You are a scholarship student-athlete and receive word that your university will be reducing or not renewing your scholarship.
Can the university do this? What are the NCAA’s rules concerning the cancellation or reduction of athletic scholarships? Here are a few key rules to be aware of:
Non-Renewal for the Following Academic Year
As I’ve discussed, there are no full rides in college sports. Athletic scholarships are limited to 1 year by NCAA rule. If however, a university does not wish to renew or wishes to reduce a student-athlete’s athletic scholarship, certain rules must be adhered to. The university must notify the student-athlete in writing of the decision and must provide the opportunity for a hearing. In addition, the university must provide the student-athlete with all pertinent deadlines and procedures governing such hearings.
If a student-athlete does not receive written notification of the non-renewal or reduction of his or her scholarship and associated hearing procedures, he or she should request such information in a letter or email to a university representative.
Cancellation During the Academic Year
A university cannot arbitrarily decide to cut a student-athlete’s scholarship during the school year. In fact, a university may only cancel a student-athlete’s scholarship if he or she:
- Becomes ineligible;
- Fraudulently misrepresents any information on a university document; or
- Voluntarily withdraws from a team.
The rules concerning notification and the opportunity for a hearing also apply when a scholarship is taken away during the school year.