Can a School Take Away Your Scholarship During the School Year?

Last fall, I published a post entitled When Can a School Take Away Your Scholarship?, covering the basic NCAA rules on the cancellation or reduction of athletic scholarships.  To follow-up on this theme, I have provided an analysis of a more specific issue: the cancellation or reduction of a scholarship during the academic year.

You are a scholarship student-athlete at a Division I university.  At the end of the school year, your coach informs you that you’ll be required to meet certain performance and conditioning benchmarks upon your return the following school year.  Failure to reach those benchmarks will result in the immediate cancellation of your athletic scholarship.

Can the coach and university do this?  What are the NCAA’s rules concerning the cancellation or reduction of athletic scholarships during the academic year?

No, a coach cannot cancel or reduce your scholarship during the season for an athletic reason.  According to Bylaw, an athletic scholarship may not be reduced or canceled during the period of its award:

(a) On the basis of a student-athlete’s athletics ability, performance or contribution to a team’s success;

(b) Because of an injury, illness, or physical or mental medical condition (except as permitted pursuant to Bylaw [see below]); or

(c) For any other athletics reason.

As I covered previously, under Bylaw, a coach or university may only cut your scholarship during the school year if you:

  1. Become ineligible;
  2. Fraudulently misrepresent any information on a university document;
  3. Engage in serious misconduct; or
  4. Voluntarily withdraw from your team.

Please note that if a coach or university does attempt to cancel your scholarship during the school year, you have the right to appeal and to a hearing.


  1. I keep seeing during the school year…My friend lost her D-1 Basketball Scholarship today, April 3rd. She has not become ineligible, misrepresented the school, engaged in any misconduct or withdrawn from the team. What am I missing? School’s still in session, though basketball season is over. Is this allowed?

    • Dan Fitzgerald says:

      Typically a scholarship cannot be reduced or cut unless the student-athlete meets one of the four criteria mentioned above. Regardless, your friend has appeal rights and the school must notify her of such rights.

  2. It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I’ve learn this publish and if I may I want to recommend
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  3. What are a players option if their scholarship was illegally taken mid year and the appeal failed? The coach conspired with staff to say athlete quit after the coach dismissed them from the team. One of the board members overseeing the appeal was a friend of the coach.

  4. If I want to withdrawal from the team how do I go about this? And what would happen if I do? As in do I have to pay for the money I would’ve gotten second semester?


  1. […] concerning NCAA rules on the cancellation of athletic scholarships.  I followed that post with Can a School Take Away Your Scholarship During the School Year?  Here is a recent question that I received on this topic that is worth […]

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