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Compliance

INFORMATION FOR CURRENT STUDENT-ATHLETES

As a University of South Carolina student-athlete, you must be mindful of many NCAA, SEC and USC rules and regulations that could affect you. The purpose of this Web site is to help you better understand these rules. If you have any questions, please contact the Compliance Office.

Amateurism

Only an amateur student-athlete is eligible for intercollegiate athletics participation in a particular sport (NCAA Bylaw 12.01.1).

An individual loses amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the individual (NCAA Bylaw 12.1.2):

  • uses his or her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport;
  • accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics participation;
  • signs a contract or commitment of any kind to play professional athletics, regardless of its legal enforceability or any consideration received;
  • receives, directly or indirectly, a salary, reimbursement of expenses or any other form of financial assistance from a professional sports organization based upon athletics skill or participation, except as permitted by NCAA rules and regulations;
  • competes on any professional athletics team (per Bylaw 12.02.4), even if no pay or remuneration for expenses was received;
  • subsequent to initial full-time collegiate enrollment, enters into a professional draft (see also Bylaw 12.2.4.2.1)

Employment

Student-Athlete Employment

Student-athletes wishing to seek employment during the academic year or during the summer must complete the Student-Athlete Employment Form prior to beginning employment. Please complete the form and return it to the Compliance Office.

  • Employers must receive prior approval before hiring any student-athletes.
  • The student-athlete may only be compensated for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality for similar services.
  • The student-athlete may not be hired based on his or her athletics ability.
  • The student-athlete's name, picture, or likeness cannot be used to advertise, recommend or promote the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind.
  • Transportation may not be provided to student-athletes unless the same benefit is provided to all other employees.
Fee for Lesson Employment

Please complete the Fee For Lesson Form following lessons and return to the Compliance Office.

  • institutional facilities are not used;
  • simply "playing" against the student-athlete is not permitted (e.g., playing lessons);
  • the student-athletes receives prior approval from the Compliance Office;
  • the student-athlete keeps on file documentation of the recipient of the lesson(s) and the fee charged for the lesson(s) provided during any time of the year; and
  • compensation is paid by the lesson recipient (or the recipient's family) and not another individual or entity.
Camp/Clinic Employment

Student-athletes may be employed as counselors in camps or clinics and there is no limit on the number of student-athletes in any one sport who may be employed in an institutional or non-institutional (privately owned) camp or clinic provided:

  • the student-athlete(s) does not participate in organized practice activities other than during the institution's playing season in that sport, and
  • prior written approval of the student-athlete's employment arrangement is received from the Director of Athletics.
Student-athletes employed at a sports camp must perform duties that are of a general supervisory character in addition to any coaching or officiating assignments.

Student-athletes' compensation must be comparable to the going rate to all camp counselors of similar ability and experience.

A student-athlete who only lectures or demonstrates at a camp/clinic may not receive compensation for his or her appearance at the camp/clinic.

Transportation to and/or from camp/clinic may not be provided, unless it is provided to all employees.

Eligibility

Continuing Eligibility

To be eligible for competition, a student-athlete must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 (twelve) credit hours during each semester.

  • Exception: A student-athlete may compete while enrolled in less than 12 (twelve) credit hours during a semester, provided the student is enrolled in the final semester of the baccalaureate program and that USC certifies that the student is carrying (for credit) the courses necessary to complete degree requirements.
In order to maintain eligibility at the University of South Carolina, you must meet the following continuing eligibility requirements:

Credit Hour Requirements:

  • Student-athletes must complete a minimum of 6 credit hours each semester (fall and spring);
  • Student-athletes must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours for the fall and spring semesters combined; and
  • Student-athletes entering their 2nd year of collegiate enrollment must have completed 24 semester hours (during the initial fall, spring and summer terms)
Grade Point Average:
  • Student-athletes entering their 2nd year of collegiate enrollment must maintain an accumulative GPA of 1.800;
  • Student-athletes entering their 3rd year of collegiate enrollment must maintain an accumulative GPA of 1.900; and
  • Student-athletes entering their 4th year of collegiate enrollment and beyond must maintain an accumulative GPA of 2.000.
Progress Toward Degree:
  • Student-athletes must declare a major by the beginning of their 3rd year of collegiate enrollment.
  • Student-athletes entering the 3rd year of collegiate enrollment must have completed 40% of the specific degree requirements;
  • Student-athletes entering the 4th year of collegiate enrollment must have completed 60% of the specific degree requirements; and
  • Student-athletes entering the 5th year of collegiate enrollment must have completed 80% of the specific degree requirements.
Extra Benefits

NCAA rules prohibit a student-athlete from receiving an "extra benefit" from an institutional employee or a representative of USC's athletics interest (booster).

