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Student-Athlete Reinstatement Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is the process for reinstatement of a student-athlete’s eligibility?

A. The student-athlete reinstatement process provides for the evaluation of information submitted by an NCAA member institution 
    via Requests/Self-Reports Online (RSRO) on behalf of student-athletes and prospective student-athletes who have been 
    involved in violations of NCAA legislation that impacts their eligibility.  The objective of the review is to assess the benefit 
    received and responsibility of student-athletes and prospective student-athletes while determining the appropriate conditions for 
    reinstatement of eligibility under national standards established by the NCAA membership, NCAA Division I Legislative 
   Council, NCAA Divisions II and III Management Council, and NCAA Divisions I, II and III Committee on Student-Athlete 
   Reinstatement.

 

Q.  Who makes the decisions on reinstatement cases?

A. The NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff issues initial decisions in all cases submitted by the membership. The staff's 
     decisions may be appealed to the appropriate divisional Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement via RSRO. 
     The committee has the authority to amend a decision or lessen a penalty imposed by the staff, but it does not have the authority 
     to increase the penalty. The committee is comprised of individuals on member institutions’ campuses or conference offices. The 
     staff meets with the committee regularly to discuss philosophy, process, policies and guidelines for processing cases. In 
     addition, the committee reviews cases where the staff deviated from case precedent or committee guidelines to render a 
    decision.

 

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

A. The staff has been given the authority to act on behalf of the committee and issue decisions on all reinstatement requests. The 
     staff does not communicate with the committee when a reinstatement request is submitted via RSRO. If the institution 
     appeals the 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 the 
    student-athlete or prospective student-athlete present the information to the committee. The 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 reports to the Legislative Council and, thus, all general policies or guidelines for processing of 
   cases are reported to the Legislative Council.  The Divisions II and III committees report to the Divisions II and III 
   Management Councils, respectively.  The Legislative Council and Management Councils may assist the committees in setting 
   policy and guidelines.  Actual case decisions, however, cannot be appealed beyond the Student-Athlete Reinstatement 
  Committee.  

 

Q.  How does the process work?

A. Institution determines that a prospective or enrolled student-athlete was involved in a violation that affects eligibility.

  • Institution declares student-athlete/prospective student-athlete ineligible.
  • Institution investigates situation and gathers facts (student-athlete reinstatement staff is not investigative in nature, and it is the institution’s responsibility to determine the complete facts of each case).

    All reinstatement requests must be submitted by a member institution (applicant) though  RSRO. All information for the 
   reinstatement request must be uploaded to RSRO.

    Information that is marked as “to be faxed” in RSRO will render the reinstatement request incomplete until all faxes have 
   been received and uploaded. Faxing information will result in a delay in case processing.

  • Faxes must be sent individually to 317/917-6736, with question-specific cover sheets attached. Faxing documents for multiple questions in one fax will result in further case processing delay.  The staff reviews the reinstatement request, focusing, in part, on the student-athlete’s/prospective student-athlete’s responsibility and culpability, as well as the seriousness and nature of violation(s).
  • The staff reviews case precedent and committee guidelines to determine what conditions for reinstatement should be imposed, if any. The staff attempts to put the individual back in the position in which he or she would have been had the violation not occurred.
  • The staff, on behalf of the committees, can do one of two things:
  • Approve; or,
  • Deny.
  • An approval can have a condition applied to it (e.g., Approval with a withholding condition, approval with repayment condition, or both).

 

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 extensive follow-up. 
    Once all information is submitted via RSRO and the facts of the case are complete, it takes approximately a week for 
    the staff to render an initial decision that is communicated to the institution through RSRO.  The staff, also 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.  A prospective student-athlete or student-athlete cannot request reinstatement on their own behalf. 
     Reinstatement requests are processed on behalf of member institutions given member institutions are responsible for certifying 
     the eligibility of student-athletes who compete on their campuses.

 

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.  If a student-athlete wishes to have legal counsel, however, reinstatement policies enable 
     their participation.

 

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

A.  During the 2010-11 academic year, the reinstatement staff processed approximately 1,850 reinstatement requests and 500 
     waiver requests (the staff and the committee are also responsible for processing several of the Association’s waivers).  Of the 
     1,850 reinstatement requests processed, 99 percent resulted in the student-athlete being reinstated (some may have required a 
     condition).