Question: If a football student-athlete only passes 6 semester/quarter units during the fall term but ultimately completes 18 semester units and meets % toward degree requirements prior to the start of the next academic year, he will be eligible for a team’s bowl game and following season, correct?
Answer: The NCAA actually has different eligibility standards for postseason bowl eligibility and eligibility for the following season as it relates to the sport of football. See below:
In order to gain eligibility for a postseason event that occurs during a vacation period between terms (think bowl games, conference tournaments or NCAA championships), a student-athlete merely needs to pass six units as well as meet the minimum gpa standards in order to participate in the contest.
22.214.171.124.2 Eligibility for Postseason Competition — Between Terms. To be eligible to compete in a postseason event (e.g., conference tournament, bowl game, National Invitation Tournament, NCAA championship) that occurs between regular terms (including summer) a student-athlete shall have satisfactorily completed six semester or six quarter hours of academic credit during the preceding regular academic term of full-time enrollment (see Bylaw 126.96.36.199).
However, in order to gain eligibility for the first four games of the following football season, a football student-athlete needs to complete 9 semester or 8 quarter units during the fall term. Otherwise, the student-athlete is flagged as being ineligible for the first four games of following season, with the opportunity to regain eligibility for those contests with academic performance during the remainder of the academic year.
188.8.131.52.6 Additional Requirements — Football. [FBS/FCS] In football, a student-athlete who is a member of the institution’s football team and who does not successfully complete at least nine-semester hours or eight-quarter hours of academic credit during the fall term or does not earn the Academic Progress Rate eligibility point for the fall term (or does not successfully complete either requirement) shall not be eligible to compete in the first four contests against outside competition in the following playing season. (Adopted: 4/28/11 effective 8/1/11, Revised: 5/28/13)