Extra Benefit: Any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a booster to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete's relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by the NCAA legislation. Receipt of a benefit by a student-athlete or their relatives or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation if it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the institution's students or their relatives or friends or to a particular segment of the student body (e.g., foreign student, minority student) as determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability. A student-athlete may not receive a special discount, payment arrangement or credit on a purchase (e.g., airline tickets, clothing) or a service (e.g., laundry, dry cleaning) from an institutional employee or a representative of its athletics interests. A student-athlete may not accept athletics equipment, supplies or clothing (e.g., tennis racquets, golf clubs, balls, shirts) from a manufacturer or commercial business.

Academic and Other Support Services

Member institutions shall make available general academic counseling and tutoring services to all student-athletes. Such counseling and tutoring services may be provided by the Department of Athletics or through the institution's nonathletics student services. In addition, an institution may finance other academic and support services that the institution, at its discretion, determines to be appropriate and necessary for the academic success of its student-athletes (NCAA bylaw 16.3).

An institution may provide the following support services:

  • Use of institutionally-owned computers and typewriters on a check-out and retrieval basis; however, typing/word processing/editing services or costs may not be provided, even if typed reports and other papers are a requirement of a course in which a student-athlete is enrolled;
  • Use of copy machines, fax machines and the Internet, including any related long-distance charges, provided the use is for purposes related to the completion of required academic coursework;
  • Course supplies (e.g., calculators, art supplies, computer disks, subscriptions), provided such course supplies are required of all students in the course and specified in the institution's catalog or course syllabus;
  • Cost of a field trip, provided the field trip is required of all students in the course and the fee for such trips is specified in the institution's catalog; and
  • Nonelectronic day planners.
Free or Reduced-Cost Services

An athletics representative may not provide a student-athlete with professional services (for which a fee normally would be charged) without charge or at a reduced cost. Professional services provided at less than the normal rate or at no expense to a student-athlete are considered an extra benefit unless they are available on the same basis to the general student body.

Telephone and Credit Cards

It is not permissible to allow a student-athlete to use a telephone or calling card for personal reasons without charge or at a reduced cost.

Entertainment Services

A student-athlete may not receive services (e.g., movie tickets, dinner, use of car) from commercial agencies (e.g., movie theater, restaurant, car dealer) without charge or at reduced rate, or free or reduced-cost admission to professional athletics contests from a professional sports organization, unless such services are also available to the student body in general.

Other Prohibited Benefits

An institutional employee or representative of the institution's athletics interest (booster) may not provide a student-athlete with benefits or services, including, but not limited to:

  • a loan of money;
  • a guarantee of bond;
  • an automobile or the use of an automobile;
  • transportation (e.g., ride home with a coach);
  • signing or cosigning a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan.
Financial Aid

Eligibility for Institutional Financial Aid

A student-athlete must meet applicable NCAA, SEC and USC regulations to be eligible for institutional financial aid. If these regulations are met, the student-athlete may be awarded institutional financial aid during any term in which a student-athlete is in regular attendance during that term under the following circumstances:

  • The student-athlete is an undergraduate with eligibility remaining under the five year/ten semester rule (Bylaw 14.2); or
  • The student-athlete is a graduate student with eligibility remaining; or
  • Within six years of initial enrollment in a collegiate institution (provided the student does not receive more than five years of such aid during this period); however, after the six year period expires, this restriction shall apply only to unearned athletics aid for which the athletics department intercedes on behalf of the student-athlete.
Athletics Grant-in-Aid

A full grant-in-aid is financial aid that consists of tuition and fees, room and board, and required course-related books.

