Information For Enrolled Student-Athletes
Academic eligibility (satisfactory progress): Student-athletes that have initiated a term of full-time enrollment at a collegiate institution must meet NCAA satisfactory progress requirements in order to be eligible to participate in competition for the University of Houston or any other NCAA Division I institution. These requirements vary depending upon your first term of full-time collegiate enrollment and the number of full-time terms of enrollment on your academic record. However, all student-athletes must pass at least 6 credits toward their designated degree each semester in order to compete during the following semester. For student-athletes that first entered a collegiate institution on a full-time basis after August 1, 2003 the following requirements apply:
After the first year of enrollment- must pass at least 24 credits with at least 18 of these credits earned during the regular academic year, passed 6 credits in previous term and earned a cumulative grade point average at UH of no less than 1.80.
After the second year of enrollment - must pass at least 18 credits during the regular academic year, passed at least 6 credits in the previous term and earned a cumulative grade point average at UH of no less than 1.90. Also must have completed 40% of the student-athlete's designated degree program.
After the third year of enrollment- must pass at least 18 credits during the regular academic year, passed at least 6 credits in the previous term and earned a cumulative grade point average at UH of no less than 2.00. Also must have completed 60% of the student-athlete's designated degree program.
After the fourth year of enrollment- must pass at least 18 credits during the regular academic year, passed at least 6 credits in the previous term and earned a cumulative grade point average at UH of no less than 2.00. Also must have completed 80% of the student-athlete's designated degree program.
All student-athletes should consult with their team's assigned academic counselor from within the athletics department to determine their own eligibility needs and which courses that have been completed, or are currently being completed, apply toward their specific degree program. Student-athletes that enrolled at a collegiate institution prior to August 1, 2003 must meet different eligibility requirements, please consult with your team's academic counselor.
Academic suspension from the University of Houston: Any student-athlete that is placed on academic suspension by the university becomes immediately ineligible to participate in any practice activities or competition until such time that they have been readmitted to the institution and their eligibility has been certified.
Agents, interactions with and receipt of benefits: NCAA rules strictly prohibit student-athletes from entering into any type of agreement (including verbal agreements) with an individual to represent that student-athlete in marketing his or her athletics skills at any point in the future. NCAA rules also prohibit student-athletes from receiving any type of benefit (including, but not limited to, meals, travel, loans and benefits to family members or friends) from sports agents or individuals affiliated with sports agents. Receipt of benefits from financial planner based on the student-athletes earning potential as a professional athlete are also prohibited by NCAA rules. Receipt of such impermissible benefits will likely result in a loss eligibility to participate in competition at an NCAA institution.
University of Houston policy and Texas law prohibits sports agents from contacting student-athletes with eligibility remaining without coordinating such contact through the Office of Athletics Compliance. If you, or a member of your family, are being contacted directly by a sports agent please contact the Office of Athletics Compliance.
Complimentary admissions to institutional athletics events: NCAA rules permit student-athletes to receive no more than four complimentary admissions to their sport's home and away contests. Student-athletes on teams participating in conference championships, NCAA Championships or post-season bowl games may receive up to six complimentary admissions to these events. These complimentary admissions are obtained by placing individuals names on a pass list created by the Athletics Tickets Office. Individuals receiving these complimentary admissions are required to present a photo-identification at the pass gate at the site of the contest. Student-athletes are prohibited by NCAA rules from selling their complimentary admissions or receiving any type of benefit for the use of these complimentary admissions.
Declared major requirement: All student-athletes that are enrolled in their fifth semester of full-time enrollment at any collegiate institution or beyond the fifth semester must have a declared major in order to be eligible for practice or competition even if the student-athlete is serving a transfer year is residence. Please consult with your team's assigned academic counselor to declare your major at the appropriate time.
Elements of an athletics scholarship: Athletics scholarships can be provided in various manners but are restricted by NCAA rules in the total value of a scholarship. A full athletics scholarship at any NCAA institution can cover no more than tuition and required fees, room, board and required books. Room and board can be provided by paying the actual cost of the student-athlete living in an on-campus housing facility and utilizing the dining facility or by providing student-athletes that live off-campus with room and board stipends to be utilized to cover their living expenses. Tuition and fees scholarships will typically pay the actual cost of these expenses unless a specific dollar amount is set in the student-athlete's scholarship agreement.
Headcount sports (Football, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Women's Tennis and Women's Volleyball) typically provide their scholarship student-athletes with full scholarships. Equivalency sports (Baseball, Men's Golf, Women's Soccer, Softball, Women's Swimming and Diving and Track and Field) typically provide their scholarship student-athletes with partial scholarships that are determined by the program's head coach.
