An award is any item given in recognition of athletics participation or performance.

  • Award may not include cash, gift certificates, or gift cards redeemable for cash.
  • Participation awards may be provided at any time.
  • Only student-athletes who were eligible to compete in conference, NCAA or other post-season tournaments or events may receive awards in conjunction with those events.

Expenses to Receive Noninstitutional Awards

A conference, an institution, the U.S. Olympic Committee, or a national governing body may provide actual and necessary expenses for a student-athlete to receive a noninstitutional award or recognition for athletics or academic accomplishments. Actual and necessary expenses may be provided for the student-athlete’s family members to attend.

Types of Awards

NCAA rules require that all awards provided to member of a team be uniform. Values of those awards may not exceed the NCAA limits listed below. However, one type of award may be provided to groups of student-athletes within a team (i.e., all seniors get rings, all underclassmen get watches).


Countable Athletically Related Activities:

Countable athletically related activities (CARA) are any required activities with an athletics purpose that involves student-athletes and occurs at the direction of, or is supervised by, one or more of an institution’s coaching staff, including strength and conditioning coaches. Below are several examples of what is countable and not countable toward a student-athlete’s CARA limits.


Countable Not Countable
Practice Compliance and SASSO Meetings
Competition (always counts as three hours) Study Table, Academic Tutoring
Setting Up Offensive/Defensive Alignments Training Room/Medical Treatment/Rehabilitation Activities
Athletic Meetings w/Coach Initiated or
Required by Coach
Traveling To/From Competition
Required Weight Training/Conditioning Recruiting Activities (e.g., student host)
Discussion or Review of Game Film Voluntary Sport-Related Activities
Visiting Competition Site
(Golf & Cross Country Only)
Fundraising, Community Service, or Promotional Activities

NCAA regulations limit the amount of time that coaches can require a student-athlete to be involved in CARA each week. These limitations are different depending on whether a team is in-season or out-of-season. The distinctions between what is permissible in-season versus out-of-season is as follows:


In-Season Out-of-Season (During Academic Year)
No more than 4 hours per day and 20 hours per week No more than 8 hours per week (up to 2 hours may be skill instruction [or film review for football])
One day off per week Two days off per week
No CARA after a competition The only permissible activities are conditioning, weight training, and, for sports other than football, skill instruction.
Unlimited CARA during institutional vacation periods No CARA during institutional vacation periods
Unlimited CARA during pre-season prior to the first day of class or first contest (whichever is earlier) No CARA beginning the week prior to finals through the end of finals.
No CARA activity may occur between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. No CARA activity may occur between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Competition always counts as 3 hours No competition permitted out-of-season

Voluntary Activities: 
Student-athletes are permitted to participate in voluntary activities as much as they would like. For an activity to be considered voluntary, the following must be satisfied:

  • The student-athlete must not be required to report back to a coach or other athletics department staff member any information related to the activity;
  • Staff members who observe the activity (i.e., strength coaches) may not report back to the student-athletes’ coach any information related to the activity – coaches may not observe voluntary activities (except for safety exception sports);
  • The activity must be initiated and requested solely by the student-athlete;
  • Attendance and participation (or lack thereof) may not be recorded for the purposes of reporting such information to coaching staff members; and
  • Student-athletes may not be subjected to a penalty if they choose not to participate in the activity or rewarded if they do choose to participate.

Safety Exception: Please note that in the sports of fencing, gymnastics, rifle, pistol, rowing, swimming, diving, track (field events only), and wrestling, a coach may be present during voluntary workouts (without the workouts being considered as CARA) while student-athletes are using equipment related to their sport and the coach provides safety or skill instruction only.

Below is a chart summarizing permissible activities of non-coaching staff members (e.g., director of operations, video coordinator), volunteer coaches, and student managers.

Non-coaching Staff Member Volunteer Coach Student Manager
Sit on bench/sideline & be in game huddle X X X
Provide technical or tactical coaching instruction to student-athletes X
Observe practice for evaluation/analysis of performance with coaches only X X
Set-up offense, defense, strategy with coaches prior to practice or competition X X
Participate in practice drills (ball shagging, rebounding, pitch batting practice) X X
Participate in practice drills beyond ball shagging, rebounding, pitch batting practice X
Assist with warm-up activities X X
Participate with or observe voluntary activities of student-athletes (pick-up games, captain’s practices) X
Handle/assign equipment X X X
Keep play chart & handle statistics X X X
Run practice clock X X X
Signal in plays at the direction of a coach – hold play cards X X
Provide academic assistance or tutoring
Track academics X X X
Off-campus recruiting (contacts & evaluations)
Pick-up recruits at the airport for official visit X X X
Initiate/receive telephone calls to/from PSA/those accompanying during an official visit & official visit transportation X X
Arrange/conduct campus tours X X
Prepare (create) recruiting materials (general correspondence, email) X X
Send recruiting materials (general correspondence, email) X X X
Be present at on-campus recruiting events (meal with PSA) X X X
Be present at off-campus recruiting events (meal with PSA within 30 miles during official) X X X
Arrange official visit travel X X X
Complete/submit recruiting documentation to compliance X X X
Initiate/receive telephone calls to/from a PSA provided they signed the NLI/offer of admission X X
Prior to NLI signing, initiate/receive telephone calls to/from appropriate academic authority (registrar, guidance counselor) related to admissions/academic issues provided nothing further is discussed & no solicitation of the PSA occurs X
Attend on or off-campus sporting events in the individual’s sport involving prospects (immediate family member exception exists for non-coach staff member) X
Analyze/evaluate videotapes of prospects X
Coordinate/manage institutional camp/clinic X X
Work institutional camp/clinic X X X
Initiate/receive telephone calls to/from a PSA or anyone associated with prospects in the individual’s sport with documentation of permissible call purpose (camp/clinic) X X
Attend & participate in meetings involving coaching activities X X X
Edit/splice game film; coordinate film exchange X X X
Analyze video of institution’s or opponent’s team X X
In-person scouting of opponents
Coordinate pre/postgame meals X X X
Coordinate complimentary admissions X X X
Arrange travel X X X
Coordinate public service activities X X X

What Does a Full Athletic Scholarship Cover for Student-Athletes?

