Letterman Magazine


You Play, You Pay


Headquartered in Indiana, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) serves as the governing body which regulates legislation and directs regulation by installed compliance. The NCAA is tasked in overseeing and monitoring the actions of diverse membership, which includes more than 1500 universities, colleges, conferences and affiliate organizations, all of whom, share and serve a common idea.  Student-athletes enrolled in member institutions, competing in sanctioned sports, must abide by, NCAA standards principles and ethics, tailor made for the operation of various athletic programs.

The activities and interests of the NCAA, are confirmed, secured by legislation and enforced by institutional control.  This brand of management serves to dissuade careless oversights, and demands responsibility from coaches, staffs, student-athletes, boosters and anyone else involved in NCAA regulated events. The rules and regulations which make up the NCAA were designed to assist coaches, prospective student athletes, current student-athletes, and boosters who are involved or connected by intercollegiate athletics.

To promote fair play the current athletic structure is comprised of three (3) levels of competitiveness; Division I, Division II and Division III. The three groups are classified by the proficiency of individual and overall talent in relation to athletic prowess. Each of the three division’s creates its own rules that follow principles of the NCAA.  Each of the three Divisions are respected in their own right and provide limitless athletic and academic opportunities.  The division considered to be the highest and most heralded of the three groups, Division I, features a collection of the country’s most historical institutions, coaches and like-minded athletes, and is determined by all measure as the draw for athletes with the highest level of skillset.  The divisions are a host to conferences which are stacked by school/teams, representing most every state in just about every corner of the nation.

The integrity of the NCAA relies heavily on the prompt investigation and the swift reckoning of any and all identified or suspected rule violations, stemming from gambling, illegal recruiting, eligibility infractions, immoral and unethical behavior.  College and University presidents conduct and monitor each of their respective division’s by the vote of a committee, backed by athletics administrators, faculty and student-athlete representatives. The Compliance Office maintains an active role in student-athlete and coach focused activities by providing clear and concise interpretation of NCAA legislations as it relates and addressees most every subject. The NCAA further expands objective, by providing its membership and its athletics programs with favorable conditions, so that they may prosper and succeed in all endeavors.

Note: This is specific to the National Collegiate Athletic Association legislation and compliance structures and would be considered common knowledge by many readers and the publisher. For these reasons, they need not to be cited.

NCAA Eligibility Center & Registration

The NCAA also sets forth a number of classroom eligibility rules, which apply to high school student-athletes wishing to pursue intercollegiate athletics.

Most high schools can provide lists of acceptable NCAA Courses accessible through the student counselors or guidance offices. The NCAA Eligibility Center website serves as a resource service, designed wholly to assist any college-bound student-athlete during the high school to college transitional stage.  Student-athletes preparing to enroll in a Division I or Division II programs must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, previously known as the NCAA Clearinghouse. Universities competing under the Division III structure are exempt from the registration procedure.

In granting certified clearance, all Division I and Division II student-athletes must meet each and every standard of athletics amateurism and classroom academic standards set by the NCAA governing body.

To some, these guided outlines may come as elementary, but to many student-athletes this information comes as a shocking last minute surprise.  Each year many student-athletes fail to register timely as citing lack of awareness that the process even existed.  By rule, the best time to begin the eligibility and registration process should come as early as sophomore year and no later than the junior year. The time that it takes to move from registration to pending eligibility then to cleared status, is a time consuming effort marked by unremitting persistence.  Therefore, the best idea is to take matters into control early and maintain a smooth and manageable schedule.   Besides maintaining in the classroom, this particular step is by far the most important stop on the journey, yet branded the most forsaken.

Once complete, the applicant receives their personal (10) digit NCAA ID number, gaining temporary good standing but remains in pending state while Eligibility Center staffers move diligently through measures which ultimately ensure registered student-athletes are declared amateurs as interpreted by NCAA standards. The NCAA ID number is generally requested on most athlete questionnaires and one of the single most asked about items in talking with coaches and recruiters. By obtaining the NCAA ID number early, sets a precedence of self-responsibility, and perceived by most coaches as a big step in the right direction. The NCAA Eligibility Center communication is by electronic transmission, so monitoring email accounts regularly for updates or requests is essential.

Steps to Eligibility

  • You can access and print your high school’s List of NCAA Courses at www.eligibilitycenter.org.
  • Click the NCAA College-Bound Student-Athlete link enter, then navigate to the Resources

select U.S. Students find the link listing NCAA Courses.

  • Sophomore year, complete the online registration www.eligibilitycenter.org
  • Classes must be 4 yr. College prep. & meet NCAA requirements for initial academic eligibility.
  • Register & take ACT/SAT use NCAA Eligibility Center code 9999 as a score recipient to send official score(s) to NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Have your high school counselor send official transcript to NCAA Eligibility Center after completing junior year.
  • Before registering for classes for your senior year, check with your high school counselor to determine the number of core courses you need to complete during your senior year
  • Take the ACT and/or SAT again, if necessary. NCAA Eligibility Center uses the best scores from each section of the ACT or SAT to determine your best cumulative score.
  • Continue to take college-preparatory courses.
  • Check the courses you have taken to match your school’s List of NCAA Courses.
  • Review your amateurism responses and request final amateurism certification on or after April 1 (for fall enrollees) or October 1 (for spring enrollees).
  • Graduate on time with your graduating class (eight semesters after starting year nine).
  • After graduation, ask your high school counselor to send your final official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center with proof of graduation.
  • The NCAA Eligibility Center will use only approved core courses to certify your initial academic eligibility.

Ask Before You Act

The easiest way to avoid an NCAA rules violation is to ask staff members before you enter into any situation or accept any sort of potential benefit. Involvement in a rules violation can have serious effects on your eligibility to practice, compete, or receive athletic scholarship aid. Protect yourself and your team by talking to your coaches, sport administrator, or Compliance staff members whenever a question arises.


If you are planning on participating in NCAA Intercollegiate Athletics, stop planning and react. Effective   August 1, 2016 , Division I Academics, and Athletic Eligibility Standard will require an increase in GPA and SAT/ACT scores.  The current requirement of a 2.0 GPA will call for a 2.3 GPA. The days where making straight C’s and scathing by were status quo, will no longer meet requirements.

This will create further concerns for some, as the number relative to sliding scale methods will also increase the requirements in ACT and SAT scores as well.  Current standards for Division II & Division III institutions will not be affected and will remain as they are.

The Brutal Reality

According to the NCAA, about 10 percent of aspiring Division I athletes fail to meet the NCAA’s academic benchmarks each year, and that percentage will likely surge, when the tougher 2016 rules come into effect.  The NCAA has further concluded and calculates that 15 percent of college athletes and 35 percent of football players who entered school in 2009 would not be eligible to play under the new criteria.

The key in obtaining a higher standard in education, while chasing your dreams of college sports has become, and will continue to move more closely to academic achievement. Regardless of freakish speed size, and unmatched attributes, without disciplined academia, you will not clear the doors of college office admissions.  There are no gimmies, no do overs and no compassion when it comes to meeting target academic requirements. If you do not produce in the classroom, those very coaches that woe you now, will become will leave you in the dust.  It’s the 4th quarter, you’re down by a few, and it is 4th and 1 guys.  You are playing in the game of your life, everyone including the haters are all watching , some are pulling for you and some would like nothing more than to see you self-destruct, fall flat. What will you do?

by Vincent Tataglia


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