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NJCAA Compliance at the State College of Florida

Initial Eligibility

  1. To be eligible to compete in NJCAA sponsored athletics, athletes are required to meet the minimum entrance requirements of the college.
    • Athletes must have completed a high school (or equivalent) education.
      • Athletes are required to provide proof of their high school graduation (i.e. official high school transcripts)
      • A General Equivalency Diploma (GED) demonstrates that an athlete has completed a high school level education. *Note - Those who have obtained a GED but did not receive a physical diploma must obtain written proof of their GED completion from the appropriate institution.*
      • Home-schooled students will be reviewed by the college using their transcripts.
      • Foreign students will have their transcripts reviewed by an independent party. All foreign transcripts that are not listed in English must be translated at the expense of the student-athlete.

Maintaining Eligibility

  1. Student-athletes must be enrolled as full-time students. Full-time is defined as 12 credit hours per semester. *If at any time a student-athlete drops below 12 credits per semester, they will be immediately ineligible for competition.*
    • Student-athletes must be in enrolled in 9 credits during their season of play. Typically, 9 credits are equivalent to 3 classes. Student-athletes are still required to finish 12 credit hours for the entire semester, but the last 3 hours of credit do not have to occur during the season of play. Those classes must have started before the term ends.
      • Example – Joe plays on the basketball team. He is enrolled in 9 credit hours during the semester that starts in August and ends in December. Joe is signed up for an additional 8-week class that starts in October and ends in December. The 8-week course counts toward the semester’s overall eligibility requirements even though Joe begins the semester, and the season, enrolled in 9 credit hours.
    • Student-athletes may not repeat a course in which they earn a passing grade (i.e. A, B, C, D) more than once.
    • Students must maintain sufficient academic progress throughout their enrollment. Academic progress is defined as:
      • For a student-athlete that has completed their first term (usually, Freshman going into their Spring term), the student-athlete must have completed 12 credit hours (usually 4 classes) and maintained a 1.75 GPA. Note – this is the NJCAA’s guideline, colleges and coaches can hold players to a higher standard.
      • For a student-athlete that has completed two full terms (usually, beginning their Sophomore year), the student-athlete must have passed at least 12 credit hours per semester and maintained a 2.0 GPA.
        • This rule applies for all subsequent semesters (i.e. student-athletes that have completed 3 full-time semesters must have completed 36 credit hours and maintained a 2.0 GPA, 4 full-semesters requires 48 credits passed and a 2.0 GPA, etc…)
  2. Student-athlete must maintain their amateur status at all times during their collegiate careers.
    • Amateurs are considered non-professional athletes
      • Professional athletes are as defined:
        • The athlete uses their athletic skill for pay (directly or indirectly)
        • The athlete accepts the promise of future pay (i.e. contest winnings, money after their college careers are over, etc…)
        • The athlete signs a professional contract
        • The athlete receives pay, reimbursement of expenses, or any financial assistance from an organization based on their athletic skill *Be careful in tournaments during the summer, any expense paid to the athlete during a tournament will render them ineligible*
        • The athlete competes with a professional athletic team or a team that employs professional athletes
        • The athlete tries-out for a professional sports team while they are enrolled in school
        • The athlete signs with an agent or agrees to sign with an agent in the future
        • The athlete enters in a professional draft
    • What student-athletes can do in regards to their athletic skill without sacrificing their eligibility:
      • The athlete can officiate a sports contest if they are paid the going rate for an official
      • The athlete can coach youth players, and they can be paid, provided they are not paid by the institution
      • The athlete can accept a scholarship from a collegiate institution (they cannot accept scholarships from multiple institutions)
      • The athlete can provide private lessons provided they are paid at an appropriate rate (this cannot be arranged by anyone at the institution)
      • The athlete can be a camp counselor if sports instruction does not consume more than 50% of their job. (Sports instruction must be a requirement of the job)
      • The athlete can have their image, or likeness, used in television, books, films, etc… provided:
        • They are not paid
        • They do not “endorse” the product or service
        • Appearance in product/service is for instructional, or learning, purposes

Other Important Information

  1. NJCAA athletes have two seasons of athletic eligibility in their sport(s) of choice
    • Once two seasons has been accumulated, the athlete is no longer allowed to participate in that NJCAA sanctioned sport(s).
    • Participation in any game during a season burns 1 year of eligibility (i.e. 1 plate appearance in baseball/softball counts as 1 year of eligibility)
    • If a student-athlete dresses but does not play, they will be marked as a non-participant and their athletic eligibility will remain intact. This is known as a “red-shirt”. “Red-shirt” student-athletes are eligible to practice and receive financial aid. They may not participate in any game or they will lose their 1 year of eligibility.
    • Basketball – Preparatory (Prep) school does not count towards a student-athlete’s eligibility if they participate during the 1st year after completing high school. All years after that will count towards eligibility.
  2. Transfers from NCAA and NJCAA shall be eligible to play during the next academic calendar year. This rule does not apply to baseball, softball, or tennis. Transfers from institutions that participated in fall shall be immediately eligible to participate in the spring (baseball, softball, and tennis).

Helpful links:

NJCAA Eligibility Packet

Student Eligibility Brochure

NCAA Transfer Guide


Final Words of Caution

Please note that all of the information on this page is provided for your benefit and does not necessarily reflect the views of the State College of Florida or their Athletic Department. There are more rules listed in the NJCAA Eligibility Packet, student-athletes are expected to know these rules. Ignorance of the rules does not apply. If you have any questions, please contact the athletic department for more information. Remember, ask questions before you act. Losing your eligibility can be permanent and affect your ability to play sports at 4-year NCAA and NAIA institutions.