Reinstatement: How it Works
What is student-athlete reinstatement?
It is the process schools must use to restore the lost eligibility of student-athletes involved in NCAA rules violations. On average, the NCAA receives more than 1,000 reinstatement requests annually, and nearly 99 percent of these requests result in the student-athlete being reinstated.
How does it work?
When a school discovers a student-athlete has been involved in a violation, it must declare the student-athlete ineligible, investigate the violation, and forward its report with a request for the student-athlete’s eligibility to be reinstated to the national office staff.
Who makes the decisions on reinstatement cases?
The NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff makes the initial decision regarding reinstatement of a student-athlete’s eligibility. The staff has been given this authority by the NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement. The committee is comprised of representatives from NCAA schools and conferences. It has final authority for all reinstatement decision appeals.
What does the staff consider when reaching its decision?
The staff considers a number of factors when deciding each case. These include the nature and seriousness of the violation; any impermissible benefits received by the student-athlete; the student-athlete’s level of responsibility; any mitigating factors presented by the school; applicable NCAA guidelines; and any relevant case precedent. It is rare that the facts of two cases are identical.
What are the possible outcomes in reinstatement decisions?
Student-athlete reinstatement decisions result in one of three possible outcomes. The staff may reinstate a student-athlete’s eligibility without any conditions. A student-athlete may have his or her eligibility reinstated with conditions on the student-athlete, such as sitting out a specific number of contests or donating the amount of any impermissible benefits received to a charity. Or the student-athlete could lose all remaining eligibility, which is extremely rare.
How is the information gathered to determine reinstatement decisions?
Student-athlete reinstatement decisions are based on an evaluation of the information provided to the staff by the involved school, given the NCAA reinstatement staff’s role is not investigatory in nature. While the student-athlete reinstatement staff may ask additional questions related to the reinstatement request, it is the school’s responsibility to provide all necessary information for the staff to consider.
Can a school appeal the NCAA decision?
A school may appeal decisions made by the reinstatement staff to the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement. The committee can reduce or remove the reinstatement conditions, but it cannot increase the conditions imposed by the reinstatement staff.
How long does the reinstatement process take?
It depends on the complexity of the case. Most requests for reinstatement are resolved in about a week after the school has provided a complete request and the reinstatement staff has all the necessary information. For serious or complicated violations, there is no timeline.