(502B) Student-Athletes: Eligibility

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Updated 5/15


Academic performance and progress, as well as conduct and participation in outside competitions or activities, can affect a student-athlete’s athletic eligibility.  Adherence to all University, Conference and NCAA rules governing athletic and academic eligibility is mandatory for all Kansas Athletics staff members and student-athletes.

The Head Coach, with the support of the Director of Athletics, the University’s Faculty Athletics Representative, the Compliance Office, and the Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator, the Sport Supervisor, the Student-Athlete Support Services Office, and the University Registrar, ensures compliance with rules and regulations regarding student-athlete eligibility.

The Registrar’s Office certifies the eligibility of all student-athletes, with the assistance of the Faculty Athletics Representative, the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance, the Director of Eligibility, and the Senior Associate Athletics Director/Student-Athlete Support Services.  Incoming freshman must be certified by the NCAA -Eligibility Center.  The Director of Eligibility and the Registrar’s Office coordinates the receipt of information from the Eligibility Center.  New transfer students must forward their transcripts to Admissions for evaluation.  The Registrar’s Office makes the final review of a transfer student’s eligibility after receiving information from Admissions and Student-Athlete Support Services on transferable credits.

The eligibility of continuing student-athletes is reviewed by the Registrar’s Office, the Compliance Office, and the Student-Athlete Support Services Office.  Final certification authority rests with the Registrar’s office.  Student-athletes are certified as eligible to receive athletics financial aid, to participate in practice and competition or as eligible only to participate in practice.

Copies of all Big 12 Eligibility forms are maintained on file by the Faculty Athletics Representative (or designee), the Registrar’s Office, the Compliance Office, and the respective sport office.

In general, to be considered eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics, a student-athlete must:

  • Be accepted for enrollment under the rules of the University;
  • Be eligible to practice and compete according to Big 12 Conference and NCAA eligibility rules and regulations; and
  • Be registered for at least 12 credit hours each regular term in courses that may be applied toward a baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate degree.

Student-athletes may compete for four years, provided their final year of competition occurs within five calendar years of the initial date of full-time enrollment in any post-secondary institution.  An additional year of competition may be granted if a student-athlete meets the requirements for a hardship waiver, as defined in Bylaw 14.2.4 in the NCAA Manual.  The five year period may be extended for the following reasons: time spent in the armed services; official church missions; pregnancy; deprived of more than one season of competition for reasons beyond a student-athlete’s control; and specified athletics activities.

Coaches requiring the transcripts of student-athletes currently enrolled at the University are to request them through the Associate Athletics Director/Student Support Services or the Registrar’s Office.  All staff members having access to student-athlete transcripts and personal data are reminded that these documents are confidential and protected as such under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).


Student-athletes enter the University initially as high school graduates or as transfer students from another two-year or four-year college.  NCAA initial eligibility requirements differ according to the type of entrance into the University, as outlined below.

High School Graduates

Prospective student-athletes must meet the criteria outlined in NCAA Bylaw 14.3 in order to satisfy NCAA requirements for initial eligibility and to be considered a “qualifier” for intercollegiate athletics participation.  For detailed information visit https://web1.ncaa.org/eligibilitycenter/common/ or contact the Compliance Office.

Transfer Student-Athletes

The Office of Admissions evaluates the academic record of all students who are interested in transferring to the University of Kansas.  Athletic eligibility requirements are imposed by the Conference for intra-conference transfers and by the NCAA.  For more information visit www.ncaa.org or contact the Compliance Office.


Compliance must be notified of any prospects residing in the local community prior to their full-time enrollment at the University.  It is the responsibility of the head coach (or designee) to provide specific information regarding a prospect’s local residence to the Compliance Office.

All prospective student-athletes must be approved by the Sport Supervisor and the Compliance Office prior to arriving on campus.

Kansas Athletics cannot permit any high school graduate to begin his/her full-time residency for the academic year at the University of Kansas until the prospect has been fully admitted to KU and been certified as a Final Qualifier by the NCAA Eligibility Center.  Until such time, the prospect is considered a non-qualifier. A Junior College transfer must have his/her credits and progress toward degree certified by the University Registrar.

Once certification is complete and documented in the Compliance Office, an incoming student-athlete may join the team for practices (if such practice begins prior to the beginning of the fall term) or for the new academic year (if practice does not begin until after the first day of KU classes).

If an incoming student-athlete has been on campus and enrolled in courses through the summer Bridge program (see 503B Summer School) and if he/she is not yet certified by the NCAA by July 31st, the incoming student-athlete must remove all personal belongings from campus housing or off-campus housing that is provided by Kansas Athletics and return to the prospect’s home by this date.  The student must remain at his/her home until the certification process is complete.  Any exceptions to this policy must be made by the Athletics Director in consultation with the Faculty Athletics Representative.

