Countdown: NCAA Stance on Prize Money
by Christine Gray, 21 October 2013
Special from Donovan Tennis Strategies
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Over the past calendar year, the NCAA Board of Directors and the Rules Committee have made concerted efforts to alter the regulatory culture of the NCAA, particularly at the Division I level. Responding to widespread criticism among coaches, prospective student-athletes and administrators alike that the rules structure is confusing, overbearing, inequitable among sports and difficult to enforce, the NCAA has addressed proposals intent on simplifying the understanding and implementation of the rules. The changes put forth seem to suggest that the NCAA is responding to the call for more meaningful and smarter legislation which focuses on more consequential issues and supports student-athlete success.
While a few of the deregulating proposals were passed but then subsequently suspended before implementation, the vast majority did go into effect on August 1 of this year. Two, in particular, have changed NCAA regulations as they relate to tennis players, both preparing to enter college and continuing to compete after matriculation. Those regulations fall under the amateurism section of the rules (Section 12) which addresses the definition and management of "actual and necessary expenses" related to individual competition and prize money winnings.
The actual citations excerpted from the NCAA Legislative Services Database read as follows:
126.96.36.199.2.1 Prior to Full-Time Collegiate Enrollment
In tennis, prior to full-time collegiate enrollment, an individual may accept up to $10,000 per calendar year in prize money based on his or her place finish or performance in athletics events. Such prize money may be provided only by the sponsor of an event in which the individual participates. Once the individual has accepted $10,000 in prize money in a particular year, he or she may receive additional prize money on a per-event basis, provided such prize money does not exceed the individual's actual and necessary expenses for participation in the event. The calculation of actual and necessary expenses shall not include the expenses or fees of anyone other than the individual (e.g, coach's fees or expenses, parent's expenses). (Adopted: 4/26/12, Revised: 1/19/13 effective 8/1/13)
188.8.131.52.2.2 After Initial Full-Time Collegiate Enrollment
In tennis, after initial full-time collegiate enrollment, an individual may accept prize money based on his or her place finish or performance in an athletics event. Such prize money may not exceed actual and necessary expenses and may be provided only by the sponsor of the event. The calculation of actual and necessary expenses shall not include the expenses or fees of anyone other than the individual (e.g., coach's fees or expenses, parent's expenses). (Adopted: 1/19/13 effective 8/1/13)