Reduction/Cancellation of Institutional Financial Aid

If a student-athlete is receiving institutional financial aid based in any degree on athletics ability, that financial aid MAY be reduced or cancelled during the period of the award (e.g., during that academic year or term) only if the student-athlete:

  • renders himself or herself ineligible for intercollegiate competition; or
  • fraudulently misrepresents any information on an application for admission, letter of intent or financial aid agreement; or
  • engages in serious misconduct warranting substantial disciplinary penalty; or
  • voluntarily quits the sport for personal reasons. In this case, the student-athlete's financial aid may not be awarded to another student-athlete during the term in which the aid was reduced or canceled.
Institutional financial aid based in any degree on athletics ability MAY NOT be reduced, canceled or increased during the period of the award:
  • based upon a student-athlete's ability, performance or contribution to a team's success; or
  • because injury prevents the student-athlete from participating; or
  • for any other athletics reason.
Renewal/Nonrenewal of Institutional Financial Aid

The renewal of institutional financial aid based in any degree of athletics ability shall be made on or before July 1 prior to the academic year in which it is to be effective. The institution shall promptly notify in writing each student-athlete who received an award during the previous academic year and who has eligibility remaining in the sport in which financial aid was awarded whether the grant has been renewed or not renewed for the next academic year. Notification of financial aid renewals and nonrenewals must come from the institution's regular financial aid office and not from the institution's athletics department.

If the institution decides not to renew the aid, or is going to reduce the aid, the institution must notify the student-athlete in writing that he or she has the right to a hearing. This hearing is held before the institutional agency making the award.

Summer Financial Aid-Prior to Initial, Full-Time Enrollment at University of South Carolina

The following conditions apply to the awarding of athletically related financial aid to a prospect to attend USC in the summer term prior to the prospect's initial, full-time enrollment:

  • The prospect shall be admitted to USC in accordance with regular, published entrance requirements;
  • The prospect is enrolled in a minimum of six hours of academic course work (other than physical activity courses) that is acceptable degree credit toward any of USC's degree programs.
  • The prospect, if recruited, is subject to NCAA transfer provisions;
  • During the summer term or orientation period, the prospect shall not engage in any countable athletically related activities except for those specifically permitted by the NCAA; and
  • Summer coursework is not used for the purpose of completing initial-eligibility or continuing eligibility (transfer eligibility, progress towards degree) requirements. However, the hours earned during the summer prior to initial full-time enrollment at USC may be used to satisfy the applicable progress-toward-degree requirements in subsequent years.
Summer Financial Aid-Current Student-Athletes

Summer financial aid may be awarded only to attend the awarding institution's summer term, summer school or summer-orientation program, provided the student has been in residence a minimum of one term during the regular academic year.

A student-athlete who is eligible for institutional financial aid during the summer is not required to be enrolled in a minimum full-time program of studies. However, the student-athlete may not receive financial aid that exceeds the cost of a full grant-in-aid for attendance in that summer term.

A student-athlete shall not receive athletically-related financial aid to attend USC's summer term unless the student-athlete received such athletically-related aid from the institution during the previous academic year. Further, athletics aid for summer school may be awarded only in proportion to the amount of athletically-related financial aid received by the student-athlete during the previous academic year except that this proportionality restriction shall not apply to a student-athlete who has exhausted his or her eligibility and is enrolled in a summer program of studies that will permit the student-athlete to complete his or her degree requirements.

Gambling

Staff members of a member conference, staff members of the athletics department of a member institution and student-athletes shall not knowingly:

  • provide information to individuals involved in organized gambling activities concerning intercollegiate athletics competition;
  • solicit a bet on any intercollegiate team;
  • accept a bet on any team representing the institution;
  • solicit or accept a bet on any intercollegiate competition for any item that has tangible value (e.g., cash, shirt, dinner);
  • participate in any gambling activity that involves intercollegiate athletics or professional athletics, through a bookmaker, a parlay card, or any other method employed by organized gambling; or
  • participate in any fantasy league
Playing and Practice Season Rules

Countable Athletically-Related Activities

Countable athletically-related activities include any required activity with an athletics purpose involving student-athletes and at the direction of, or supervised by, one or more of an institution's coaching staff (including strength and conditioning coaches). Such activities must be counted within the weekly and daily limitations. Administrative activities (e.g., academic meetings, compliance meetings) shall not be considered as countable athletically-related activities.

Daily and Weekly Hour Limitations - Playing Season

The NCAA requires that a student-athlete's participation in countable athletically-related activities be limited to a maximum of four (8) hours per day and twenty (20) hours per week with one day off per week.

Daily and Weekly Hour Limitation - Outside Playing Season

The NCAA requires that a student-athlete's participation in countable athletically-related activities outside of the playing season be limited to a maximum of eight (8) hours per week, of which no more than two (2) hours per week may be spent on individual skill workouts (or in Division I-A football, the viewing of game film) with two (2) days off per week.