Mid-Year Enrollment

If a high school graduate plans to enroll in courses during the mid-year period, he/she must be admitted to the University and must be certified as a qualifier and/or deemed eligible for practice, competition and/or financial aid.  A junior college transfer must have his/her credits and progress toward degree certified by the University Registrar.  All incoming student-athletes must be approved by the Sport Supervisor and the Compliance Office prior to arriving on campus.


In order to maintain academic eligibility for athletic participation after the initial year, NCAA regulations require student-athletes to make “progress towards a degree”.

For more information visit www.ncaa.org or contact the Compliance Office.

Conduct and Sports Participation Eligibility Requirements

Student-athletes are expected to uphold ethical standards of conduct and demonstrate ethical behavior, especially in matters related to gambling and bribery and unsportsmanlike conduct, as discussed in Policy 501, Student Athletes: Conduct and Ethics, in this Manual.  In addition, a student-athlete’s eligibility is jeopardized if he/she takes any of the following actions:

  • Arranges for fraudulent credit or false transcripts;
  • Violates relevant Conference or NCAA rules and regulations; or
  • Furnishes the NCAA or other regulatory bodies with false or misleading information about other individuals.

Maintaining Amateur Status

NCAA regulations regarding amateurism and permissible awards, benefits and expenses should be carefully reviewed in order to avoid violations.  In general, student-athletes cannot do any of the following:

  • Agree to make an appearance or have their pictures or names used to promote a commercial product;
  • Accept benefits such as gifts, meals and loans of cars or money, as offered by athletic interest groups (e.g. alumni or booster organizations) or anyone within the athletics program of the University;
  • Be represented by an agent or organization in order to market their athletic skills or reputation;
  • Receive any benefit that is not available to other students at the University;
  • Participate in a summer sports league not approved by the NCAA;
  • Accept payment, or a promise of payment (e.g. in cash prizes, gifts or travel) for intercollegiate athletics participation;
  • Enter into an agreement of any kind to compete in professional athletics or negotiate a professional contract;
  • Request to be put on a professional sport’s draft list or try out with a professional sports organization (basketball exception see NCAA Bylaw
  • Participate on any professional athletics team;
  • Have athletically related financial aid determined by anyone other than the Student Financial Aid Office at the University of Kansas; or
  • Participate on teams other than those of the University of Kansas during the season.  (This includes exhibition, all-star team, or tournament games.)

A student-athlete or his/her legal guardian(s) may negotiate with a professional sports organization on behalf of a student-athlete without the loss of the individual’s amateur status. If the student-athlete retains an agent, however, he/she loses amateur status.

Outside Competition Involving Student-Athletes

In sports other than basketball, NCAA rules permit a student-athlete to compete in one game a year in his/her sport involving players from his/her former high school and its alumni team provided such competition takes place during an official vacation period of the regular academic year.  In addition, students may participate as individuals in events such as golf and tennis tournaments and swimming and track meets, provided such participation receives prior approval by the Compliance Office and the Head Coach of that sport and the competition is in accordance with NCAA regulations.

Organized competition exists (as specified by NCAA Bylaws) when any of the following conditions are present:

  • Teams are regularly formed or have team rosters:
  • The competition is scheduled and publicized in advance;
  • Official score is kept;
  • Individual or team standings are maintained;
  • An official timer or game officials are used;
  • Squad members are dressed in team uniforms;
  • Admission is charged;
  • The competition is privately or commercially sponsored; or
  • The competition is either directly or indirectly sponsored, promoted or administered by an individual, an organization or any other agency.

Several exceptions exist to the outside competition regulations; therefore, student-athletes should be directed to consult their Head Coach and the Compliance Office prior to participating in such activities.

Summer League Participation

Student-athletes interested in participating in summer sports league activities must receive prior approval of the Compliance Office.  Head Coaches are responsible for informing their student-athletes of this requirement.

Eligibility Certification Process

As stated previously, the Registrar’s Office certifies the eligibility of all student-athletes, with the assistance of the Faculty Athletics Representative, the Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, the Director of Eligibility, and the Associate Athletics Director/Student-Athlete Support Services.  Incoming freshman must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center.  The Director of Eligibility and the Registrar’s Office coordinate the receipt of information from the Eligibility Center.  New transfer students must forward their transcripts to Transfer Admissions for evaluation.  The Registrar’s Office makes the final review of a transfer student’s eligibility after receiving information from Admissions on what credits are transferable.  The Registrar also works with the transfer student’s chosen school to ensure that the transfer student meets progress towards degree requirements.

NCAA Student-Athlete Statement

The official certification process for Kansas Athletics begins with a team compliance orientation meeting, held prior to the sport’s first practice each year.  During this orientation, each student-athlete is required to complete the NCAA Student-Athlete Statement, the NCAA Drug Testing Consent, the NCAA HIPAA form, the Big 12 Conference Drug Testing Consent, the Kansas Athletics Drug Testing Consent Form, and the Kansas Athletics Student-Athlete General Information Form.

