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Junior/Community Colleges Breakout Session
Getting Better Every Day in Every Way -- Moving Upward and Onward - Transfer Requirements for the JC/CC Student-Athlete
(Monday, June 15, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.)

Mike Jacobsen:

Good morning. I'm Mike Jacobsen, athletics director at Utah Valley State College. We'll talk about two-year college transfers going to Division I; first of all, qualifiers. If they're qualified out of high school, there are two ways in which they can be immediately eligible at an NCAA institution. The first option is that the student graduates, successfully completes a minimum of 48 semester or 72 quarter hours of transferable degree credit and has a 2.0 GPA in those transferable hours. For that option, whenever we say graduate, the student has to graduate with an academic degree rather; than a vocational or technical degree. In addition to that, if a student has attended more than one two-year college, they have to have successfully completed at least 25 percent of their degree requirements at the two-year college that awards the degree. That's true for all kids who attend more than one junior college and have to graduate. When we talk about the transferable degree hours, those are hours that are normally transferable to the Division I or II institution.

Option one, graduates with 48 semester hours and a 2.0 GPA. Option two, for a Division I institution is to have the student spend at least two semesters, or at least three quarters at the junior college and average at least 12 transferable degree credit hours per term of attendance. If they've been there for four semesters, they need to have 48 transferable degree hours. They also must have a 2.0 GPA. For Division I qualifiers graduate or spend the two semesters with the 48 hours and a 2.0 GPA.

If they're non-qualifiers or partial qualifiers, whether they are immediately eligible, depends on what sport they play. For non-qualifiers and partial qualifiers that play sports other than football and basketball, they have to meet four specific requirements. The first one is to graduate; the second is to successfully complete at least 48 semester hours or 72 quarter hours of transferable degree credit. There's a note there that you want to be aware of and that's for students who are transferring on or after August 1, 1997. For those students, in addition to that, they have to have no more than 18 semester hours earned during the summer and no more than nine hours in the summer immediately prior to transfer. The third requirement of these students is that they have a 2.0 GPA in their transferable credit hours. The fourth requirement is that they have attended a two-year college for at least three full-time semesters or four quarters, obviously, excluding summer terms.

If, for some reason, a student-athlete does not meet each of those requirements, they cannot practice and they cannot repeat, but they can receive institutional aid. Those are partial qualifiers or non-qualifiers in sports other than football and basketball.

For non-qualifiers or partial qualifiers in the sports of football and basketball, we have the same four initial requirements and we have one additional requirement for practice. For these kids, in order to receive financial aid in practice only, they have to, again, graduate from the two-year college, complete the 48 semester hours of transferable degree credit and, again, if they enroll on or after August 1, 1997, no more than 18 total summer hours, no more than nine summer hours immediately prior to transfer, a 2.0 GPA in transferable credit and they've attended a junior college as a full-time student for at least three semesters or four quarters.

You notice the same four requirements for partial qualifiers and non-qualifiers are the same across the board for all sports. We talk about football or basketball players who are non-qualifiers or partial qualifiers, in order to compete that first year; they have an additional requirement. That requirement is they must have successfully completed at least 35 percent of a Division I institution's degree program prior to walking in the door of that Division I school. If they don't, if they've met those other four requirements and not the 35 percent, they still get to practice and receive institutional aid, they just cannot compete.

A question was asked whether they lose a year of eligibility. As you know, Division I student-athletes who are non-qualifiers or partial qualifiers, when they go to Division I, they only have three to begin with. When they start out that year, that does not count as one of their three, but it does count against their five-year clock in Division I.

In addition to those, Division I has two other requirements that we want to make your aware of and these requirements are in place for all students, whether they're two-year transfer students, four-year transfers, or just continuing students at that four-year institution. The first is what we call the percentage of degree requirement rule. This simply says that prior to the student's third year of enrollment, they had to have successfully completed at least 25 percent of their degree. If a student has spent two years at your two-year college, in order to just walk into the door at a Division I school, they have to have at least 25 percent. Remember, if it's a non-qualifier or partial qualifier in football or basketball, that never jumps to 35 percent. If they're entering their fourth year, they have to complete at least 50 percent. So, if for some reason, they've spent three years at your two-year college, they have to complete 50 percent when they walk in the door to the Division I school.

Division I also has a GPA requirement. This requirement says that entering a student's third year of enrollment, they have to have at least 90 percent of the GPA required to graduate at that Division I school. Again, if they spent two years at your school, walking in the door, they've got to have at least 90 percent of that institution's GPA to graduate. If they spent three years at your institution, when they enter they fourth year, they will have had to complete at least 95 percent of the GPA required to graduate.

Where do the hours come from to get that 25 or 35 percent? They have to come from a student-athlete's specific degree program at the Division I school. Let's say a student wants to major in Physical Education and it takes 120 hours to graduate in physical education at that Division I school. They have to have 25 or 35 percent of that 120 within physical education. If it's not within that specific degree program, they can't count it. You figure out what the Division I school normally accepts as transferable degree credit. Whatever they accept, that's what you can transfer in.