Eligibility to travel to an away-from-home practice or competition: Only student-athletes that have been certified as eligible for competition may be provided travel expenses from the institution to travel to away-from-home practice or competition. Ineligible student-athletes that travel to an away-from-home contest at their own expense may be provided complimentary admissions to the contest but may not receive any transportation, meals or lodging upon their arrival at the locale of the contest.
Employment restrictions for student-athletes: NCAA rules do not prevent student-athletes from working during any point during the year. However, NCAA rules do require that student-athletes be paid only for work actually performed and that student-athletes be paid at a rate commensurate with the work being performed, their level of experience and amount of time committed to the work. Employers of student-athletes cannot provide transportation for student-athletes to and from work unless the employer provides transportation to all employees doing the same type of work as the student-athlete being transported. Also, employers of student-athletes may not utilize the student-athlete's name, picture or likeness in promoting their business or product. Any student-athlete that accepts pay for work not performed, excessive pay, impermissible transportation or permits his or her name, picture or likeness to be used to promote a business or product has put his or her eligibility at risk. If you have questions contact the Office of Athletics Compliance.
Extra-benefit restrictions: NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from receiving a benefit not available to all students enrolled at the institution or not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. An impermissible extra-benefit refers to any special arrangement by an institutional employee or representative of the institution's athletics interests (booster) to provide the student-athlete, his family or friends with a benefit. Examples of impermissible extra-benefits for student-athletes, their families and friends include, but are not limited to, the following:
Fee-for-lesson restrictions: NCAA rules permit student-athletes to receive compensation for teaching or coaching sports skills in his or her sport on a fee-for-lesson basis but only under the following circumstances:
Fees and expenses not covered by an athletics scholarship: Even student-athletes that are on full scholarship will likely have expenses related to their admission, enrollment, housing and meal plans at the University of Houston that are not covered by their athletics scholarships. Fees, such as admissions application fees, housing application fees and deposits, and parking permit fees, are not covered by an athletics scholarship and will be placed on a student-athlete's fee bill. It is the responsibility of each student-athlete to pay these fees not covered by his or her scholarship in order to maintain enrollment at the institution. Most importantly, parking tickets and fines are not covered by an athletics scholarship and must be paid by the student-athlete. If you have any questions regarding your fee bill please contact the Bursar's Office or the Office of Athletics Compliance.
Five-year period of eligibility: NCAA Division I eligibility rules require that a student-athlete complete his or her seasons of participation in athletics within five calendar years from the beginning of the term in which the student-athlete first registered as a full-time student at a collegiate institution and attended classes during that term. Exceptions are provided due to extraordinary cases, military service and pregnancy for female student-athletes in rare instances.
Full-time enrollment requirement: To be eligible to participate in practice or competition a student-athlete must be enrolled as a full-time student (no less than 12 credit hours). If at any point during a semester, a student-athlete drops below full-time enrollment the student-athlete will be declared ineligible for practice and competition until his or her enrollment is returned to full-time status. Student-athlete in their last semester prior to graduation need only be enrolled in the courses required to earn their degree to be eligible for practice or competition (even if it is less than 12 hours) but documentation of this status must be provided to the Office of Athletics Compliance.
Gambling/Sports Wagering Restrictions: NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes and athletics department staff members (including part-time employees, volunteer employees, student managers, student trainers and student workers of any type) from participating in gambling activities on amateur, intercollegiate or professional sports. Such prohibited activities include:
Participation in these impermissible gambling activities is a serious violation of NCAA rules and can result in a permanent loss of eligibility for student-athletes and possible suspension or termination of employment for athletics department staff members.
Hardship waivers: Hardship waivers (commonly referred to as "medical redshirts") may be granted to student-athletes that participate in limited amounts of competition during a season and suffer an incapacitating injury or illness that prevents the student-athlete from further participation in the sport during that season. In order to be granted a hardship waiver, student-athletes must have a documented incapacitating injury or illness and have participated in no more than two contests (or dates of competition) or twenty percent (whichever number is greater) of the sport's scheduled contests or dates of competition for the season in question. In addition, participation in any competition after the first half of the season will prevent a student-athlete from being granted a hardship waiver.
Health insurance: Any student wishing to participate in intercollegiate athletics at the University of Houston must provide information regarding a health insurance policy that covers the student in case of any injury or illness. The Sports Medicine staff will gather this information at the beginning of each academic year or when a student reports for participation with the team.
Institutional aid: NCAA rules require that institutional aid provided to scholarship student-athletes or those student-athletes that were recruited by the institution count toward a student-athlete's personal scholarship limits and the scholarships limits of each sports team except when certain exceptions. As result, student-athletes are required to report other forms of aid being provided by the institution at the start of each academic year and the Office of Athletics Compliance monitors the type of aid provided to each student-athlete throughout each academic year. Further, student-athletes that meet certain exceptions under NCAA rules may receive other forms of institutional aid that exceeds the value of a full grant in athletics aid, up to the actual cost of attendance. Please consult with the Office of Athletics Compliance to see if these exceptions apply to you.
