PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

Question about NCAA Academic Requirements

First, in regards to Normally, athletes have to pass 24 credits in a year to remain eligible.:

I hope to hell that the NCAA also has some sort of GPA requirement to go along with that, because 24 credits worth of Ds, sure doesn’t equal progression towards a degree.

Yes, I realize that 24 credits over 5 years equals the 120 credits that is the minimum required for some degrees. Yes, I realize that a non-athlete student is allowed to take 12 credits per semester. However, it’s been my experience, as both a student and employee at Penn State, that students with a 12 credit load is far from the norm.

My main issue with the pass 24 credits in a year to remain eligible is that since scholarships are only guaranteed for one year is that it creates the situation where the student athlete is pressured by the coaching staff to only take/pass the minimum amount of classes, and then not asked to come back for that fifth year when they turn out to be a bench player.

But let’s just put the pass 24 credits in a year to remain eligible aside for a moment. and address the full-time vs. part-time student issue. There are many things at a college where being a full-time student is required. Academic scholarships, financial-aid, etc. I believe that athletics should be another one.

Last time I checked, the premise of college athletics is that the athletics were supposed to be an extracurricular activity. So if I understand the NCAA rules correctly, student athletes only have to pass 24 credits per year. So we’re talking 12 credits per semester. 12 credits is roughly 12 hours per week in the class room. NCAA regulations also say can’t practice more than 20 hours a week. Sounds more like those 12 hours of classes per week are extra-athletic activities.

Now let’s talk about a athlete who only needs 3 credits to graduate. Does three hours in the class and 20 hours of practice sound like a student athlete? Three hours vs twenty hours. Which is the extra activity? Student athletes should be full time students. God forbid we ask a student athlete to take an extra class or two.

Here’s a thought. If the NCAA wants to show concern for the education of its student athletes, why not change their rules so that the maximum hours allowed for practice is less than the minimum number of credits passed. Say 12 hours of practice vs 15 credits per semester? After all, it seems that exceeding the maximum hours of practice is one of the few rules that they have had success in proving and penalizing.

What really makes me laugh was that is seems that schools were objecting to this:

The new rule for football requires players who don’t pass nine credits in the fall semester to sit out four games the following season.

If a student can’t pass nine credits, they need to cut back on the extracurriculars.

[quote=“timauman, post:21, topic:2382”]First, in regards to Normally, athletes have to pass 24 credits in a year to remain eligible.:

I hope to hell that the NCAA also has some sort of GPA requirement to go along with that, because 24 credits worth of Ds, sure doesn’t equal progression towards a degree.[/quote]

They don’t.

What you have to do is complete 20% of your declared major’s normal degree requirements per year. If your major allows Ds to count, then the NCAA allows them to count too.

[quote="timauman, post:21, topic:2382"]First, in regards to [b]Normally, athletes have to pass 24 credits in a year to remain eligible.[/b]:

I hope to hell that the NCAA also has some sort of GPA requirement to go along with that, because 24 credits worth of Ds, sure doesn’t equal progression towards a degree.[/quote]

They don’t.

What you have to do is complete 20% of your declared major’s normal degree requirements per year. If your major allows Ds to count, then the NCAA allows them to count too.

Thanks, Lar, that was part of the discussion that I thought was worth bringing up, but didn’t feel like looking up. I thought that years ago at least there was a minimum GPA in the “progress toward a degree” piece, but it was something laughable like “must be better than 1.5 in your senior year.” I think that as crazy as it sounds not to have a GPA restriction, the progress against normal degree requirements makes sense.

Do the school’s own academic rules take precedence? That is, if the school has higher standards than the NCAA, can the kid still play because he is eligible under NCAA rules?

[quote="timauman, post:21, topic:2382"]First, in regards to [b]Normally, athletes have to pass 24 credits in a year to remain eligible.[/b]:

I hope to hell that the NCAA also has some sort of GPA requirement to go along with that, because 24 credits worth of Ds, sure doesn’t equal progression towards a degree.[/quote]

They don’t.

What you have to do is complete 20% of your declared major’s normal degree requirements per year. If your major allows Ds to count, then the NCAA allows them to count too.

Thanks, Lar, that was part of the discussion that I thought was worth bringing up, but didn’t feel like looking up. I thought that years ago at least there was a minimum GPA in the “progress toward a degree” piece, but it was something laughable like “must be better than 1.5 in your senior year.” I think that as crazy as it sounds not to have a GPA restriction, the progress against normal degree requirements makes sense.

