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SAR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Who makes the decisions on reinstatement cases?

A. NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff issues initial decisions in all cases submitted by the membership.  The reinstatement staff’s decisions may be appealed to the appropriate divisional Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement via RSRO. The committee, which is comprised of members of representatives from member institutions and conference offices, has the authority to amend a decision or lessen a penalty imposed by the reinstatement staff, but it does not have the authority to increase a penalty.

Q. Does the staff have any interaction with the committee on a particular case?

A. The reinstatement staff has been given the authority to act on behalf of the committee and issue decisions on all reinstatement requests. The reinstatement staff does not communicate with the committee when a reinstatement request is submitted via RSRO. If the institution appeals the reinstatement staff’s decision, the committee receives a copy of all relevant materials submitted and a teleconference or written review of the record occurs. In cases involving a telephonic appeal, the reinstatement staff, institutional representatives, and student-athlete or prospective student-athlete presents relevant information to the committee. The reinstatement staff and the committee do not have any ex parte communication regarding a specific case.

Q. To whom does the committee report, and who has authority over policies and decisions?

A. In Division I, the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement reports to the Legislative Committee and, thus, all general policies or guidelines for processing of cases are reported to the Legislative Committee. The Divisions II and III Committees on Student-Athlete Reinstatement report to the Divisions II and III Management Councils, respectively. The Legislative Committee and Management Councils may assist in setting policy and guidelines. Actual case decisions, however, cannot be appealed beyond the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement.

Q. How long does the reinstatement process take?

A. The length of time it takes to process a reinstatement request varies greatly based on the complexity of the case.  Often a reinstatement request that involves serious and/or complex violations of NCAA regulations will require follow-up. Once all information is submitted via RSRO and the facts of the case are complete, it takes approximately a week for the reinstatement staff to render an initial decision that is communicated to the institution through RSRO. The reinstatement staff is very aware of competition dates and strives to render decisions prior to the next date of competition, whenever possible.

Q. Who can request reinstatement?

A. An NCAA member institution must request reinstatement through RSRO on behalf of a student-athlete or prospective student-athlete.

Q. Can a student-athlete be represented by legal counsel?

A. A student-athlete may be represented by legal counsel during the reinstatement process.  It is not required, and the process can be navigated without legal counsel.

Q. How many cases are processed a year? What percentage results in the student-athlete being reinstated?

A. During the 2015-16 academic year, the reinstatement staff processed approximately 830 reinstatement requests and 623 waiver requests. Of the 830 reinstatement requests processed, 99 percent resulted in the student-athlete being reinstated (some have required a condition).