67-00 Athletic Competition Print This Policy


General
Eligibility of Athletes*
Grants-in-Aid
Athletic Contests
Athletic Schedules
Delegation of Authority

Revisions to Policy 67-00 were approved by the Senate on April 29, 2014. Implementation pending ACUE action. To view revisions, see the legislative report.

1. General

The University Faculty Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics (IA) shall have jurisdiction over all academic matters pertaining to intercollegiate athletics. The committee shall determine eligibility of athletes, approve athletic schedules, and take appropriate actions when student-athletes have violated the policies set forth in this rule. To assist the committee in discharging its responsibilities, a Faculty Athletics Representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is appointed by the President of the University. Authority granted this representative for University Park athletic programs and similar authority delegated to representatives of locations other than University Park is outlined in subsequent provisions of this rule. The committee shall have overall responsibility for enforcement of this rule. A student-athlete who violates any of the provisions of this rule shall be subject to appropriate action. In specific cases, the committee may delegate authority to the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled, to the chancellor of the University College campus, to the respective chancellors of Penn State Erie, Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State Altoona, Penn State Abington, and Penn State Berks.

Revised: 5/3/83
Revised: 5/1/84


2. Eligibility of Athletes*

  1. In order for student-athletes to be eligible to practice and compete they must meet certain status conditions. These conditions depend on whether the intercollegiate athletics team is NCAA Division 1, Division 3, or PSUAC:

    a) Division 1: Student-athletes must be enrolled in at least a minimum full-time program of baccalaureate studies to be eligible to practice and participate in intercollegiate athletic contests. Student-athletes in their final semester may schedule fewer than the minimum requirements for full-time status if they need fewer than twelve credits to meet graduation requirements. A full-time graduate student (attained a baccalaureate degree and scheduling a minimum of nine credits), or a student enrolled in a second baccalaureate degree program at the same institution (campus), with competitive eligibility remaining, may also practice and compete. Courses offered through World Campus may not be used to establish the minimum requirements for full-time status. If a student-athlete drops below full-time status any time during the semester (except as noted above) that student will be immediately ineligible to practice or compete. Provisional, non-degree regular and non-degree conditional students are not considered baccalaureate candidates and are not eligible to practice or compete.

    b) Division 3: Student-athletes shall be enrolled in at least a minimum full-time program of studies. A student-athlete enrolled in a two-year degree program shall be eligible only if that student-athlete was admitted to the institution under the same standards as four-year degree-seeking students and if the two-year degree program is not a terminal program. Student-athletes in their final semester may schedule fewer than the minimum requirements for full-time status if they need fewer than twelve credits to meet graduation requirements. A full-time graduate student (attained a baccalaureate degree and scheduling a minimum of nine credits), or a student enrolled in a second baccalaureate degree program at the same institution (campus), with competitive eligibility remaining, may also practice and compete. Up to 3 credits of coursework offered through World Campus may be used to establish the minimum requirements for full-time status. If a student-athlete drops below full-time status any time during the semester (except as noted above) that student will be immediately ineligible to practice or compete. Provisional, non-degree regular and non-degree conditional students are not considered baccalaureate candidates and are not eligible to practice or compete.

    c) Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC): Only full-time students are eligible to practice and participate in intercollegiate athletic contests. Exceptions to full-time status may be made for baccalaureate and associate degree student-athletes during their final semester if they need less than twelve credits to meet graduation requirements. If a student-athlete drops below full-time status any time during the semester (except as noted above) that student will be immediately ineligible to practice or compete.

  2. A student-athlete from the University Park campus shall represent the University in an intercollegiate athletic contest only if the student has acquired the designated number of credits at the beginning of the appropriate semester (in residence) as follows:

    Semesters in Residence Minimum Number Credits Required
    3 24
    5 40% of degree credits completed
    7 60% of degree credits completed
    9 80% of degree credits completed

    A student-athlete from a campus location other than University Park shall represent the University in an intercollegiate athletic contest only if the student has acquired the designated number of credits at the beginning of the appropriate semester (in residence) as follows:

    Semesters in Residence Minimum Number Credits Required
    2 9
    3 24
    4 36
    5 48
    6 60
    7 72
    8 84
    9 96

A student-athlete from a campus location other than University Park who is deemed ineligible for not meeting the designated number of credits at the beginning of the appropriate semester (in residence) may petition to have his or her eligibility re-evaluated due to a change in the academic record.