NCAA Banned Substances List: Student-athlete that participate in intercollegiate athletics at the NCAA Division I level are subject to year-round and post-season drug-testing to determine if student-athletes are utilizing any substances on the NCAA Banned Substances List. Any student-athlete found to have excessive levels of any banned substances faces possible suspension from participation or the loss of all eligibility to participate. The NCAA Banned Substances List can be accessed by clicking here.
NCAA Special Assistance Funds Distributions: Each year the NCAA provides its institutions with funds to be distributed to student-athletes with unmet financial needs for specific purposes such as the purchasing of medical insurance, payment of medical expenses, travel to and from campus to the student-athlete's home and clothing items for the student-athlete (not to exceed $500 per student-athlete per year). Eligibility for the distributions of these funds is determined if the student-athlete receives a Pell Grant and the student-athlete is on an athletics scholarship or is a non-scholarship student-athlete that has participated in a sport at the University of Houston for at least one year. Student-athletes are required to submit receipts documenting the appropriate use of the funds in order to receive funds from any future distributions.
NCAA Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund Distributions: Each year the NCAA provides its institutions with funds to be distributed to any student-athletes with financial needs for purposes deemed appropriate by the institution. These funds are often used to pay fees or expenses for academic materials and/or supplies that are not covered by the student-athlete's athletics scholarships. These funds are also used to pay medical or insurance expenses for student-athletes that do not qualify for NCAA Special Assistance Funds. Please contact the Office of Athletics Compliance for more information.
Participation in outside competition during the academic year: NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from participating for an outside team in competition during the academic year unless such competition (in sports other than basketball) occurs during an official vacation period published in the institution's catalog. Basketball student-athletes cannot participate in any outside competition during the academic year and only certain competition during the summer. Exceptions exist to permit selected sports (women's soccer and women's volleyball at the University of Houston) to participate after May 1 of each year but prior written approval must be obtained and participation may only occur under certain circumstances. Please see the Office of Athletics Compliance for more information.
Participation in NCAA sanctioned summer leagues: Student-athletes in the sports of Baseball, Men's Basketball and Women's Basketball may participate in summer leagues that are sanctioned by the NCAA but only if prior written approval is granted and under restrictions related to the location of these leagues (basketball only) and the number of student-athletes that are participating on a particular summer league team. The Office of Athletics Compliance has developed specific forms for these sports so that student-athletes can easily reason prior written approval to participate in the sanctioned leagues. These forms and a list of sanctioned leagues can be received from the Office of Athletics Compliance.
Promotional activity restrictions: NCAA rules strictly prohibit a student-athlete from promoting or endorsing a business, commercial product or service and/or receiving any type of compensation for promoting or endorsing. This restriction includes but is not limited to the use of a student-athlete's name, photograph, likeness, spoken words or appearance in any type of promotion or advertise from a business, product or service.
Student-athletes may participate in promotions for institutional, charitable, educational or nonprofit organizations but only after receiving prior written approval and verification that the promotion will meet certain criteria set forth by the NCAA. Prior written approval must be received through the Office of Athletics Compliance. Failure to receive such approve could impact the student-athlete's eligibility to participate in intercollegiate competition.
Occasional meals: NCAA rules permit student-athletes to receive an occasional meal in the locale of the institution on infrequent and special occasions (no more than twice per year) from an institutional staff member. Student-athletes may receive an occasional family home meal from a representative of athletics interests on infrequent and special occasions (no more than twice per year) as long as the meal is provided in an individual's home (catering is permitted). Parents of student-athletes can provide occasional meals to team members of their child at any location.
Reasonable local transportation may be provided to student-athletes to attend such meals. However, only the representative that is providing the meal in his or her home may provide the transportation to the meal.
Outside Aid (scholarships): NCAA rules require that aid or scholarships from entities outside the institution be provided to all student-athletes through the institution's financial aid office. In addition some scholarships from outside entities or organizations may count toward team scholarship limits and the individual limits of student-athletes. As a result, student-athletes are required to report other forms of aid being provided to them at the start of each academic year and direct these entities that the aid must be disbursed to the student-athlete through the institution's financial aid office. Failure to report this information can negatively impact your team's scholarship totals and possibly affect your eligibility to participate in competition. Please contact the Office of Athletics Compliance if you need clarification on this issue.
Renewal/Reduction/Cancellation of Athletics Aid: Athletics aid is offered only on an annual basis. NCAA rules require that each year, prior to July 1, notices are sent to all scholarship student-athletes informing them if their athletics aid is going to be renewed, reduced or cancelled for the upcoming academic year. In the event that aid is reduced or cancelled, notification of an appeal opportunity with a committee of individuals outside of the athletics department to determine if the reduction or cancellation is appropriate will be provided.
