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Defining CARA 
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General Information


Current Student-Athlete: An enrolled (current) student-athlete is a student whose enrollment was solicited by a member of the athletics staff or an athletics representative with a view toward the student's ultimate participation in the intercollegiate athletics program. Any other student becomes a student-athlete only when the student reports for an intercollegiate squad that is under the jurisdiction of the athletics department.


Amateurism: To remain eligible for NCAA competition student-athletes are required to maintain amateur status. A student-athlete will lose his/her amateur status, and thus jeopardize his/her eligibility if he/she does any of the following:


    • Uses his or her athletics skills, either directly or indirectly, for pay in any form in the sport in which he/she competes;
    • Accepts a promise of pay, even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics participation;
    • Signs a contract, or verbally gives a commitment of any kind to play professional athletics, regardless of its legal enforceability;
    • 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 and knows (or had reason to know) that the team is a professional athletics team, even if no pay or remuneration for expenses was received;
    • Enters into a professional draft or an agreement (either written or oral) with an agent or other entity to negotiate a professional contract.


Extra benefit: A student-athlete at Providence College may not receive any tangible benefit not available to the general student-body. Because receipt of an extra benefit will jeopardize your eligibility, whether you receive an extra benefit or simply believe you may have received an extra benefit, you must report such receipt to the Providence College Athletics Compliance Office. In turn, our office will do everything possible to keep your eligibility intact. Some common examples of extra benefits include the following:


    • Special discounts & credits;
    • Free or reduced cost(s) for services, rentals, or purchases of any type;
    • Use of credit cards or telephones for personal reasons without charge;
    • Entertainment services, such as free tickets to a sporting event.


CARA: Acronym for Countable Athletically Related Activities. For full definition please see 'Defining CARA' located in the Links section of this page.


SAF & SAOF: Acronyms for NCAA Special Assistance Fund and NCAA Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund. For full definitions please see 'Defining SAF & SAOF' located in the Links section of this page.


Gambling: The NCAA and all of its members shun any form of gambling on collegiate athletics. Gambling brings down the integrity of the game and has an adverse effect on collegiate athletics. Penalties for gambling on athletic events can be harsh, sometimes resulting in prison time. Student-athletes and staff members of an NCAA school may not be involved in any gambling activities outlawed by the NCAA. What follows is the NCAA definition of gambling activities:


    • Providing information to individuals involved in organized gambling activities concerning intercollegiate athletics competition;
    • Soliciting a bet on any intercollegiate team;
    • Accepting a bet on any team representing the institution;
    • Solicit or accept a bet on any intercollegiate competition for any item (e.g. cash, shirt, dinner) that has tangible value;
    • Participating 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, including pools, auctions and fantasy leagues.

For more information regarding the NCAA gambling policy please see 'Gambling on College Sports' and 'NCAA Don't Bet On It' located in the Links section of this page.


Drug Testing Program: The NCAA Drug Testing Program was created to protect the health and safety of all student-athletes and to ensure that no one participant might have an artificially induced advantage or be pressured to use chemical substances. Drugs generally purported to be performance enhancing and/or potentially harmful to the health and safety of the student-athlete are banned by the NCAA. Any use of a substance banned by the NCAA may be cause for loss of eligibility. The use of a banned substance is determined by an analysis of a student-athlete's urine by an NCAA certified laboratory. For more information regarding the NCAA Drug Testing Program please see 'NCAA Drug Testing Program,' 'NCAA Drug Policies' and 'List of Banned Drugs' located in the Links section of this page.


Agents: The term "agent" includes actual agents, runners (individuals who befriend student-athletes and frequently distribute impermissible benefits) and financial advisors. A student-athlete (any individual who currently participates in or who may be eligible in the future to participate in intercollegiate sport) may not agree verbally or in writing to be represented by an athlete agent in the present or in the future for the purpose of marketing the student-athlete's ability or reputation. If the student-athlete enters into such an agreement, the student-athlete is ineligible for intercollegiate competition. Also, a student-athlete may not accept transportation or other benefits from an athlete agent. This prohibition applies to the student-athlete and his or her relatives or friends.

It is not a violation of NCAA rules if a student-athlete merely talks to an agent (as long as an agreement for agent representation is not established) or socializes with an agent. For example, a student-athlete could go to dinner with an agent and no NCAA violations would result if the student-athlete provided his own transportation and paid for his or her meal. For more information regarding agents please see 'Student-Athlete Agent Guide' located in the Links section of this page.

Academic Eligibility

NCAA guidelines require student-athletes to meet certain academic requirements to remain eligible. There are three general principles under which these guidelines fall:

1. Student-Athletes must maintain full-time status: Student-athletes must be enrolled in a minimum full-time program of studies leading toward a baccalaureate degree. Full-time status at Providence College in an undergraduate degree program is defined as being enrolled in twelve credit hours per semester. Full-time status at Providence College in a graduate degree program is defined as being enrolled in nine credit hours per semester.

2. Student-athletes must pass a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester: Student-athletes are required to pass at least 6 credit hours each semester to be eligible for competition during the following semester.

3. Student-athletes must meet certain progress towards degree requirements: To remain academically eligible a student-athlete must make specified progress toward his or her degree. Depending on a student-athlete's degree program, there are certain degree requirements which must be completed each semester. For more information regarding progress towards degree requirements please see 'PC Student-Athlete Handbook' located in the Links section of this page.

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