The NCAA, Big 12 Conference, and Kansas Athletics forms must be signed annually by each student-athlete certifying that he/she understands and agrees to abide by the NCAA rules and regulations.  (NOTE:  All formal student-athlete documents must also be signed by the student-athlete’s parents if he/she is under 18.)

The six-part Student-Athlete Statement includes the following:

1.      The NCAA verification of eligibility, whereby the student-athlete states to the best of his/her knowledge he/she is eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics;

  1. The Buckley Amendment Consent, whereby the student-athlete agrees to the release of private information (e.g., health records, financial aid and academic information) to appropriate authorized University personnel in order to verify eligibility;
  2. An affirmation of status as an amateur athlete, whereby the student-athlete affirms he/she read and understands NCAA amateurism rules and that he/she has not violated those rules or provided false or misleading information concerning his/her amateurism status since requesting final amateurism from the NCAA Eligibility Center.
  3. Non-NCAA Drug Testing Statement: The student-athlete affirms that he/she has not tested positive for banned substances by a non-NCAA athletics organization.  If he/she has tested positive, he/she will be subject to an NCAA drug test;
  4. Previous Involvement in NCAA Rules Violations statement; and

6.     Verification of Valid Test Score: This part is for incoming freshman only.  The student-         athlete affirms that he/she has received a valid ACT or SAT score, and in the event that           he/she is notified of the possibility of an invalid score, he/she agrees to immediately               notify the Director of Athletics.

The NCAA Drug Testing Consent form, must be signed at the time which an intercollegiate team first reports to practice or prior to Monday of the Fourth week of classes, which ever date occurs first, for all sports  By signing the consent, the student-athlete agrees to participate in the NCAA Drug Testing Program.

Each student-athlete is responsible for reporting any changes in information provided (e.g., address, financial aid status, etc.) to the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance.

NCAA Squad List

The NCAA Squad List is prepared by the Compliance Office prior to a team’s first contest each academic year.  This form is completed by the Director of Eligibility in conjunction with the Registrar’s Office, the Office of Financial Aid and Head Coach.  It is approved by the University’s Financial Aid Director, the Director of Athletics, and the Head Coach.

Student-athletes may not participate in competition until they have been listed on the NCAA Squad List and on the Big 12 Eligibility Report that is signed by the Registrar, Faculty Athletics Representative, the Director of Athletics, and the Head Coach.  A copy of each sport’s Squad List is kept on file in the Compliance Office, the Director of Athletic Financial Aid, and the Office of Student Financial Aid.  Upon certification, student-athletes are eligible for practice unless they are non-qualifiers.

Squad Lists are prepared using information from team rosters, Student-Athlete Statements and the Student-Athlete Report forms (as described above).  Changes to the Squad Lists are to be reported to the Compliance Office.  The Roster Deletion form should be completed for student-athletes who have quit or are cut from the team.  New student-athletes wishing to participate in intercollegiate athletics may not practice until they have been cleared by the Compliance Office and may not compete until they have been certified as eligible by the Registrar’s Office. It is the responsibility of the Head Coach to communicate all roster changes to the Compliance Office in a timely fashion. All roster changes must be documented on the Addition/Deletion/Revision Form.

If coaches have not received verification of their rosters before their first competition, they are expected to contact the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance to ensure that all eligibility certification requirements have been completed for those student-athletes appearing on their Squad List. The Head Coach is required to sign the NCAA Squad List and Big 12 Conference Eligibility Report acknowledging the eligibility status of each student-athlete.

Temporary Certification

A student-athlete entering the University as a freshman may practice, but not compete, for a period not to exceed 45 days prior to the University receiving a final academic and amateurism certification decision from the Eligibility Center.  After this period, the student-athlete must be deemed a qualifier and have his/her amateurism certified by the Eligibility Center in order to continue to practice and compete.

The eligibility certification process for the above student-athletes follows the same process as for all other student-athletes.  It includes the completion of the following forms:

  • NCAA Student-Athlete Statement;
  • NCAA Drug Testing Consent;
  • NCAA HIPAA Form;
  • Kansas Athletics’ Drug Testing Policy Form;
  • Big 12 Conference Drug Testing Consent form;
  • Kansas Athletics’ Student-Athlete General Information Form

Exit Interviews

Pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 6.3.2, exit interviews are to be conducted in all sports with a sample (as determined by the Director of Athletics or his designee) of student-athletes whose eligibility has expired.  “Interviews shall include questions regarding the value of the students’ athletics experiences, the extent of the athletics time demands encountered by the student-athletes, proposed changes in intercollegiate athletics and concerns related to the administration of the student-athletes’ specific sports.”  (Bylaw 6.3.2)    The sport supervisor shall be the designated representative to conduct the interview and complete an Exit Interview Form for each student-athlete.   All student-athletes whose eligibility has expired shall be encouraged to complete an on-line survey form of their experiences at Kansas Athletics.  This survey will be monitored by the Associate Athletics Director/Student-Athlete Development, who will provide the information to the Sport Supervisors and the Director of Athletics.