more coaches and one or more student-athletes engage in activities such as chalk- talks, film study, and weight training.

Montana State University recently fired its women’s basketball coach for allegedly violating a related NCAA bylaw, Bylaw 17.1.6.2. This bylaw states that, outside of the playing season during the academic year, a student-athlete’s participation in countable athletically related activities is further limited to eight hours per week. Additionally, not more than two of the eight allowable hours may be spent on individual skill workouts.

MSU’s women’s basketball coach was fired after a university investigation into a series of complaints by players and athletic department support personnel (including doctors and trainers). The complaints contained allegations that athletes considered their individual workouts and pickup games to be mandatory (and feared punishment if they didn’t participate). These activities allegedly exceeded the eight hours per week allowed by the NCAA.

As illustrated by the MSU case, the NCAA’s playing-season regulations are a serious issue. Further, the NCAA has numerous regulations governing outside of playing-season activities. For example, NCAA Bylaw 17.1.6.3.6 states that, outside of the playing season, a student-athlete may not participate in any countable athletically related activities during an institutional vacation period.

However, during the playing season, NCAA Bylaw 17.1.6.3.5 states that daily and weekly hour limitations do not apply to countable athletically related activities occurring during an institution’s official vacation period. These limitations do apply during examination periods.

Remember coaches, you can teach them to be their best, but you’ve gotta let em’ rest!

X-mas Vacation Employment

Need some extra spending money for the upcoming semester? Looking for the extra funds to buy a family member those socks they always wanted? Well, guess what, you’re in luck!

For all of you wondering whether student-athletes are allowed to work over Christmas vacation, the Compliance Office comes to the rescue with all of the answers! In fact, NCAA Bylaw 15.2.6.4 addresses this issue directly.

NCAA Bylaw 15.2.6.4 states that “a student-athlete receiving financial aid may obtain a job within seven days prior to the beginning of the institution’s Christmas vacation period” (provided it is a prerequisite to securing the employment). Further, the income derived from this additional week’s employment need not be computed in determining the student’s maximum allowable financial aid (however, any work performed after the first day of classes shall be countable).

Remember, NCAA Bylaw 15.2.6.1 allows a student-athlete to receive earnings from legitimate on- or off-campus employment during the semester. However, the student-athlete may only earn up to the value of a full grant plus $2,000 (provided the student-athlete has spent one academic year in residence at the certifying institution and is academically eligible to compete for the university).

Any Christmas vacation employment obtained by a student-athlete must also be legitimate (i.e., commensurate compensation for work actually performed at a job unrelated to athletic ability). However, student-athletes are NOT required to complete the forms mandated for during-the-semester employment.

From the Interpretation File

Bylaw 15.2.6: Employment

The institution must include earnings from the student-athlete’s employment during semester or term time in determining whether his or her full grant-in-aid has been reached (i.e., full grant plus $2,000)

Bylaw 15.2.6.3: No Institutional Aid Received

A student-athlete who is not receiving institutional financial aid may earn legitimate income in excess of a full grant-in-aid, provided neither members of the athletics department nor representatives of the institution’s athletics interests are involved in arranging the employment.

In The News . . .

Basketball Player’s Father Accepts Loans:

The University of Dayton recently announced that the NCAA enforcement staff has found the school guilty of four rules infractions. These infractions included a major violation in connection with two loans made to the father of one of UD’s men’s basketball players.

The student-athlete’s father received a $32,000 loan from UD booster and trustee Clayton L. Mathile. UD is currently awaiting punishment from the NCAA.

Possible penalties for such a major violation include probation, a reduction in scholarships, a reduction in allowable official visits, a ban from postseason play, and/or a ban from television appearances.

UConn Hoops Allegations:

The NCAA recently ruled that UConn men’s basketball player Jake “The Snake” Voskuhl did not violate rules on accepting gifts when he borrowed a friend’s car to drive to classes. The vehicle was owned by a Connecticut restaurateur, who is not connected to the basketball program. However, “The Snake” may have to reimburse his friend for using the car as if he had leased or rented it.

In similar news, UConn’s Khalid El-Amin has been using a 1998 Land Rover registered to a Hartford man, who claims El-Amin has left him game tickets in the past. The NCAA prohibits student-athletes from receiving any “extra benefits” and from exchanging tickets for “any item of value.” The NCAA has yet to rule on this matter.

SMU Faces Recruiting Violation Allegations:

SMU is reportedly investigating a former football player’s allegations that a recruiter suggested he cheat on his college entrance exam. Assistant coach Steve Malin allegedly agreed to pay $100 to have a stand-in take the ACT exam for Corlin Donaldson in 1998.

Donaldson’s scholarship at SMU was revoked at the end of the last academic year, when ACT officials canceled his test scores due to “invalid signatures”. In 1987, SMU became the only Division I-A football program to receive the NCAA’s “death penalty” (i.e., it was completely shut down).

Important Reminders:

1) Notification of changes for walk-on and scholarship athletes are due in the Compliance Office by December
20th!

2) All ACC Participation Records, Redshirt Records, and requests for Hardship Waivers for fall sports are due
in the Compliance Office by January 4th!

Former ASU Basketball Player Gets Prison Time for Point Shaving:

Stevin “Hedake” Smith was sentenced to a year in prison for shaving points during the 1993-94 basketball season, partly to pay off a gambling debt. So do you still think that gambling is a victimless crime? Don’t bet on it!

As TheTankTurns . . .

Our good buddy Tank Black has been in the news again with his connection to Randall Menard. Menard, who was recently charged with bribery for his alleged effort to sign an LSU football player, claims he was representing the sports agent.

Mr. Black is also currently under investigation by the NFL Players Association, the University of Florida, and Louisiana State University. Mr. Black’s lawyer proclaimed that “When the truth comes out, he will be vindicated.” Of course, we all know that you can’t spell “vindicated” without “indicted”.

Recruiting Calendar (December)

Men’s Basketball

Dec. 1- Dec. 31……………Quiet Period

Except for 40 evaluation days (through March 15, 2000) designated in writing to the Director of Athletics.

Women’s Basketball

Dec. 1- Dec. 31…………….Quiet Period

Except for 40 evaluation days (through February 29, 2000) designated in writing to the Director of Athletics.

Compliance Staff

Mr. Bob Minnix

Associate Athletic

Director for Compliance and Legal Affairs

Ms. Pennie Parker

Director of Compliance Services

Mr. Brian Battle

Compliance Coordinator

The Interpreter is published by R.J. Gonser. All comments should be directed to The Interpreter, P.O. Drawer 2195, Tallahassee, FL 32316, phone (850) 644-0963, or by e-mail at: rgonser@mail.law.fsu.edu




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