Amateurism is the cornerstone of intercollegiate athletics. As such, as a part of the initial eligibility certification process, the NCAA certifies the amateurism of all college-bound student-athletes. In order to do so, each college-bound student-athlete must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at

As a part of the certification process, each prospective student-athlete is asked to answer a series of questions about their sports participation history. Typically, the NCAA Eligibility Center reviews the following activities:

  • Contracts with a professional team
  • Salary for participation in athletics
  • Prize money
  • Tryouts, practice or competition with professionals
  • Benefits from an agent
  • Agreement to be represented by an agent
  • Delayed initial full-time enrollment to participate in organized sports competition
Generally, prospective student-athletes may participate in amateur sports clubs as long as they do not receive expenses that exceed the actual and necessary expenses required to practice and/or compete. These expenses can include travel, lodging, and/or equipment for practice and competition. Additionally, a prospective student-athlete may accept prize money based on performance in an open competition as long as the prize is awarded by the sponsor of the event and the amount of the prize does not exceed the prospective student-athlete's expenses to compete in the event.

For more information on amateurism, please visit the NCAA Amateurism website.

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