  1. A student-athlete at any location is eligible to represent the University in an intercollegiate athletic contest only if the student meets the minimum cumulative grade point requirements at the beginning of the appropriate semester (in residence) as follows:

    Semesters in Residence Minimum GPA
    2 1.80
    3 1.90
    4 1.90
    5 2.00
    6 2.00
    7 2.00
    8 2.00
    9 2.00

    A student-athlete from a campus location other than University Park who is deemed ineligible for not meeting the minimum cumulative grade point requirements at the beginning of the appropriate semester (in residence) may petition to have his or her eligibility re-evaluated due to a change in the academic record.

  2. A student-athlete at University Park also must comply with the current eligibility requirements of the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference, Inc. A student-athlete at other campus locations must comply with current eligibility requirements of the NCAA and/or any other athletic conference that governs the athletic contests in which the student expects to compete.

  3. Student-athletes transferring from another four-year institution to University Park shall not be eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletic contests until the students have completed a residence requirement of at least one full academic year, and one calendar year has lapsed since registering at the University. Exceptions may be granted as prescribed by the NCAA. However, a student who transfers to University Park from a junior college and did not fulfill the requirements of the NCAA bylaws concerning initial eligibility must complete one academic year (two semesters) and one calendar year must lapse before the student is eligible to compete. Student-athletes transferring to Penn State baccalaureate degree granting Campuses must comply with NCAA Division III regulations. A student-athlete transferring to other Penn State Commonwealth College locations must comply with the eligibility requirements that govern the athletic contests at that location.

  4. A graduate student may be eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics if the student has completed a baccalaureate degree, has not exceeded the calendar-year limitations on competitive eligibility, and is a full-time student in a degree program, with one exception: students who have graduated, and return to the same institution (Penn State Campus) to complete their athletics eligibility within the five-year period, may enroll as a non-degree seeking graduate student, provided the student enrolls in courses that are approved by a particular graduate program as counting toward any graduate degree.

  5. A student at University Park who has participated in organized practice or competition during any academic term, and who has not continued in residence through that term, shall not become eligible until at least one calendar year has lapsed from that date of the student's re-entry according to Big Ten Conference academic eligibility rules.
  6. *Detailed information about student-athlete eligibility may be found in the current NCAA Manual, for University Park the Handbook of the Big Ten Conference and for the Commonwealth Campuses the Athletic Conference Policy Manual.

Revised: 6/3/75
Revised: 4/6/76
Revised: 5/3/83

Revised: 5/1/84
Revised: 4/18/89
Revised: 1/22/91

Revised: 3/19/91
Revised: 4/23/02
Revised: 4/27/04
Revised: 10/25/05
Revised: 12/5/06
Revised: 12/7/10
Revised: 12/6/11
Revised: 4/24/12

3. Grants-in Aid

  1. A student-athlete may receive from the athletic department a grant-in-aid that includes all or part of the educational expenses associated with tuition, fees, room, board, and required course-related books. Student-athletes may not receive a grant-in-aid unless they are otherwise eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics.

  2. Grants-in-aid are awarded for one year or less and may not be cancelled during the award period unless one of the prescribed NCAA exceptions applies. In cases where a grant-in-aid is not renewed before the student completes his or her eligibility, the student-athlete may request the IA Committee to review the decision.

  3. At other Penn State baccalaureate degree granting campuses, a student-athlete's financial aid must be consistent with NCAA Division III criteria.
  4. At Commonwealth College Locations, no financial aid based on athletic talent may be awarded.

Revised: 5/3/83
Revised: 5/1/84


4. Athletic Contests

  1. A student-athlete who represents the University in an athletic contest shall be excused from class and provided with an official excuse form.

  2. No student-athlete shall be allowed to represent the University in an athletic contest unless the student has been officially approved for participation. A list of student-athletes expecting to participate in the contest must be submitted to the appropriate Faculty Athletics Representatives at least twenty-four hours in advance of the contest. Copies of the team lists shall be forwarded to the IA Committee.

