Clarification from the NCAA regarding professional teams

The ITA has recently received clarification from the NCAA regarding the application of Bylaw 12.2.3.2 and the new proposals related to the definition of and participation on a professional team [01-96 and 01-97]. Please note that these bylaws/proposals are association-wide, not specific to tennis and were not proposed by the ITA. To follow are the main points of this clarification:  

         In regard to currently enrolled student-athletes, institutions should have already been certifying their eligibility based on the old rule and do not need to go back and recertify those student-athletes. If there are some new cases that arise involving a currently enrolled student-athlete, the eligibility would have to be certified based on the rule that was in existence at the time the student-athlete competed on the team. Keep in mind that the "knew or had reason to know" standard, although somewhat subjective, was always interpreted very narrowly, particularly if the student-athlete knew that any of the four conditions set forth in 12.02.4 were occurring.

         Also, the analysis of a professional team under 01-96 should be done on a team-by-team basis. It no longer is a problem if the team is in a league that promotes itself as a professional league if the team itself either does not pay any of its players in excess of actual and necessary expenses [as defined in the legislation] or does not declare or market itself as a professional team.

July 22, 2002