January 10, 2011

Learning from Hobart, Get Eligible Now

by Nelson Coffin | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Preempt eligibilty issues by familiarizing yourself with the NCAA Eligibility Center at

© Greg Wall

Sanctions imposed last week by the NCAA on the Hobart men's lacrosse team -- including a one-year ban from postseason play -- have raised questions regarding player eligibilty. The Statesmen reportedly failed to get first-year players cleared through the NCAA Eligibility Center, with that and other violations dating back to 1994-95.

"As a result, all student-athletes who competed in that time frame were ineligible to do so," the NCAA reported Thursday

The following article on NCAA eligibilty appears in the January issue of Lacrosse Magazine as part of its "Recruiting U" series, which aims to educate propsects and parents on the recruiting process -- and sometimes, its pitfalls.


High school players aspiring to a collegiate lacrosse career should stop dreaming about the process and begin to form a plan — now.

That’s the advice given by the NCAA, an organization that knows a thing or two about the best way to hook up with the program that best suits a prospective recruit’s needs. The best place to start is with the NCAA Eligibility Center, which has a website chock full of the information needed to figure out the best way to become a student-athlete at dear old State U.

The site ( includes guidelines on a wide range of subjects, from how to determine initial eligibility to addressing needs of students with disabilities. Other topics include the National Letter of Intent, home schooling, transfer protocol and maintaining amateurism. The site also includes free downloads of guides for college-bound student-athletes.

Simply put, it’s a gold mine of a source, and one with which all prospective recruits should become familiar.

The center’s staff members also are a major part of the process, in that they work with coaches, high school administrators and college compliance personnel to ensure all the data supplied by the recruit is accurate.

According to Kala Andrews, assistant director of compliance at Ohio State, certification of academic and amateurism information by the NCAA Eligibility Center’s staff is a required step for all Division I and Division II recruits.

Curious about the process for Division III schools? If that’s your path, the NCAA recommends contacting each prospective college for its requirements.


1. Complete 16 core courses for NCAA Division I and 14 for NCAA Division II. Be sure that includes: four years of English, three years of math (Algebra I and above), two years of natural/physical science, another year of any of the above three courses, two years of social science, and four years of either a non-doctrinal religion/philosophy, a foreign language or any of the above courses.

2. Take the SAT or ACT and have scores reported directly to the NCAA Eligibility Center by using the code 9999 on the test form.

3. Keep your grades as high as possible. A sliding scale — based on a ratio between test scores and grades earned — determines minimum eligibility standards for Division I applicants only. Obviously, the best of both worlds is to maintain good grades and score well on tests to turn your recruiting road into a super highway.

4. Submit the amateurism questionnaire through the NCAA Eligibility Center website. Final amateurism certification is required before a student-athlete is allowed to enroll in an NCAA institution.

5. Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and be prepared to spend up to an hour supplying your educational and athletic background for evaluation. Save yourself some time by gathering all this info first.


Each year of high school demands different requirements when it comes to eligibility to play NCAA Division I or II sports, so here are some important factors for high school student-athletes from Ohio State assistant director of compliance Kala Andrews:

Freshmen and Sophomores

Think of it as the first steps of a new and rewarding phase in your life. Access and print your high school’s list of NCAA courses at and formulate a plan to complete required courses.


Work in conjunction with your high school counselor to submit transcripts to the NCAA Eligibility Center after 11th grade is completed. Transcripts from all high schools attended are required. Do not simply fax any of the above information.


Request final amateurism certification by April 1 for those entering college in the fall semester or by Oct. 1 for spring enrollees. Sign your National Letter of Intent either during the early-signing week in November or the regular-signing period that begins April 13. Obviously, it’s imperative to graduate on time (in eight semesters) in order to avoid delaying the acceptance process. The final step is to send proof of graduation and final transcripts to the NCAA Eligibility Center.

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