SLR Waivers Involving International Mandatory Military

SLR Waivers Involving International Mandatory Military


UPDATE: DI SLR Guidelines for Waivers Involving Bylaw 14.2.3.2 and International Mandatory Military:

Division I Subcommittee for Legislative Relief discussed waiver requests involving international tennis student-athletes participating in competition while fulfilling mandatory military service during its April 2009 meeting and below is the subcommittee’s direction to the staff for analyzing SLR waiver requests of Bylaw 14.2.3.2 (tennis, swimming and diving and women’s volleyball rule).  In addition, included is an excerpt from the subcommittee’s April 2009 meeting report.  Please note that based on the effective date for this change, this will impact those men’s and women’s tennis SAs who initially enroll as a full-time student at a Division I institution on or after January 1, 2010:

DI SLR Guidelines for Waivers Involving Bylaw 14.2.3.2 and International Mandatory Military:

Guidelines for Waivers Involving Bylaw 14.2.3.2 (tennis, swimming and diving and women’s volleyball) and International Mandatory Military Service:  During its April 2009 meeting, the subcommittee revised the relief that can be provided for waivers involving Bylaw 14.2.3.2 (tennis, swimming and diving, and women’s volleyball) for student-athletes who became subject to the legislation during his or her participation in international mandatory military service.  Specifically, the subcommittee agreed relief could only be provided for the season(s) of competition that a student-athlete became subject to under Bylaw 14.2.3.2; however, no relief may be provided by the staff for the academic year in residence.  Additional mitigation or extenuating circumstances unrelated to the assertion of mandatory military service shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if relief of the academic year in residence is warranted.  This change is effective January 1, 2010, for any tennis, swimming and diving or women’s volleyball student-athlete initially enrolling as a full-time student at a Division I institution on or after January 1, 2010.  The subcommittee noted staff could consider partial relief [i.e., season(s) of competition] from the tennis, swimming and diving and women’s volleyball legislation when the following information or circumstances are presented for cases involving international mandatory military service:

a.      Mandatory military service requirement must be supported by objective documentation; and

b.      The service must occur immediately after the student-athlete’s completion of high school (as defined and required in the rule); and

c.      The participation may only be of an amateur nature and there can be no amateurism violations as a result of the participation (e.g., prize money, contract, professional competition). 

Excerpt from the April 2009 DI SLR report to the NCAA Division I Legislative Council:

Guidelines and Information Standards - Waiver Requests Involving NCAA Division I Bylaw 14.2.3.2 (tennis, swimming and diving, and women’s volleyball) and International Mandatory Military Service.

(1)     Recommendation.  During its April 2 teleconference, the NCAA Division I Legislative Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief agreed to revise the October 2005 guidelines for waiver requests involving the tennis and swimming and diving legislation and international mandatory military service.  Specifically, the subcommittee recommends the guidelines specify that the maximum relief that may be provided for assertions involving international mandatory military service, in and of itself, is to permit the student-athlete to regain season(s) of competition; however, no relief may be provided for the academic year in residence requirement.  The subcommittee proposes this change become effective for any tennis, swimming and diving or women’s volleyball student-athlete initially enrolling as a full-time student at a Division I institution on or after January 1, 2010.  The subcommittee noted a year-by-year analysis will be used to determine if relief under the guidelines for any seasons of competition is warranted. Factors such as the dates and amount of competition the student-athlete participated in, whether any leaves of absence were taken and amateur status will be considered in the analysis.

Example of year-by-year analysis: A men’s tennis student-athlete from Israel participated after his grace year in organized competition during 2007-08 and 2008-09 while fulfilling mandatory military service and; therefore, is subject to two seasons of competition and must fulfill an academic year in residence.  The student-athlete’s participation during 2007-08 satisfied the April 2009 guidelines.  During 2008-09, the student-athlete took an extended leave of absence from his military service and; therefore, did not satisfy the guidelines because he competed outside of regular military service.  Under the year-by-year analysis, the student-athlete would be granted partial relief to regain one season of competition based on his participation during 2007-08; however, the student-athlete would still be charged one season of competition based on his participation during 2008-09 and must fulfill the academic year in residence.   

In addition, the subcommittee approved the creation of new information standards for such waiver requests [Attachment B].  The subcommittee recommends that the NCAA Division I Legislative Council review and approve the proposed revisions to the guidelines (effective January 1, 2010, for any tennis, swimming and diving or women’s volleyball student-athlete initially enrolling as a full-time student at a Division I institution on or after January 1, 2010) as well as the newly created information standards.  If approved by the Legislative Council, the staff will archive all previous cases involving mandatory military service that were decided based on the application of the October 2005 guidelines.

(2)     Rationale.  Under the current analysis for waivers involving international mandatory military service, if a student-athlete’s participation satisfies the October 2005 guidelines, full relief of the legislation may be provided.  The subcommittee reviewed concerns from the Division I membership related to the competitive advantage gained by individuals who are required to delay collegiate enrollment in order to fulfill international mandatory military service.  In addition, the subcommittee considered that these individuals have not been enrolled in school for more than a year.  Based on these concerns, the subcommittee agreed that these student-athletes should not receive relief of the academic year in residence.  Requiring a student-athlete to fulfill the academic year in residence would allow such student-athletes time to become academically acclimated at the institution and demonstrate a long-term commitment to higher education.  In addition, fulfilling an academic year in residence will help address concerns related to the immediate competitive impact of these student-athletes. For requests involving additional mitigation or extenuating circumstances in addition to mandatory military service, the circumstances shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if further relief is warranted.  Finally, the subcommittee noted the newly established information standards have been developed after several years of experience handling such requests and will help institutions properly document a waiver request involving international mandatory military service.

(3)     Estimated Budget Impact.  None.

(4)     Student-Athlete Impact.  This change would narrow the scope of relief provided for student-athletes who participate in international mandatory military service.  However, under the proposed guidelines, student-athletes who are permitted to regain seasons of competition via the waiver process may potentially have the opportunity to participation in four seasons of intercollegiate competition within a five-year period.

To access the Division I SLR website, follow this path:
www.ncaa.org >> place cursor over “Legislation and Governance” and click on “Eligibility and Recruiting” from the drop-down menu >> click on (Sub)Committee for Legislative Relief Waivers (SLR/CLR), formerly known as ARS

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