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Case Study: Amateur Reinstatement. By NAIA

TITLE: Case-Study: Amateur Reinstatement

With our spring sports getting into full swing we thought it would be a good time to address amateur reinstatement. This is the process that schools and students can use to gain back an athlete’s amateur status once it has been lost. We see this primarily in baseball, golf, and tennis but it is available for all sports. We have talked a lot about amateurism in the past and those briefs can be found below.

  • This short brief touches on what acts are permitted by our amateur bylaws.
  • This second brief is from last spring and approaches what other types of roles students could have on campus or otherwise without jeopardizing their amateur status.
  • This brief also comes from last spring and discusses what student can and cannot do with respect to their amateurism.
  • Lastly, this brief is from the summer of 2016 and briefly touches on reinstatement. In today’s brief we will go more in depth in regards to this unique bylaw.

The amateur reinstatement process is outlined below. Essentially a student will be charged a season of competition for every year that they violated NAIA amateur rules and will have to serve residency at the school in which they wish to compete for one academic year prior to petitioning for reinstatement. As a reminder, residency means that the student must be identified (enrolled in 12 or more institutional credits) for two semester or the equivalent. In addition, a student’s PSAY (post-secondary amateur year) will NOT situations where a student has violated their amateurism, hence the name, post-secondary AMATEUR year.

Bylaw: Article VII, Section E.

A student who has lost amateur status in a sport shall have amateur standing reinstated in that sport upon satisfying the following conditions:

  1. Ceasing to participate in violation of NAIA amateur-standing regulations;
  2. Being charged a season of competition in that sport for every competition season in which the student competed in any manner as a professional or in which the student was in violation of the NAIA amateur code;
  3. Fulfilling two consecutive semesters/three consecutive quarters (or the equivalent) of attendance at the NAIA institution at which the student wishes to participate prior to being allowed to represent the institution in that sport in any manner in intercollegiate athletics; and
  4. Having appropriate verification regarding satisfaction of these criteria submitted to the NAIA National Coordinating Committee for review and final dispensation.

Case Studies 

*Assume all schools are NAIA institutions unless otherwise noted. Also, assume that the facts provided are all the facts you need to make a decision. 

Scenario 1: 

Sal was drafted by the Royals after his high school graduation in 2017 and signed his rookie deal with the Royals on July 1, 2017. Sal did not play for the Royals due to an injury and was released by the Royals on July 15, 2018. If Sal wants to pursue amateur reinstatement, how many seasons would he be charged for violating the NAIA amateur rules? He violated his amateurism by signing a professional contract.

Answer 1: 

Sal would be charged two seasons of competition. He would be charged two seasons because he was under contract for more than 12 months. Remember that it doesn’t matter how many seasons he played, but it matters how long he violated the NAIA amateur rules. Here he was under contract for over 12 months thus triggering two seasons of competition. Remember that the PSAY does not cover violations of our amateurism rules. 

Scenario 2:

Whit played his freshman baseball season at a junior college in Kansas. Whit was drafted by the Royals following his freshman season but did not sign a professional contract with the Royals. Whit is now transferring to Omaha College and wants to compete in baseball. Would Whit have to have his amateurism reinstated?

Answer 2: 

NO! The mere act of being drafted does not, in and of itself, mean that Whit violated our amateurism rules. In this scenario, Whit did not sign a contract and thus did not play for the Royals and would not have violated his amateurism requiring reinstatement.

Scenario 3:  

Oscar was a professional golfer from July 1, 2017, through May 1, 2018. In the fall of 2018 he enrolled at Missouri River College (MRC) and was identified for the fall semester and spring semester. He intended to serve residency at MRC and then petition for reinstatement. However following the spring 2018 semester he transferred from Missouri River College to Ozark Mountain University for the fall of 2019. Can Ozark Mountain University file for his amateurism reinstatement even though he has not been identified at Ozark Mountain University?

Answer 3:

Yes. Oscar intended to compete after being reinstated at MRC. The bylaw only requires that the student be identified where he/she/they intend to compete after reinstatement, it does not require that the student actually compete at that institution. When OMU files for reinstatement they would be wise to include the reasons for transfer to make sure that the NCC understands the situation.

Scenario 4:

Taryn competed for two seasons in tennis at a junior college in Arizona. Following her second season, she decided to pursue a professional career in her native Sweden. Taryn played in a professional event on August 1-3, 2017, and another event on September 13-15, 2018. These were the only professional events she competed in and she won a small purse in both tournaments. If Taryn identified at an NAIA institution and wanted to pursue reinstatement, could she?

Answer 4:

No. Taryn would be charged for her two seasons in junior college and two seasons for the two professional tournaments she competed in. The professional events were in two separate 12 month windows and thus she would be charged two seasons for violating the NAIA amateur rules. This means that Taryn would not have any seasons of competition left to compete and a reinstatement proceedings would be fruitless.

Scenario 5:

Marc was drafted by the Yankees right out of high school and competed for three seasons. Marc now wants to go to Valley University and compete on the football team. Would Marc have to be reinstated before playing football?

Answer 5:

NO! Amateurism is sport specific so Marc would not have to be reinstated in baseball prior to competing in football. Marc could even continue to play professional baseball while being an NAIA football athlete.

McCormack, Leah. “Case Study: Amateur Reinstatement.” NAIA, 11 Feb. 2019, www.naia.org/legislative/2018-19/releases/20190211wwgws.

Athletes sometimes tend to believe that because they had the opportunity to play professionally, they would not be ineligible or unable to participate as an athlete in any institution, college or university.