User ID: Password:

August 13, 2013

Keeping up with Compliance

By: Jimmy Robertson

The compliance corner answers questions concerning the governance of intercollegiate athletics and its impact on our athletics department. Have a question? Please send it to and we’ll answer it in upcoming issues.

Now, here are a couple of questions that we’ve received from Tech alums and fans over the past few months, with responses from Tim Parker, Associate AD for Compliance:

Q: I was saddened to hear recently that one of our men’s basketball recruits failed to qualify academically. How late in the summer can the process go before that particular ruling is made? Thanks, Jack in Christiansburg.

TP: “Usually by the start of fall classes, though in some cases, maybe a week or so past that date. Also, a prospect could sit out the fall semester while trying to qualify (there are three SAT tests and three ACT tests offered in the fall) and enroll in January.

“For a prospect to be a nonqualifier in July, it would need to be one of a couple situations. The prospect would need to be more than one credit short of the core course requirements, or be so short of the required grade-point average based on the test score that he or she cannot get the grades up using the exception that allows one core course credit earned after graduation. As most Virginia Tech fans know, the university does not accept nonqualifiers.”

Q: Do football players have to pass a certain number of hours in the fall? Thanks, Tommy in Blacksburg.

TP: “Yes, football players are required to pass at least nine credit hours in the fall. If they fail to do so, they are ineligible for the first four games of the following season. However, there is a one-time exception available. Football players who do not pass the nine hours can regain eligibility for all four games provided they pass 27 hours through the combination of fall, spring and summer. If they have to use the exception again, they can only regain eligibility for only two of those four games, again, provided they pass the 27 hours.”

Q: Do you foresee the NCAA allowing head coaches to conduct summer workouts on the practice field? The players are already on campus in summer school courses, and many of those players are doing voluntary passing drills on the practice field now. Why not have the coaches regulate the workouts? Maybe even limit the workouts to no pads or helmets. Just a thought. April in West Virginia.

TP: “This is an idea that has been discussed and may gain more traction after the NCAA recently granted a waiver to Ole Miss, allowing the quarterbacks coach to work with a quarterback who had injured a shoulder. The argument behind allowing it was that the quarterbacks coach could make sure the quarterback was throwing with the proper mechanics and preventing a re-injuring of the shoulder.

“Most perceive that as an advantage for Ole Miss, and one has to believe that other coaches will try similar tactics going forward. Allowing summer workouts could alleviate the need for coaches to try and take advantage of the waiver system, and this topic will probably be discussed more in-depth by member institutions in the future.”

Q: Is it true that the NCAA regulates the size of postcards that can be sent to recruits? Thanks, Chris in Radford.

TP: “It is true. The NCAA tries to create a level playing field when it comes to recruiting correspondence. So things like the size of logos, envelopes and postcards are regulated. A postcard cannot be larger than 4.25 inches by 6 inches.

“There was a proposal to eliminate all regulations on recruiting correspondence. But many schools were uncomfortable with a total absence of regulation in this area, so it remains in the NCAA Manual, at least for now.”