For those interested in reading about how an institution can assist a student-athlete with a professional tryout should they be unable to cover their expenses, the NCAA recently clarified the restrictions that are applicable to the Student Assistance Fund and student-athletes that exhaust their eligibility. Specifically, we know that the SAF cannot be used for support athletics development opportunities for current student-athletes. However, after much discussion, the NCAA clarified that the SAF can be used to assist a student-athlete who has recently exhausted eligibility as they pursue a professional athletics tryout. You can read below about a specific example of how this would apply.
WNBA/ProHoops Combine Expenses
The Women’s National Basketball Association ProHoops combine is occurring in Dallas, Texas Saturday, April 1, 2017. Per the adoption of NCAA Division I Proposal No. 2016-106, institutions and conferences may use the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) to cover actual and necessary expenses related to taking part in the professional tryout event(s) pursuant to any additional conference office requirements or approvals.
Proposal No. 2016-106 was adopted by the NCAA Division I Council, at its October 2016 meeting, as noncontroversial legislation with an immediate effective date and specifies the restriction on using SAF for athletics development activities only applies to current student-athletes with remaining eligibility. The modification was intended to support former student-athletes’ participation in celebratory events (e.g., all-star games) and professional tryout opportunities after they have exhausted collegiate eligibility. This concept was supported unanimously by the CCACA and CCA.