  • Tuition & Fees
  • Room & Board
  • Required Course Related Books
  • Amount up to Cost of Attendance (beginning with 2015-16 academic year)

What Does an Athletic Scholarship Not Cover for Student-Athletes?

  • COTA Bus Fee
  • Legal Services Fee
  • Single Room Charge
  • Amounts Requested On Buck ID
  • Fines/Tickets, Lock Change Fees, and Room Damages
  • International Room & Board Tax (14%)
  • Student Health Insurance
  • Freshman/International Orientation Fee

Increases and Reductions/Cancellations of Institutional Athletics Aid

  • Athletics aid may be increased for any reason at any time.,
  • Athletics aid may be reduced on canceled during the period of the award if the recipient:
  • Renders himself or herself ineligible for intercollegiate competition;
  • Fraudulently misrepresents any information on an application, letter of intent, or financial aid agreement;
  • Engages in serious misconduct warranting substantial disciplinary penalty; or
  • Voluntarily withdraws from a sport at any time for personal reasons; however, the recipient’s financial aid may not be awarded to another student-athlete in the academic term in which the aid was reduced or canceled.
  • Athletics aid may not be reduced or canceled during the period of its award:
  • On the basis of a student-athlete’s athletics ability, performance, or contribution to a team’s success;
  • Because of an injury, illness, or physical or mental condition; or
  • For any other athletics reason.

The Ohio State Athletic Department has partnered with JumpForward to help coaches, staff, administrators, and compliance personnel with compliance monitoring activities, including:

  • Countable Athletically Related Activities (CARA)
  • Playing & Practice Seasons
  • Prospect Questionnaires
  • Recruiting Databases
  • Recruiting Phone Calls
  • Recruiting Contacts/Evaluations
  • Recruiting Visits (Official and Unofficial)
  • Student-Athlete Mass Email and Texting
  • Roster Management
  • Student-Athlete Institutional, Big Ten, and NCAA Forms

With the help of JumpForward, the Ohio State Athletic Department is better equipped to manage all the aspects of monitoring athletic compliance.

Coaches and staff can log in to the JumpForward by clicking: JumpForward.

To register for helpful JumpForward Webinars and better use the software, click here: JumpForward Webinars.

Recruiting and Scouting Services:

For more information regarding Recruiting Services, Social Media, Camps and Clinics, Recruiting Visits, Tryouts and Local Sports Clubs, click here.

Recruiting Terms to Know:

  • Contact Period: Coaches may have face-to-face contact with prospective student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone prospective student-athletes or their parents.
  • Evaluation Period: Coaches may watch prospective student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone prospective student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with prospective student-athletes or their parents off the institution’s campus at this time.
  • Quiet Period: Coaches may not have face-to-face contact with prospective student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch prospective student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. However, it is permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts on the institution’s campus. Coaches may also write or telephone prospective student-athletes or their parents during this time.
  • Dead Period: Coaches may not have face-to-face contact with prospective student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch prospective student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Further, coaches may not have in-person recruiting contacts on the institution’s campus. Coaches may write and telephone prospective student-athletes or their parents during this time.

Recruiting Rules:

Coaches recruiting activities with prospective student-athletes (e.g., providing recruiting materials, calling on the telephone, contacting off-campus) are governed by NCAA recruiting rules, which limit these communications based on the prospective student-athlete’s year in school. The NCAA recruiting overview chart for all sports can be found here.

Recruiting Calendars:

Recruiting calendars help to promote the well-being of prospective student-athletes and coaches and ensure competitive equity by defining certain time periods in which recruiting may or may not occur in a particular sport.

The 2015-2016 Division I Recruiting Calendar (Sport by Sport) can be found HERE.

The Academic Progress Rate (APR) was developed by the NCAA to track the academic achievement and retention of teams each academic term.

Each term, student-athletes receiving athletically related financial aid can earn:

  • One retention point for staying in school; and
  • One eligibility point for being academically eligible

A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by one thousand to equal the team’s APR score.

The Benchmark:

Beginning with the 2015-16 academic year, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930 to compete in NCAA championships.

Student-Athletes Going Pro:

Teams with student-athletes who leave in good academic standing to pursue a professional career do not hurt a team’s APR score. If a student-athlete leaves a team in poor academic standing the team loses two points.

Possible penalties for APR violations:

Level 1: Limits teams to 16 hours of practice a week over five days, with the lost four hours to be replaced with academic activities

Level 2: Includes level 1 penalties, plus competition reductions, either in the traditional or nontraditional season

Level 3: Coaching suspensions, financial aid reductions and restricted NCAA membership. The Committee on Academic Performance has the discretion to apply appropriate penalties once teams have fallen below the benchmark for three consecutive years.

For More Information, visit the NCAA Website: NCAA APR Website