By Will Rosson
Change is coming for future National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics student-athletes. There are about 60,000 student-athletes in the NAIA and starting next fall, the procedure for playing in the NAIA will change.
Incoming student-athletes must register with the new NAIA Eligibility Center.
Up until this point, all student-athletes had to do in order to play sports for the NAIA was meet two of the three requirements. The requirements were to have achieved a minimum overall high school GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, achieve a minimum of 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT, or to have graduated in the top half of your high school class. If two of the three requirements were met, the process was taken care of through documentation at each institution. David King computer science senior had no major troubles when it came time for him to become an NAIA student-athlete.
“It was a pretty easy process. The only thing that took a while was getting my transcripts sent over. Other than that, it was just a normal routine,” said King.
However, the process is changing starting next fall. Student-athletes will now need to first register with the NAIA Eligibility to determine if they are eligible to play. Joe Wood, head women’s soccer coach, said it’s simple.
“There are no changes, that I am aware of that came with the NAIA Eligibility Center. The only change in the eligibility process is the inclusion of the NAIA Eligibility Center. Now all first time NAIA student-athletes must be certified eligible by the NAIA prior to their first season of competition,” said Wood.
The guidelines haven’t changed when it comes to determining eligibility. So why has the NAIA established the Eligibility Center? Their website has this statement: “The purpose of the NAIA Eligibility Center is to provide independent and objective determinations of initial eligibility for all students wishing to participate in NAIA athletics. Determinations are made based on both academic and competitive experience standards.”
For student-athletes, the process is simple. The first step is going online and creating an account. Once an account is created the student athlete can finish registering. This includes meeting two of the three requirements in place before, and submitting transcripts to the NAIA Eligibility Center. Fees for domestic and international students are $60 and $85 respectively.
The website is easy to navigate, and all the information needed is provided there. Once an account has been established and the athlete is registered, the athlete can communicate with the institution and vice versa.
Jim Helmer, head cross country and men’s track coach, said “I am glad the NAIA Eligibility Center is in place. This will assure that all NAIA athletes are eligible according to the guidelines, and until now that has not been the case.”
Will Rosson is a senior majoring in communication. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edited by Lea Shores