Frequently Asked Questions



Feb. 16, 2009

Can a student-athlete have a job?

Yes, with the permission of your coaching staff and compliance. After talking to your head coach, come see Carol Lucas in Compliance to file the appropriate paperwork.

I need a texbook for class. Who do I need to see and when?

The SupeStore and compliance reserve special hours in the beginning of each semester. If you find out you need another text after these times have passed, first check and make sure it's a book required by your course syllabus. Optional books are not covered by a book scholarship. Computer programs and other items required by your instructor will likely be covered too. Second, your advisor has a textbook request form in Bryant Hall. Fill out the appropriate form, get your advisor's signature, and take the form to compliance. Carol Lucas in compliance will sign and seal the form, and you can get your book at the SupeStore.

What does "progress towards a degree" mean?

Progress towards a degree is a standard all student-athletes must meet to remain eligible. It means that each semester, you are taking enough hours in your chosen major to graduate in a reasonable period of time. Whether or not you satisfy this standard depends on your year in school and the requirements for your major field of study, so be sure to check with your academic advisor before registration to avoid any problems. You should also be aware that courses taken towards satisfying a minor requirement does not count towards "progress towards a degree."

I really want to drop a class or change my major. Can I?

Maybe. Before dropping a class, it is very important that you talk to your advisor in Bryant Hall. You risk losing your status as a full-time status if you drop below 12 hours- even if it's only for a minute before you register for another course. An advisor can make sure you keep your status as a full-time student (and remain eligible to compete) and also check that dropping the course won't affect your progress towards a degree.

Similarly, changing your major may have an affect on your eligibility to compete. It is expected that as a junior, for example, each student-athlete will have made a certain amount of progress towards graduating. If you change your major, you may lose some of these credits towards graduation. Therefore, before you change your major or drop a class, it is extremely importnatt that you meet with your academic advisor.

Can student-athletes participate in summer leagues?

Yes, in many cases student-athletes are allowed to participate in summer leages, as long as they do not provide compensation for your participation. Make sure to get approval from your head coach and see Mike Ward in compliance for written approval before agreeing to participate.

Who can I talk with about playing professional sports?

The University of Alabama wants to help every student-athlete achieve their goals both on and off the field. If your goal is to play professional sports, both the faculty and athletic staff are here to help you make it there. That's why UA created the Professional Sports Counseling Panel. It's composed of specially trained faculty members and other experts ready to answer your questions about when and how you should "go pro." You can also talk to your head coach or anyone in the compliance office. Check for more information, where you can find the NFL's "Pipeline to the Pros" article and a University of Alabama manual guiding you through making the decision to enter the draft, selecting an agent, disability insurance, and more.

I think I need disability insurance. Who should I talk to?

Exceptional student-athletes projected to be drafted in the early rounds of the NFL, NBA, WNBA or MLB draft are all eligible to obtain disability insurance. See anyone in compliance to recieve more information.

What drugs are banned by the NCAA?

The NCAA banned drug list is constantly evolving. Illegal substances, performance enhancing drugs, and prescription drugs not prescribed to you are all examples of banned drugs. It's best that before you take anything, check with the athletic training staff. While some products sold in stores and available at gyms are safe, many aren't. It's also important to note that Ritalin, Adderol, and other prescription drugs are banned unless they are prescribed to you for a documented medical reason. Avoid these types of substances, and never skip a drug test. Testing positive or missing a test will result in a being ineligible to compete for a full calandar year from the testing date. No redshirts or medical hardships will be allowed during that calandar year- even if it's your senior season or it means missing a championship event.

What is the SEC Opportunity Fund? The Special Assistance Fund?

The SEC Opportunity Fund is money set aside by the SEC to assist student-athletes with medical or dental emergencies, fees for standardized tests like the MCAT or GMAT, urgent travel arrangements for family emergencies, and other special situations. The Special Assistance Fund is set aside primarily for clothing and shoe allowances for student-athletes eligible to recieve the Pell Grant. For more information about either fund, see Carol Lucas in Compliance or call 205-348-3615.

Who should I talk to about getting my senior ring?

See Carol Lucas in Compliance. Our office is upstairs in the Mal Moore (Football) building near Coleman Coliseum and the Southeastern Commuter parking lot.

What if I lost my password to Dragonfly?

See Jonathan Bowling in Compliance. He can either look it up for you or help you re-set it.

What is a "wildcard?"

A "wildcard" is used to admit a person you have given a complimentary ticket to watch you compete. These types of tickets can be used to admit any person as long as they didn't pay you for it.

Why do I need to make a master family list? Who should I put on it?

The SEC requires that at least a certain amount of the tickets you recieve to every game or meet are given to family members or students at a four year college. To make sure that we follow this policy, we must have an accurate list of each student-athlete's family members. Include parents/guardians, sibilings, aunts, uncles, first cousins, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Do not include family friends, godparents, or coaches on this last. Every year you will be asked to update this list, and it's important that you do so. Otherwise, you may have to use the more limited "wildcard" tickets to make sure family members can see you compete.

What happens if I add a non-family member onto my master family list or violate the UA ticketing policy?

Every time a family member signs in for the first time at a game or meet, we have that person fill out a form. If that person says they are not related to you, or gives us the wrong relationship, we flag that form and double check with your master family list. If there is a problem, we will contact you and see if we can resolve the issue. If compliance concludes that you deliberately added a non-family member onto your master family list, you will lose tickets to your next competition. If the problem continues, you risk losing your ticket privileges all together.

Can I sell my complimentary tickets?

No, never. If you do so, you risk becoming ineligible and/or losing your ticketing privileges.

I get asked for autographs a lot. Does UA have a policy about giving autographs?

Compliance has no problem with you autographing items for fans. However, we want every student-athlete to use his or her best judgment to decide whether giving an autograph is a good idea. It's wonderful to sign an autograph for a child as you're leaving an event, for example. On the other hand, it's a bad idea to sign multiple items for a middle-aged man sitting outside the athletic complex. Keep in mind that many people seek to profit off your autograph- and that's an NCAA rules violation that could affect your amateur status and eligibility. Always sign the items "To (Name)" or otherwise personalize the item to decrease the chances that it will be sold online or in a local store. Also try to limit people from wanting your autograph over and over. Use your best judgment, and when something seems fishy, politely decline. Blame compliance and refer them to us with questions. The last thing you need to do is risk your eligibility.

Sometimes people offer to buy me dinner or a drink when I'm out in Tuscaloosa. Is this a problem?

Ask yourself "Would this person buy me this if I weren't an athlete? Would he do this for other UA students?" If the answer is yes, it's fine. People that fall into this category are boyfriends, close friends, family members, and other people you have a close relationship to outside of your athletic ability. If your answer is maybe or no, do NOT accept their offer- even if it's just a drink or cheap sandwich. Anything of value given to you because you are an athlete, no matter what, is considered an extra-benefit. This isn't meant to affect your everyday relationships with people close to you. If anyone (including but not limited to fellow students, professors, neighbors, or random strangers) offers you something because he recognizes you as an athlete, you MUST say no.  Accepting an extra benefit means you could lose your eligibility, and any competition you take part in after accepting the benfit will have to be forfeited.

I have questions about agents and professional sports. Where can I find more information?

See for all your questions, ask your head coach, or come see the compliance staff anytime during normal business hours. We will be happy to talk to you, point you towards others who can assist you, and provide you with brochures & manuals to help.

I have a question that isn't addressed here. Who should I talk to?

Email, call 348-3615 or come by the compliance office upstairs in the Mal Moore building during normal business hours. We're here to answer any questions you might have.