Prospective Student-Athletes

Who is a Recruitable Prospective Student-Athlete?

  • A prospective student-athlete (prospect) is a student who has started classes for the ninth grade.
  • A contactable prospect:  Any in-person, off campus recruiting contact shall not be made with a prospect or the prospect's relatives or legal guardian(s) until the prospect has completed his/her junior year of high school
  • Four Year College Prospect:  Contact in any manner by an athletic staff member or any other representative of the institution's athletics interest cannot be made with the student-athlete of another four-year college institution, directly or indirectly, without first obtaining written permission to do so, regardless of who makes the initial contact.
    • Exception:  A member institution may contact a student-athlete who has withdrawn officially from a four-year collegiate institution.


  • Unofficial Visits:  A prospect may visit a member institution's campus at his or her own expense an unlimited number of times.  A prospect may make unofficial visits before his or her senior year in high school
  • Tryouts:  A member institution, on its campus or elsewhere, shall NOT conduct (or have conducted on its behalf) any physical activity (e.g., practice session or test/tryout) at which one or more prospects reveal, demonstrate or display their athletics abilities in any sport.
  • Letter of Intent:  An institution shall not utilize any form of a letter of intent or similar form of commitment in the recruitment of a prospect.  However, it shall be permissible for the institution to utilize in the recruitment of a prospect its pre-enrollment forms executed by prospective students in general at the institution.



The NCAA says you have 5 years (or 10 semesters) of full-time collegiate enrollment in which you are eligible for competition.

The NCAA also says that you must remain in good academic standing and be enrolled at least full-time (3 credits) in course hours applying toward your degree. Exception:  a student-athlete in their final semester prior to graduation may be enrolled less than full-time IF those hours are required to complete their undergraduate degree.

A student-athlete is considered to have used a semester (one of the 10 allowed) under this rule when the student attends any class while officially registered, even if the student-athlete drops to part-time status at any time during the term, including his or her first day of attendance.

A student-athlete is considered to have used a season of eligibility (one of the four allowed) when he or she practices with the team after the team's first contest, regardless of whether or not they participated in that contest. 


For a transfer student to be immediately eligible, the following must apply:

  • If the student-athlete transfers from a four-year college and would have been academically and athletically eligible had he or she remained at that institution.
  • If the student-athlete has not previously practiced or competed at another institution.
  • If a student-athlete transfers from a four-year college to a two-year college and then to Willamette University, the student-athlete is eligible provided the student either would have been academically AND athletically eligible had he or she remained at the four-year college, OR he or she has successfully completed at least 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of transferable degree credit and spent at least two semesters or three quarters of attendance at the two-year college.

Benefits and Boosters

Receipt by a student-athlete of an award, benefit or expense allowance not authorized by NCAA legislation renders the student-athlete ineligible to compete while representing the institution in the sport for which the improper award, benefit or expense was received.  If the student-athlete receives an extra benefit not authorized by NCAA legislation or an improper award or expense allowance in conjunction with competition that involves the use of overall athletics skill (e.g., "superstars " competition), the individual is ineligible in all sports.

An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or athletics representative to provide a student-athlete (or his or her relatives, guardian or friends) a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.

Never accept any of the following from a booster or representative of Willamette University's athletic interests:

  • Cash or loans in any amount
  • Co-signing or arranging a loan
  • Gifts or free services (e.g., airline tickets, cash, restaurant meals, massages)
  • Use of an automobile
  • Rent-free or reduced cost housing
  • Money for, or guarantee of, bail or bond
  • Employment at a higher rate of pay than the wages paid to a non-athlete for similar work
  • Payment for work not performed
  • Invitations to the home of a booster or representative of athletic interests for purposes other than an occasional meal
  • Transportation (aside from transportation related to an occasional home meal)
  • Tickets to an athletics, institutional or community event
  • Financial aid for prost-graduate education
  • Promise of employment after college graduation