When you start calculating a GPA, you calculate based on all hours that are normally transferable to the Division I school. That's important because if a kid gets a D in, let's say biology, Ds are not counted at the Division I school, but the biology courses as they are transferred in, you have to count that D. Even if the institution does not count the D, normally, if they accept biology classes, they have to figure that D into the kid's GPA. Whatever they accept as normal transferable courses, you've got to count those hours for GPA purposes. Institutions can have different requirements upon entering. They can require a kid to take a specific test or take a specific class to get in. That's an institutional decision apart from the NCAA rules. We get a little bit simpler as we go through from Division I to Division II to Division III.

How many hours can you earn in the summer immediately prior to transfer? The answer is nine, and that can come from the entire summer. You're not limited to one specific term.

Junior college transfers that want to go to Division II institutions, in order to compete immediately upon transferring, a student-athlete can do this in one of two ways. The first way is the obviously easiest and that's for a student-athlete to graduate. They do not have the same other requirements in addition to graduation as Division I does. Division II simply requires graduation as one of the options.

The second option is that a student-athlete successfully completes 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of transferable degree credit, has a 2.0 GPA in those transferable hours and has spent at least two semesters or three quarters at the junior college. It's a little simpler than Division I.

If the student-athlete, for some reason, does not fulfill one of those two options, the student-athlete cannot compete that first year, but may receive institutional financial aid and may practice provided he or she is enrolled as a full-time student and meets all conference or institutional guidelines. Qualifiers must either graduate or have the 24 semester hours with a 2.0 GPA.

Non-qualifiers or partial qualifiers can practice and compete right away provided they meet, again, one of two options. The first is the same and that is they graduate. That's one choice. Non-qualifiers and partial qualifiers can be immediately eligible if they graduate. The other way is to complete a minimum of 24 semester hours, 36-quarter hours of transferable degree credit with a 2.0 in those transferable hours.

In addition to that, for students enrolling on or after August 1, 1996, they have to average at least 12 hours of transferable degree credit per term of attendance at your school. So, if they're at your two-year school for three semesters, they have to bring in 36 transferable hours to the Division II institution.

Partial qualifiers, who do not meet either one of those two options, can receive institutional aid, including athletics aid, they can practice, they just cannot compete. Non-qualifiers are different. They cannot receive athletics aid. They can receive institutional aid that's not from an athletic source. They cannot practice and they cannot compete. Non-qualifiers can't practice or compete, can't receive athletics aid. Partials can receive athletics aid and practice, but cannot compete. A question was asked whether that 12 includes summer hours and it can as long as they can average 12 transferable degree hours per term of attendance.

Division III is even simpler. You only need to know two things. Number one, have they ever participated in athletics? If they've never participated in athletics, they can transfer from a two-year school to Division III and be eligible right away. That's it. Participation means either practice or competition. If they have participated in intercollegiate athletics, they can be immediately eligible only if they were both academically and athletically eligible at the previous two-year institution. You need to know if they did participate and were they academically and athletically eligible at the previous institution. A student who does not meet those options in Division III cannot compete during their first year. They can practice and they can receive need-based aid. Remember, Division III does not offer athletic aid, so the most they can get is need-based aid.

All of these requirements I've talked about, I have distinguished the non-qualifiers and the qualifiers. Start with the premise that the student-athlete has to go through the Clearinghouse if they want to be considered a qualifier. If, for some reason, they meet all of the more stringent requirements of a non-qualifier, requirements I gave you, there's really no need for them to be certified as a qualifier. If they're a non-qualifier, there's no reason to go through the Clearinghouse to establish what you already know. They still have to meet the most stringent requirements. Take, for example, if a student-athlete is transferring to Division I and they played two years at your place and they want to transfer to get the other two years in Division I, they should go through the Clearinghouse just to get those years of eligibility to make sure they're certified and they have those years in Division I. To get a student registered at the Clearinghouse, simply call them at 319/337-1492. Call and request a student release form and the kid can fill it out. They can still go through the Clearinghouse even after they've been at your place. They can go back and have their high school transcripts sent, their test scores sent and get certified that way.

I'd like to talk a little bit about 4-2-4 transfers. It's a student who starts out at a four-year school, transfers to a two-year school and then wants to transfer to another four-year institution. Again, you start out with the basic premise that says transfer students have to sit out a year. For 4-2-4 transfers, we have four exceptions to that general rule. Each of those has a different set of requirements. The first exception is the graduation exception. If a 4-2-4 transfer completes 24 semester hours or 36 quarter hours of transferable degree credit with a 2.0 GPA, graduates from the two-year school and one calendar year has elapsed since the student-athlete's last attendance at a four-year school, that student can be eligible right away. It's one calendar year elapsing, not one academic year, or not full-time enrollment in two semesters.