Revised: 5/3/83
Revised: 5/1/84


5. Athletic Schedules

  1. All schedules of athletic contests will be submitted to the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee through appropriate Faculty Athletic Representatives for approval or modification before final arrangements or contracts are made. It is the responsibility of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee to ensure that all athletic schedules fall within established University regulations and policies. No regular-season, locally-scheduled* athletic travel or competition shall take place during University final exam periods. Waivers to this policy will be considered by the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. In addition, all efforts should be made to avoid travel and competition during official study days. Whenever study days are needed for regular-season, locally-scheduled travel or competition, this must be noted on the schedule reviewed by the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and accompanied by a rationale. (* “Locally-scheduled” means that contest arrangements, including time and date of the game, are under the control of Penn State University and not the Big Ten, NCAA, USCAA, or other outside agency.)

  2. Athletic teams or individual team members shall be allowed to be absent from the University for no more than eight class days in one semester. A full class day will be counted as absent if student-athletes are absent from classes prior to noon. A half-day will be counted as absent if student-athletes are absent from classes between noon and 2:15 p.m. Student-athlete absences after 2:15 p.m. or for championship competitions would not count towards the eight class day total.The number of class days missed shall be kept on record by the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and the respective Athletic Departments. It shall be the joint responsibility of those bodies to enforce these limitations.

  3. Participation in special events outside approved scheduled events by varsity teams or individual team members (such as football bowl games) must be approved by the IA Committee at least ten days prior to participation. As in all events, NCAA and/or other athletic conference regulations and University regulations will be followed.

  4. Team practice times must be arranged so as to allow student-athletes maximum flexibility in scheduling and attending classes each semester.

    a. Team practice times must be established prior to student-athlete class preferential scheduling for the semester affected - typically February 1 for Fall, and September 1 for Spring.
    b. Morning team practices should conclude with sufficient time to allow 3rd period (10:10 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.) class attendance on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. *
    c. Morning team practices should conclude with sufficient time to allow 14th period (9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.) class attendance on Tuesday and Thursday. *
    d. Afternoon team practices should begin sufficiently after 6th period concludes (2:15 p.m.) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to allow class attendance. *
    e. Afternoon team practices should begin sufficiently after 16th period concludes (2:15 p.m.) on Tuesday and Thursday to allow class attendance. *
    f. Morning Team practices should not be scheduled during both Fall and Spring semesters.
    g. Exceptions to the above must receive prior approval by the Sport Administrator and the University Faculty Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics or the Faculty Athletics Representative.

    *Class start/end times vary from campus to campus.

Other special events are defined in two categories. The first category includes events that involve varsity teams or individual team members serving as official representatives of the University, that are usually scheduled annually, and that are typically included within the athletic schedule. Participation in these events must be approved at the time season schedules are approved by the IA Committee. Typical events include annual invitationals, regional conference tournaments, and NCAA regional

The second category includes events such as Pan American Games, World University Games, U.S. Teams, and the Olympic Games, or their qualifying events, which do not occur annually and may involve one or more team members as official representatives of the University. Participation in this type of event usually occurs when an athlete's performance reaches a high degree of excellence and an invitation is extended for participation. The University Faculty Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics must grant approval prior to a student-athlete's participation.

Revised: 5/3/83
Revised: 5/1/84
Revised: 4/28/87
Revised: 1/24/89
Revised: 3/16/10
Revised: 4/24/12
Revised: 3/12/13

6. Delegation of Authority

a. At University Park:

The Faculty Athletics Representative (NCAA) will serve as an ex officio member of the IA Committee to represent the faculty for all matters related to varsity athletics at University Park. This representative will perform such duties as specified by the President and will act on behalf of the faculty to monitor eligibility, class absences, and athletic schedules, and to certify grants-in-aid to the controller. The representative will report a summary of his or her activities annually to the University Faculty Senate.

b. At locations other than University Park:

Faculty Athletics Representatives will be appointed as appropriate, following nomination by designated faculty organizations, by the highest ranking academic officer at the respective college. These representatives will have the same general duties and responsibilities as the Faculty Athletics Representative (NCAA) at University Park, will serve ex officio as members of the IA Committee, and will report a summary of their activities annually to the IA Committee.

Revised: 5/3/83
Revised: 5/1/84


This page maintained by the University Faculty Senate Office (afb11@psu.edu).