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Can Graduate Students play ?

PLME21maibePLME21maibe Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
edited December 2012 in Athletic Recruits
Is it true that an athlete can only play for 4 years? Is this driven by the rules governing athletic scholarships? Saw the following NCAA Graduate Student FAQ here: Latest News - NCAA.org. It does not answer the basic questions I am trying to understand.

My scenario is the following: Student who was on-track for D-1 recruitment slowed down starting middle of Junior senior year, after deciding on a career in medicine; potential D3/D2 recruit now, chose not participate in any recruitment efforts. Kid wants to play beyond club-level (walk-on the team, if allowed). No boost, no scholarship, play walk-on if good enough / allowed / open spot / etc. Straight-forward so far.

Now the unusual situation part: If lucky, kid may get into a school with guaranteed admission to medical school directly from HS (4 year UG + maintain 3.5 GPA + enter med-school for 4 years; co-located campuses, as it can make a difference in sports). What happens to the walk-on possibilities in this scenario? limited to how many years? 4 or 5 or more? just the 1st 4 years or any 4 years? etc? Note: no expectation of athletic scholarship for the duration

Am I am hopelessly over-complicating the issue? I realize this is not a recruiting question per-se, and I plan to reach out to the coach after the (lucky part) admission is secured. Appreciate any pointers.
Post edited by PLME21maibe on

Replies to: Can Graduate Students play ?

  • GolfFatherGolfFather Posts: 1,519Registered User Senior Member
    The link you provided is about transfers.

    The rules concerning graduate students are pretty clear:

    Division I student-athlete with remaining eligibility may continue participating in athletics while enrolled in graduate classes.

    To compete while in graduate school, a student-athlete must be within five calendar years of his or her initial enrollment in college. Student-athletes who have exhausted their five-year window for competition, but who have lost more than one season of competition due to injury, can apply for a waiver to continue playing.


    I know a woman who rowed as a graduate student.

    Though I wonder what the rules are for Div II or III.
  • PLME21maibePLME21maibe Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    @GolfFather: Thanks. So, it is as I had initially suspected. Allowed, but only for a maximum of 5 years in total, further restricted by the initial enrollment date. For the normal path 4 UG years + 1st year of PG. Did I summarize accurately? Still unclear about the total length of eligibility (4 or 5 years)!

    In this case, the school in question is Div I. Do you think it could vary significantly in Div II or III ? Maybe someone else will chime in too.

    Do you recollect any additional details about the woman who rowed in grad school?

    PS: There is a BOX INSERT with 4 questions on the link I listed .. here is what it contains:
    Graduate Student FAQ
    • Can a graduate student still participate as an NCAA athlete?
      [size=-2]Yes. A Division I student-athlete with remaining eligibility may continue participating in athletics while enrolled in graduate classes.
      To compete while in graduate school, a student-athlete must be within five calendar years of his or her initial enrollment in college. Student-athletes who have exhausted their five-year window for competition, but who have lost more than one season of competition due to injury, can apply for a waiver to continue playing.[/size]
    • Can a baseball, basketball, men’s ice hockey or Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football student-athlete transfer and compete at a new school as a grad student?
      [size=-2]Yes. Student-athletes in these sports that have graduated undergrad can transfer to a graduate school at another campus and play right away without submitting a waiver provided:
      • The student-athlete has one year of eligibility remaining
      • The student-athlete has not previously transferred schools
      • The original school releases the student-athlete from his or her scholarship
      If the first school does renew the graduated student-athlete’s scholarship, the graduated student-athlete must go through the waiver process to transfer to a new school and play right away.[/size]
    • What if a student-athlete wants to enroll in a graduate program not offered by his or her undergrad school and compete in their sport?
      [size=-2]If the student-athlete has remaining eligibility, he or she must submit a waiver request. If the student-athlete meets the one-time transfer exception (meaning he or she has never transferred before), he or she is free to transfer to a new school and does not need to submit a waiver request.[/size]
    • What committee reviews the waiver request for grad transfers?
      [size=-2]Graduate transfer waiver requests are initially reviewed by a team of NCAA staff members. If the waiver request is denied, the school may appeal to the Division I Legislative Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief, comprised of five campus and conference administrators from across the membership.[/size]
  • schoolhouseschoolhouse Posts: 241Registered User Junior Member
    grad student compete all the time on all levels----I want to say the QB at Wisconsin this year is a good example,,,,,he was the QB at North Carolina State as a senior and first year grad Asst. at Wisconsin,,,,I think the rule is based on your class and then four years after broken by maybe a red shirt or injury year. you could also be in that situation if you file a petition due to injury where a 6th year of eligibility maybe granted.
  • PLME21maibePLME21maibe Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    @schoolhouse: Thanks for the help.

    So, in the most straight-forward case (without any academic interruption or red-shirting or injury-petition), the total eligibility is 4+1=5 Years. Yes?
  • momof2010momof2010 Posts: 392Registered User Member
    Once you start college the 5 year clock starts ticking. So if you have been in college 4 years so far and have not been on a varsity team for all 4 years (participating, not red shirt) you have one year of eligibility left.. Grad school or undergrad, does not matter.
  • PLME21maibePLME21maibe Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    @momof2010: Thanks for your clarification. It helped clear up the remaining uncertainty I had.
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