Compliance Question of the Week

For the week of: February 15, 2010

I'm recruiting a transfer student-athlete who is planning on skipping a semester (or quarter) of school. Are they going to have eligibility problems?

Not necessarily. Transfer student-athletes need to meet two broad categories of eligibility requirements: they need to be eligible at their previous institution, and they need to meet transfer exception requirements (i.e. transferable units) if they want to play immediately at LMU.

Missing a term most directly hurts being eligible at the previous institution because it becomes very difficult to meet the 18-unit rule. Unless the student-athlete completes 18 units in one semester that academic year, they would normally not be eligible.

However, relief is provided by Bylaw, the Missed Term exception. Under the missed term exception, a student-athlete can be given nine phantom units one time during their career, provided the student-athlete meets two conditions:
  • The student-athlete engages in no outside competition in their sport during the year or term they were not in attendance; and
  • The student-athlete meets all degree progress requirements for the terms they have been enrolled full-time.
Sally is a women's soccer student-athlete at Pepperdine. Sally enrolls in the fall 2008, and completes 15 units per semester in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, and Fall 2009. Plus, Sally attends summer school during Summer 2009 and completes six units for a total of 54 units. Sally competes in 2008-2009 & 2009-2010, but decides to transfer after the Fall 2009 semester and leaves Pepperdine. Sally does not transfer immediately, but spends Spring 2010 at home looking for a new school.

Sally will be eligible using the missed-term exception. Sally meets all degree progress requirements except the 18-unit rule for the 2009-10 academic year. But Sally can use the nine phantom units to meet the requirement. Sally already meets degree progress (40%) at Pepperdine, but if she didn't or needs to meet another requirement (transferrable units, for example), she could attend another institution (junior college most likely) part time during the term she misses and still use the nine phantom units if she needs them.


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