Reduction or cancellation of athletics aid during the period of an award (mid-year or semester) is permissible but only under certain circumstances. The athletics department is well within its rights to cancel the aid of a student-athlete at any point during the period of the award if the student-athlete does any of the following: renders himself or herself ineligible for competition, fraudulently misrepresents any information on an application, letter of intent or financial aid agreement, engages is serious misconduct warranting a substantial disciplinary penalty or voluntarily withdraws from a sport (i.e., quits the team) for personal reasons. Student-athletes that have aid cancelled or reduced during the period of an award for any of the above reasons will also be provided an appeal opportunity.
To access the procedures for requesting and conducting such an appeal, click here.
Serving as a Student-Host for Prospects: Student-hosts are expected to assist prospects in experiencing life as a student-athlete by serving as a resource to the prospects on matters such as student and campus life, academic expectations, social opportunities within the community, athletics expectations, and familiarization of the Houston area. Student-hosts are chosen because for their demonstrated leadership, maturity and responsibility. Student-hosts are required to be knowledgeable of the University of Houston Official/Unofficial Visit Policy and to follow its restrictions. The policy can be accessed on this web page.
Statement of Financial Aid (Athletics): Prior to any student-athlete receiving any forms of athletics aid for a given academic year, the student-athlete must sign a Statement of Financial Aid. This statement will outline the aid that is being provided to the student-athlete and the terms and conditions in which the aid is being provided. The Office of Athletics Compliance keeps a copy of these signed statements on file. Additional copies are provided to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and the student-athlete.
Summer coursework at another institution, required prior approval: Student-athletes are permitted to take coursework at another institution to be used to meet NCAA eligibility requirements, however, per NCAA rules the student-athlete must receive prior written approval from their assigned academic counselor in the athletics department and on-campus academic advisor in order for the courses to be used to meet eligibility requirements. The Office of Athletics Compliance has developed a specific form that must be utilized to receive this prior written approval of summer coursework.
Please note that NCAA rules prohibit the use of any correspondence, extension or credit-by-exam courses from other institutions to be utilized in meeting eligibility requirements. In addition, institutional policy does not permit the institution to accept "D" grades as transferable credit. Please consult with your team's academic counselor or the Office of Athletics Compliance to determine that your chosen summer courses can be utilized to meet eligibility requirements.
Transfer restrictions and releases: NCAA rules require that any student-athlete that wishes to transfer from one four-year institution to another must sit out of a year of competition upon transferring. However, participants in sports other than Division I Men's and Women's Basketball and Football may qualify for a one-time transfer exception that will waive this restriction. In order to be granted a one-time transfer exception a student-athlete must have been eligible to return to their previous institution and be granted the exception by their previous institution. Any student-athlete that has previously transferred from one four-year institution to another four-year institution and then attempts to utilize the one-time transfer exception to transfer for a second transfer would not qualify for this exception.
Any student that wishes to transfer from a four-year institution to another must be granted permission to be contacted (commonly referred to as a "release") by another institution before discussing the possibility of transferring with any other NCAA school. Any student-athlete that is denied permission to be contacted or the one-time transfer exception will be provided an appeal opportunity to determine if any restriction related to their transfer or possible transfer is appropriate. Should you wish to explore transfer opportunities please discuss this with a member of your coaching staff, if you have questions regarding how NCAA transfer rules apply to you and your circumstances please contact the Office of Athletics Compliance.
To access the procedures for requesting and conducting such an appeal, click here.
Twenty hour per week countable activity restrictions: A student-athlete's participation in countable athletically related activities is limited to a maximum of four hours per day and twenty hours per week. This restriction does not apply during vacation periods or between academic terms. Activities during the day of competition shall be considered as three hours of activity. Student-athletes that participate in multiple sports are limited to four hours per day and twenty hours per week in all sports combined.
Countable athletically related activities include any required activity with an athletic purpose involving student-athletes and at the direction or supervision of one or more of the coaching staff (including strength and conditioning coaches). Administrative meetings (e.g., academic meeting, compliance meetings) are not considered countable athletically related activities, however meetings regarding team strategy, individual performance or the viewing of athletically related video shall count toward the 20-hour and 4-hour limits.
UH Official/Unofficial Visit Policy: The University of Houston is committed to providing prospective student-athletes with a positive recruiting experience that accurately reflects the manner in which our student-athletes traditionally live, socialize and interact with the community while enrolled as students at the institution. Like all NCAA Division I institutions we have developed a visit policy that reflects our commitment to this process being positive. The University of Houston Official/Unofficial Visit Policy can be accessed by clicking here.