New Legislation: Financial Assistance, Pt. 2

New Legislation: Financial Assistance, Pt. 2

Legislative Services is going to spend the next few months writing briefs on the new legislation that was passed at the 2019 convention. You can find all of the changes here. The first three briefs are going to focus on the changes to the financial assistance bylaw found in Article II, Section B. This week we are only focusing on Item 2: Athletically Related Expenses. 

The portions that are highlighted in yellow are changes proposed prior to the convention. The green highlights are friendly changes to the language that was made at convention. Lastly, the words and terms that are crossed out are what was stricken from the previous version of this bylaw.

You can find part 1 of this brief here.




Since this brief is only focusing on Item 2 of Article II, Section B, that is all that we have posted below. If you would like to see the entire bylaw change, please go here.

2. Athletically Related Expenses

a. Expenses incidental to intercollegiate athletic competition may be provided by an institution, directly or via an institution’s representative or authorized booster. A prospective or enrolled student may also receive expenses incidental to non-intercollegiate athletic competition provided by a club or recreational team, or tournament/event director.

These expenses include but are not limited to athletically related travel, lodging, meals, awards, apparel and necessary medical and/or dental expenses. Necessary medical and/or dental expenses may include medical, surgical, medication and therapy expenses incurred as a result of an athletic injury; medical examination costs; and athletic related medical insurance. Institutions shall not provide assistance for expenses for treatment of a student-athlete’s illness or injury not resulting from intercollegiate athletics participation. 

b. For students who are members of an intercollegiate team, additional ancillary expenses are permissible when such expenses are related to the student’s membership on the team and provided by the affiliated conference or national office, institution or institution’s representative (if approved by the institution’s athletics director). Such additional ancillary expenses include but are not limited to student-athlete advisory or student-athlete leadership activities, team building outings, and mission trips.

Funds provided by boosters or booster clubs must be administered in accordance with COP Policy Article XIV. 

Article II, Section B, Item 2

*We are only focusing on Item 2 in this brief, please stay tuned in the coming weeks for a breakdown of Item 3 and the Item 1 discussion can be found here.

Item 2a of Article II, Section B is specifically talking about “expenses incidental to competition.” This includes not only the varsity sports on campus but also club sports. It doesn’t stop there, as this new bylaw amendment also allows students to receive expenses related to summer competition, recreational teams, and other non-intercollegiate competitions. 2a also allows schools to pay for travel, meals, lodging, awards, apparel, and necessary medical expenses. The bylaw stops short of allowing an NAIA institution to pay for all medical expenses, as it only allows the school to pay for those medical expenses arising out of an athletic injury.

Item 2b of Article II, Section B addresses additional expenses that might arise for students because of their membership on the team. Examples of these expenses could include but are not limited to: attendance at an NAIA all-star event, team building events, and mission trips.

Item 2, along with the rest of this bylaw change, was created and voted on by our membership in an effort to have the NAIA’s rules match up with what is happening on campus. The membership was aware that there were a lot of common sense scenarios where athletes were being punished simply because they were athletes. This bylaw change is an effort to bring these scenarios under the umbrella of what is allowable while still promoting competitive fairness.

Case Studies

*Assume all schools are NAIA institutions unless otherwise noted. Also, assume that all students have an eligible determination from the Eligibility Center unless otherwise noted.

Scenario 1:

Jon is a baseball player at Wall College and has been invited to compete in the College Baseball Homerun Derby after slugging 25 homeruns in the 2019 season. Wall College plays in the Realms Conference and the Realms commissioner would like to pay for Jon to attend this event and represent his school and conference. Is this allowed under Article II, Section B, Item 2?

Answer 1:

Yes! This is allowed under Article II, Section B, Item 2b. Affiliated conferences are allowed to pay for expenses for identified student athletes that arise out of the fact they are a member of an intercollegiate team. Here Jon earned the right to compete in the homerun derby because of his play on his NAIA team. Thus the conference is allowed to pay for travel, meals, and lodging related to this trip.

Scenario 2:

Dany is a softball pitcher at West University and was unfortunately struck by a batted ball in the chest causing significant damage. Her doctor recommended that while she heals up from her injuries she play with a protective chest plate in an effort to ward off future injuries and to allow her chest to heal. Can West College pay for this protective chest plate?

Answer 2:

Yes! This chest plate is actually allowable for two reasons. On one hand, this protective chest plate could be considered “incidental to competition.” It is also would be allowed as it is necessary medical expenses arising out of an injury that resulted from her athletic participation.

Scenario 3:

Brandon, a baseball player at Throne College, was driving to class and was injured in a car accident. Brandon’s NAIA school does not have a mechanism for paying for medical care for members of the general student body but does pay for medical expenses arising out of athletics for their athletes. Can Brandon’s NAIA school pay for his medical expenses arising out of the injury from the car accident?

Answer 3:

No! This is prohibited because the injuries were not the result of Brandon’s intercollegiate athletic participation. If Throne College had a procedure for paying for medical expenses for general members of the student body, then they could pay for his medical expenses under Item 1 of Article II, Section B. This scenario was explained in part 1 of our brief.  

Scenario 4:

Would the answer to scenario 3 be different if Brandon was injured while traveling with his team to a competition on a school chartered bus?

Answer 4:

Yes! This would be allowed because the injury was the result of his intercollegiate athletic participation. He would not have been on the bus, but for the fact that he was a member of the baseball team.

Scenario 5:

Dany throws the javelin for Drogon University and is also a member of the club Spikeball team. The Spikeball team and all club teams at DU are under the athletic department. Dany and her Spikeball partner have been chosen to attend the World Spikeball Championship in Tokyo. Can DU pay for her to attend, even though she is a varsity track athlete?

Answer 5:

Yes! This is specifically allowed under Item 2a. Item 2a states in relevant part that an enrolled student may receive expenses incidental to non-intercollegiate athletic competition provided by a club. Thus Dany would be able to attend the championship with travel, meals, and lodging being paid by the Spikeball club.


Please join Legislative Services at noon central on Tuesday for Facebook live, where Legislative Services will discuss this topic in more detail.