The South Dakota State University Athletic Compliance Office strives to educate everyone about the importance of adhering to NCAA, conference and institutional rules. The following is a list of compliance concepts. As a student-athlete, your understanding of these concepts and commitment to following the rules will help protect your eligibility and maintain SDSU’s tradition of excellence.


A - Amateurism
Only amateur student-athletes are eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics. Student-athletes may lose their amateur status and eligibility by using their athletics skill for pay, competing on a professional team, entering into an oral or written agreement with an agent or professional team, or by promoting or endorsing a commercial product.

B - Boosters

Also known as Representatives of Athletics Interests. You are a booster if you are or have ever been a member of a booster organization that supports South Dakota State Athletics; have made any financial contributions to any area of the University; have made any annual or lifetime membership commitment to a booster organization; are or have ever been involved with the recruitment of a prospect; have provided or are providing benefits to an enrolled student-athlete or their relatives or friends; provided or helped arrange employment for student-athletes; are the parent of a student-athlete; are or have ever been a season ticket holder; or have otherwise been involved in promoting South Dakota State Athletics. Remember, once a booster, always a booster!

C - Complimentary Admissions

Student-athletes may receive complimentary admissions to home and away athletics events. Complimentary admissions must be provided through a pass list. “Hard tickets” may not be issued. It is impermissible for student-athletes or any individual receiving a complimentary admission to sell or exchange the admission for any item of value.

D - Degree Requirements

A student-athlete must maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for competition. This requires student-athletes to complete a minimum number of credit hours per quarter and per academic year as well as maintain a minimum grade-point average each term. Beginning with the student-athletes’ third year, they must also satisfy a percentage of degree requirements annually.

E - Exhausted Eligibility

In Division I, a student-athlete has five years from his or her initial full-time enrollment at any institution to compete in up to four seasons of intercollegiate competition. After the student-athlete has used all of his or her seasons of competition eligibility, the student-athlete has exhausted his or her eligibility.

F - Financial Aid

A student-athlete may receive institutionally administered financial aid, such as an athletics grant-in-aid or academic scholarship. Financial aid cannot exceed the value of the cost of attendance at South Dakota State.

G - Gambling

In any sport sponsored by the NCAA, student-athletes, coaches, and Department of Athletics staff are prohibited from soliciting or accepting bets on intercollegiate or professional athletics contests. This includes wagers for money or any other tangible item of value. Also, it is impermissible to provide information to individuals involved in organized gambling activities concerning intercollegiate athletics.

H - Honesty and Sportsmanship

All Department of Athletics coaches, staff and student-athletes must act with honesty and sportsmanship at all times so as to uphold the integrity of our athletics program. This includes an obligation to report any potential violations of NCAA, conference or institutional rules to the Athletic Compliance Office. Failure to act ethically may result in a loss of eligibility or other sanctions from the NCAA or South Dakota State.

I - Initial Eligibility

All prospective student-athletes who want to participate in intercollegiate competition as freshmen must register with the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse evaluates prospective student-athletes’ academic records, including core courses, grade-point average, and standardized test scores, to determine eligibility for competition, practice and athletic aid during the freshman year.

J - Jobs

Student-athletes are permitted to work during the academic year and the summer, provided they are compensated at the going rate for work actually performed; they do not receive any benefits that are not available to all other employees in a similar position; and they register the job with the Athletic Compliance Office before they begin to work.

K - Know the rules!

Your commitment to understanding the importance of adhering to NCAA, conference and institutional rules will help you protect your eligibility and maintain our tradition of excellence and integrity. Got questions? Ask compliance.

L - Letter of Intent

The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is a binding agreement between a prospect and the institution. An NLI must be accompanied by a written offer of athletics aid for the entire academic year. All colleges and universities that participate in the NLI program agree not recruit a prospect who has signed an NLI with another institution.

M - Meals, Occasional

A booster may provide a student-athlete or an entire team with an occasional home meal. Occasional constitutes no more than four times per academic year. Occasional meals must be held in the home of the booster, not at any other location, but may be catered. The Athletic Compliance Office must approve all occasional meals in advance.

N - Nonqualifier

A nonqualifier is a prospect who did not meet the minimum core course, grade point average and standardized test score requirements established by the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse. As a nonqualifier, the prospect may not practice, compete or receive athletics aid during his or her first academic year in residence.