The second exception is what we call return to the original institution exception. Basically, if a kid starts off at Institution A, goes to your two-year school and wants to return back to the same Institution A, that student can do so and be eligible right away at Institution A provided they did not have an unfulfilled residence requirement at A. By that I mean, let's say they were a non-qualifier coming out of high school. They go to Institution A for one semester, they didn't fulfill their year of residency. They transfer to Division II before they fulfill that. They want to transfer back to Institution A, they'd have to sit out a year at Institution A. They went to the two-year school with a residency requirement still in place.

The third exception for 4-2-4 transfers is what we call the non-sponsored sport exception. Basically, a student-athlete can be eligible right away, provided the original four-year school did to sponsor the sport in which the student-athlete participates. The additional requirement is that the student-athlete could not have attended any other institution that sponsored that sport.

Number one, the original four-year institution did not sponsor it. The student-athlete was a qualifier. The student-athlete completed 24 semester or 36 quarter hours with a 2.0 GPA in those transferable degree hours and the student-athlete completed at least 12 semester or quarter hours for each term that he or she was at the junior college. That's the non-sponsored sports exception.

The fourth requirement is what we call the two-year non-participation exception. For 4-2-4 transfer students who want to be eligible right away, they can do so, provided that transferring to a NCAA Division II institution and the two years immediately prior to transfer, they've neither practiced nor competed in intercollegiate athletics. If they do that, they can transfer and be eligible right away.

Division III has a little different rule for a 4-2-4 transfers. They say that effective August 1, 1998, this coming August, if you're transferring from a four- to a two- to a Division III institution, you have to have been both academically and athletically eligible at the previous two-year school, or you must have graduated. That's specific just to Division III.

We talked about the basic rule that says you have to sit out a year if you transfer from a two to a four. We talked about a number of exceptions to this general rule that had a lot of requirements to them, but I want to talk about only two more. These are just straight exceptions. You don't have to worry about which division they are unless I specify otherwise. The first is what we call the discontinued non-sponsored sport exception. In Division I or II, if the institution that the student-athlete was at, we already talked about the requirements for a non-sponsored sport, but in addition to that, if the original institution dropped the sport, the student-athlete can transfer and be eligible right away. If the student-athlete starts off at your school, your school drops the sport, he or she can transfer to another Division I or II NCAA institution and be eligible right away.

The other one I want to mention is called the non-recruited exception. This is available only to Division II institutions. This rules says that a student-athlete can compete right away provided that they are not recruited by the Division II institution, they have never received athletically-related financial aid, the student-athlete has never practiced or competed in college athletics and the student-athlete was eligible for admission to the Division II institution before initial enrollment at the two-year institution.

The third requirement I talked about for that non-recruited exception is that the student-athlete has neither practiced nor competed in intercollegiate athletics. They can, however, have been involved in limited preseason tryouts, which is not quite the scrimmaging you're talking about, but they can participate in tryouts and still meet the non-recruited student exception.

The last thing I want to talk about is the issue of the two-year college scrimmages. If a student-athlete competes at a junior college in the fall and then transfers to a Division I or II institution, they cannot compete for the Division I or II school during that same academic year. There's an exception to it that says if a student-athlete competes in limited, scheduled two-year college scrimmages, that doesn't count. They can still transfer and compete for the Division I or II school. In order to use that exception, the two-year college scrimmages must be approved by your institution, the two-year school, no official score is kept, no admission is charged, no official time is kept, the scrimmage is played before the two-year college's first scheduled outside competition and the student-athlete competes in not more than two sub-scrimmages.

In order to be able to use that, to be able to compete in those two-year college scrimmages, you have to meet these two requirements. If they don't meet these requirements, they compete in the two-year college scrimmages, when they transfer to a Division I or II school, they can't compete during that same academic year.

From the Floor:

Let's say that an individual plays in a fall baseball league at the school where they scrimmage maybe 10 times, drops out of school for two years and then comes back to the junior college and plays two full more years and then wants to transfer to Division I. Does he have two years or one year of eligibility?

David Schnase:

In the case described, a student-athlete participated in scrimmages, took two years off and then competed for two years. In that case, he would have used three seasons of competition. Any competition against outside competition during the season counts as a season of eligibility.

Thank you.

Mike Jacobsen:

There's a wealth of information here. I know that David works at this full-time every single day and he still has to look in his book to find out some things. I don't know how we can stay on top of it other than I would stress that we make every effort to do this so that we don't put ourselves in a predicament where we wind up cheating our kids in some way by not providing them the opportunity to transfer if that opportunity does present itself.

We appreciate David taking the time to talk with us today. I know we've all benefited from him. I know there's much more to learn. These books come to our place and we spend time talking about them in our meetings and your need to do the same. Let's give Dave a big hand for being with us today.

We appreciate your coming to our meetings over the last three days. Hopefully, you're able to stick around for some of NACDA's presentations over the next couple of days, the round tables on Wednesday are fantastic. As we mentioned in our meetings, make sure that you fill out the evaluations for NACDA pertaining to the two sessions we've had today. It's very important for us and for our image to have good representation there.

Thanks again for coming and have a great day.