DI board approves one-year exemption from football scholarship limits


The Division I board this week approved a one-year waiver of the annual signing limit and initial football scholarship limits to allow schools to replace up to seven leaving scholarship student-athletes. school after the first term.

Both the Football Bowl and Football Championship subdivisions have approved the waiver.

Council members recognized that the solution was temporary but necessary; a more permanent solution will be considered in the coming months.

The waiver addresses concerns about the potentially high number of varsity athletes transferred after all student-athletes have had the opportunity to compete immediately after their first transfer. It will apply at the end of the first term (students who leave no earlier than the last day of the school’s fall term or December 15, 2021, which is the first day of the first period of signing the letter d national intention).

The waiver was recommended by the Football Oversight Committee, chaired by Sandy Barbour, athletic director at Penn State.

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“We believe schools should have temporary flexibility to help cope with possible staff exhaustion due to
transfers, ”said Barbour.“ This one-year waiver allows schools to properly use the limitations of their scholarships. “

The waiver takes effect immediately for the 2022-2023 academic year only. The overall scholarship limit remains at 85 for the FBS and the FCS. And, in the FCS, the limit of 63 scholarship equivalences also remains in place.


The Council adopted several pieces of legislation delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • The rule requiring graduate football assistants to graduate or exhaust their eligibility within seven years has been adjusted to exempt time spent as a professional football player.
  • In women’s volleyball, individuals who started classes in grade seven or higher are considered potential student-athletes for the purposes of trials, camps and clinics legislation.
  • The legislation on academic misconduct has been clarified and reorganized.

Additionally, members have extended emergency legislation passed for FBS basketball and football in August 2020 to all sports. The legislation addresses the following, many of which are already permitted by Division I rules:

  • Computers, scientific equipment, musical instruments and other tangible items not included in the calculation of tuition fees but related to the pursuit of university studies.
  • Post-eligibility scholarships to earn undergraduate or graduate degrees at any school.
  • Scholarships for attending a vocational school.
  • Tutoring.
  • Expenses related to study abroad that are not included in the calculation of tuition fees.
  • Paid post-eligibility internships.

Schools and conferences may also offer an academic or graduation award or incentive worth up to the maximum value of the awards that an individual student-athlete could receive during an academic year in terms of participation, championship or special (combined) rewards.

The limit on academic incentive payments reflects an order made by the United States District Court order setting the annual maximum at $ 5,980. The injunction authorizes these benefits but does not oblige schools to offer them. The injunction also allows a conference to set its own limit if it chooses to do so.

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The Board also received updates on the Gender Equity Review, including decisions from last week regarding the March Madness brand and the potential of Final Four combined. The second phase of the gender equity review will look at sports other than basketball.

Several Board members, including West Virginia Board Chairman and Athletic Director Shane Lyons, serve on the Constitution Committee, and these members provided their colleagues with an update on the work of this group, including the results of the member survey available online.

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