O - Outside Competition
During the academic year, student-athletes may not compete for a team that does not represent South Dakota State’s athletics program without jeopardizing their eligibility. However, student-athletes may compete for an Olympic or national team during the academic year.

P - Playing and Practice Seasons

In the interest of student-athlete welfare and competitive equity, the NCAA has established daily and weekly limits on athletics participation. For the length of a team’s playing season, student-athletes may not be required to participate in athletically related activity for more than four hours a day and 20 hours a week. Student-athletes must receive at least one day off each week. Outside of the playing season, student-athletes are limited to eight required hours of weight training, conditioning and skill instruction per week, with a minimum of two days off each week.

Q - Qualifier

A qualifier is a prospect who met the minimum core course, grade-point average and standardized test score requirements established by the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse. A qualifier is eligible to practice and compete during his or her first academic year in residence and may receive athletics aid.

R - Recruiting

Coaches will correspond with, evaluate, telephone and contact prospects to recruit them to South Dakota State. The NCAA regulates coaches’ recruiting activities. Coaches must pass a written recruiting exam prior to participating in recruiting activities and must follow all NCAA rules during the recruiting process.

S - Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

A Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is a committee made up of student-athlete representatives from each sport. A few purposes of the SAAC may be organizing community service efforts, generating a student-athlete voice within the Athletic Department and soliciting student-athlete response to proposed NCAA legislation.

T - Transfers

A transfer student is one who comes to South Dakota State after being enrolled full-time at another college or university. The transfer student’s current institution must give permission for South Dakota State to contact the student. Once permission has been granted, the student becomes a prospect. Upon transferring to South Dakota State, the student may have to spend an academic year in residence (see definition below) before becoming eligible for competition.

U - Unethical Conduct

Unethical conduct by a prospective or enrolled student-athlete or a current or former institutional staff member (e.g., coach, professor, tutor, teaching assistant, student manager, student trainer) may include, but is not limited to, the refusal to furnish information regarding a possible NCAA violation, knowingly furnishing false information to the NCAA or institution regarding a possible violation, knowing involvement in providing extra benefits to a current or prospective student-athlete, or knowing involvement in academic fraud for a current or prospective student-athlete. Unethical conduct may result in a loss of eligibility for the prospect or student-athlete and disciplinary or corrective action for the institutional staff member.

V - Visits

Prospects may make unofficial or official visits to campus. Unofficial visits are unlimited and may occur as early as the prospect’s freshman year of high school. A prospect may receive up to three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest, but is responsible for all other expenses related to an unofficial visit. Prospects are permitted to make a total of five official visits during their senior year of high school, but no more than one to a particular institution. During an official visit, the institution may pay the for the prospect’s transportation to and from campus, room and meals for the prospect and his or her parents and reasonable entertainment expenses including a maximum of three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest.

W - Waivers

South Dakota State may request a waiver of the application of NCAA, or Big Ten rules for special circumstances, such as to allow a student-athlete who suffered an incapacitating injury or illness to regain eligibility.

X - Extra Benefits

An extra benefit is any special arrangement by a South Dakota State University employee or booster to provide a prospect or a student-athlete or their relatives or friends a benefit not expressly authorized by the NCAA. Examples of extra benefits include, but are not limited to: cash or any type of gift; loans or the cosigning of loans; a vehicle or the use of a vehicle; payment for or arrangement of transportation costs; free or reduced cost goods or services; free or reduced cost housing; or concert or sporting event tickets.

Y - Year in Residence

Before a transfer student is permitted to compete at South Dakota State, that student must spend one academic year enrolled full-time at South Dakota State. Certain circumstances, such as the one-time transfer exception, may allow the year in residence requirement to be waived.

Z - Zzzzzz... Don’t doze off! Pay attention to the rules!

Compliance is a shared responsibility. By learning these important compliance concepts and understanding NCAA, conference and institutional rules, you can protect your eligibility and help maintain the integrity of South Dakota State Athletics.

The above information provides a brief overview of compliance concepts. It is not an exhaustive discussion. If you have any questions about any NCAA, conference or institutional rules, please contact the Athletic Compliance Office at (605) 688-5308 or via email at: