NCAA SETTLEMENT WITH THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
Under the landmark agreement, the NCAA has agreed to:
- certify classes designed for students with learning disabilities as
"core courses" if the classes provide them with the same type
of knowledge and skills as other college-bound students--increasing by
ten fold the number of certified classes for students with learning disabilities;
- enable college freshmen with learning disabilities, who do not meet
the initial-eligibility rules, to earn a fourth year of athletic eligibility
if they show they can succeed academically, while also playing sports;
- direct its evaluating committees to review the students' high school
preparation and performance when deciding whether to grant a waiver, and
include experts in learning disabilities when evaluating a student's application;
- designate an "ADA Compliance Coordinator," to assist NCAA
staff and to serve as a liaison with students; train its staff on the new
policies; and publicize the agreement to students, parents, and member
colleges and universities; and,
- Pay a total of $35,000 in damages to four student-athletes.
Several students complained that:
The NCAA often would not certify, as "core courses," classes
that students with learning disabilities were required to take as a part
of their federally-mandated "Individualized Education Program."
For instance, the NCAA:
- refused to certify an English course of one student because the class
was labeled "Special Academic Offering English." The student
was declared ineligible for athletics in his first year of college.
- declared a student, who finished in the top 10% of his class, ineligible
for sports, after it rejected 8 classes labeled "REM" (remedial),
even though the school submitted substantial information about the substance
of the classes.
- forced a student to withdraw from college because it rejected six classes
designed for students with learning disabilities, including "Individual
English 11" and "Individual Social Studies 12."
The NCAA has a "waiver process" that allows students to apply
for an exception to the rules. However, the waiver decisions are made after
students are enrolled in a college. By then, allegedly, the student's first
choice for college has stopped recruiting them and they have to settle for
a less desirable school.
Return to NCAA Consent Decree
Return to Enforcement
May 27, 1998