This Legislative Brief is a supplement to the 9/25/2013 article on Participating as an Unattached Athlete. The original article raised questions in the wrestling community surrounding the criterion which states a student cannot be unattached if the student’s coach or any representative of the institution enters the student in an event.
In order to meet the unattached requirements, a student-athlete and the institution at which the student is identified must follow the following entry process:
1. All NAIA wrestlers must be examined by a certified athletic trainer or other certified medical personnel no sooner than the first official day of classes and no later than the first practice of the 24-week season. Coaches and trainers will use the NWCA Optimal Performance Calculator (OPC) to establish an optimum competition weight based on preseason assessments for body composition, hydration, and weight.
2. The host or tournament director of a competition with NAIA student-athletes should set up a public pre-registration through Trackwrestling for any dual meets, tournaments or open competition.
3. The unattached wrestler can find the tournament listed on Trackwrestling once the tournament opens for public pre-registration. The student must click the "Pre-Register" link associated with the tournament to complete the registration process. The website offers step-by-step instructions from this point.
4. Once entered in a competition, the student must request a print out of the OPC weigh-in sheet from his/her coach and provide the sheet to the host or tournament director.
An institution still bears the responsibility of ensuring the student is not competing under an institution’s name. A student will not meet the unattached criteria if the official entry brackets list the student as competing for the institution. Any such entry should be corrected prior to the competition or the student will be deemed to have represented the institution. This would result in a season of competition charged to the student and the possibility of an institutional violation due to the participation of an ineligible athlete.
Institutions should, as a best practice, refrain from including in press releases or institutional results the place finishes of unattached athletes.