Tax Information for International Student-Athletes

Tax Treaties & Identification Numbers

As an international student-athlete who receives athletics financial aid, you are subject to being taxed at a rate of 14% on the room & board portion of your scholarship.

  • If your country has a tax treaty with the United States, you may apply for an International Tax Identification Number (ITIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The ITIN will qualify you for an exemption from the tax.
  • If your country DOES NOT have a tax treaty with the United States, you may apply for an ITIN when filing your IRS tax return in the spring.
  • If you are unsure if your country has a tax treaty with the United States, please click here (Insert tax treaty table document) for more information.
  • If your country has a tax treaty with the United States, a W-7 form must be completed and submitted to the IRS IMMEDIATELY. You should receive an ITIN in approximately six weeks.
  • Upon receipt of the ITIN, you must complete the request for student identification number change and submit it to the Registrar's Office.
  • The ITIN must also be submitted to the University of South Carolina International Tax Office (Esther Legette, Byrnes Building) and the Athletics Compliance Office (Sharon Mathias or Maureen Davis, Roundhouse).
  • To access the W-7 form needed to receive an ITIN, click here: W-7 FORM
IRS Tax Returns

Every international student-athlete who receives an athletics scholarship must complete a tax return.

If you are from a country that DOES NOT have a tax treaty with the United States OR you are from a country that has a tax treaty but you do not have an ITIN, please follow the directions below:

  • Arrange a payment plan to pay your taxes with the Bursar's Office (Karen Thomas, Petigru). If a payment plan is not arranged or the taxes not paid, a hold will be placed on your account.
  • Complete a tax return using the Cintax software that is available from the International Programs Office. Please contact Allyson Martin at for instructions, a user name and password. Be sure to print the Cintax document upon completion.
  • Complete a W-7
  • Attach a notarized copy of your visa and passport (See Compliance for assistance)
  • Attach a copy of your I-20
  • Attach the 1042S. You must attach the Federal copy that is produced by the International Tax Office.
  • Attach a letter from the designated school official (See Compliance for assistance)
  • Attach a copy of your Athletics Financial Aid Agreement (see Compliance for assistance)
If you are from a country that HAS a tax treaty with the United States AND you have an ITIN AND you have provided the ITIN to the appropriate University offices, please follow the directions below:
  • Complete a tax return using the Cintax software that is available from the International Programs Office. Please contact Allyson Martin at for instructions, a user name and password. Be sure to print the Cintax document upon completion.
  • Attach the 1042. You must attach the Federal copy that is produced by the International Tax Office.
Tax Treaties for Students with Scholarships Transfer Information Student-Athletes Transferring FROM the University of South Carolina:
  • Per NCAA bylaw 13.1.1.3, student-athletes wishing to transfer from the University of South Carolina must first receive permission from the Department of Athletics to speak with any other four-year collegiate institution. The Compliance Office will process such requests, whether first made by the student-athlete or by another four-year institution.
  • The head coach of the respective sport will be consulted prior to granting the student-athlete permission to speak with another institution.
  • The Compliance Office will fax or email a letter to the Athletics Director of the requesting institution, indicating whether or not USC has granted permission to speak with the student-athlete. If permission is granted, the student-athlete may speak with the other institution about a possible transfer. If permission is not granted, the Compliance Office will notify the student-athlete in writing that he/she has the right to request an appeal hearing on such a denial. The request for such an appeal must be made in writing to the Director of Athletics within seven (7) business days of the denial.
  • All parties are reminded that the granting of permission to speak with another institution does not mean that the student-athlete will be released to transfer to that institution under the one-time transfer rule (NCAA bylaw 14.5.5.2.10).
  • Once a student-athlete identifies to which four-year institution he/she wishes to transfer, that institution is required to send a transfer release form to the University of South Carolina for completion.
  • If the University of South Carolina denies the student-athlete a release under the one-time transfer exception, the student-athlete has the right to request an appeal hearing regarding such decision. The request for such an appeal must be made in writing to the Director of Athletics within seven (7) business days of the denial.
  • Per SEC Bylaw 14.5.5.1, a student-athlete who transfers from one SEC institution to another SEC institution must automatically serve a one-year residency requirement prior to being eligible for competition at the second SEC institution.
 

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