Do the school’s own academic rules take precedence? That is, if the school has higher standards than the NCAA, can the kid still play because he is eligible under NCAA rules?

The school’s own academic rules take precedence. Players must meet the criteria as defined in the school’s course catalog.

Actually, there is a GPA requirement too. But it’s not one that’s set by the NCAA. It’s just like the course requirement in that an athlete must meet a percentage of what his institution’s GPA degree requirement is. 2nd year must meet 90%, 3rd year 95%, 4th year 100%. But again, it’s based on the institution’s requirements, it’s not set by the NCAA (if there’s no institution wide GPA requirement, then the GPA can be whatever the lowest GPA requirement is among all courses of study at the school).

Note: There are conference rules that might come into play also. Many conferences will have standards that are more strict than the NCAA’s.

SO…CAN an athlete take LESS than 12 credits in a full semester while he is playing the sport??

14.1.8.2 Requirement for Competition. To be eligible for competition, a student-athlete shall be enrolled in
at least a minimum full-time program of studies leading to a baccalaureate or equivalent degree, which shall not be
less than 12 semester or quarter hours. (Revised: 6/1/07)

[quote=“Tom, post:26, topic:2382”]14.1.8.2 Requirement for Competition. To be eligible for competition, a student-athlete shall be enrolled in
at least a minimum full-time program of studies leading to a baccalaureate or equivalent degree, which shall not be
less than 12 semester or quarter hours. (Revised: 6/1/07)[/quote]

THANK YOU, Tom.

14.1.8.2 Requirement for Competition. To be eligible for competition, a student-athlete shall be enrolled in at least a minimum full-time program of studies leading to a baccalaureate or equivalent degree, which shall not be less than 12 semester or quarter hours. (Revised: 6/1/07)

THANK YOU, Tom.

But that doesn’t include the circumstances which got the original discussion going. If an athlete is in his last semester, he can take only the courses that are necessary to graduate. Years ago, one high profile QB (whose name escapes me at the moment) needed one elective to graduate. He satisfied that elective by taking ballroom dancing.

14.1.8.2.1.3 Final Semester/Quarter. A student-athlete may compete while enrolled in less than a minimum full-time program of studies, provided the student is enrolled in the final semester or quarter of the baccalaureate program and the institution certifies that the student is carrying (for credit) the courses necessary to complete degree requirements.

EDIT: It was Matt Leinart who took the ballroom dancing course.

It seems with some academic planning some/many 5th athletes may to able to schedule a very light load for their last term. Heck even 4 year athletes!!

And with the average time to graduate for the general student body being over 4.5 years…those guys are ahead of the curve.

It seems with some academic planning some/many 5th athletes may to able to schedule a very light load for their last term. Heck even 4 year athletes!!

And with the average time to graduate for the general student body being over 4.5 years…those guys are ahead of the curve.


Average student does not usually attend the summer semesters!

No but the average student takes 3-6 transferrable credits at the local CC to save $$$$$$$$$$$$

Average student does not usually attend the summer semesters!

No but the average student takes 3-6 transferrable credits at the local CC to save $$$$$$$$$$$$

SMART student…yes…NOT sure about the average student :wink:

[quote="tundra, post:29, topic:2382"]It seems with some academic planning some/many 5th athletes may to able to schedule a very light load for their last term. Heck even 4 year athletes!![/quote]

And with the average time to graduate for the general student body being over 4.5 years…those guys are ahead of the curve.


Average student does not usually attend the summer semesters!

An average student can take a semester off.

An average student pays his own tuition :slight_smile:

True. I couldn’t take summer classes. I had to work all summer so I could afford tuition in the fall.

Really? An average student either has his tuition pisd by his parents or through student loans/grants.

An average student pays his own tuition :)

Really? An average student either has his tuition pisd by his parents or through student loans/grants.

About 2/3 of graduates have loan debt coming out of college averaging almost $25k. I’d say that counts as “paying his own tuition”

[quote="Tom, post:35, topic:2382"]An average student pays his own tuition :)[/quote]

Really? An average student either has his tuition paid by his parents or through student loans/grants.

About 2/3 of graduates have loan debt coming out of college averaging almost $25k. I’d say that counts as “paying his own tuition”

By definiton of a loan, it has yet to be paid for. Besides that, who paid the balance of that $60K+ education?

Derek Moye only has one class this fall semester (and a 12-credit internship)

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/college/football/oh-moye-rochester-grad-bmoc-at-psu/article_72e23ec2-c7e0-5375-ab4b-85554a816529.html