Maximum Seasons of Competition

On September 19, 2019, in Competitive Experience Recommendations, by Scott Harold

Current State:

Seasons of competition are limited to four years of athletic competition.



None. The committee recommends a maximum of four seasons of competition be maintained. However, the reasons for which those seasons are charged needs to be modified.



To continue to limit student-athlete participation to four years. The limitation encourages graduation in a timely manner and maintains a reasonable level of competitiveness.


Purpose Statements this supports:

  • Simplification and transparency.
  • Ease of application.
  • Alignment with NAIA philosophy of self-reporting and self-governance.
  • Strengthen recruitment opportunities for NAIA institutions against NCAA DII and DIII institutions.
  • Support student recruitment, retention, enrollment, graduation rates and student experience.
  • Maintain reasonable limitations based on competitive experience.



9 Responses to “Maximum Seasons of Competition”

  1. Kevin says:

    If one wants to develop a strategy to compete in recruitment against the other major association then a 5th season of competition is the perfect place to start. It doesn’t demand that it be used, or that one be an undergraduate to use it. The talk of it looking less academic is absurd.

  2. Mike Lee says:

    I think the 5th year would actually help graduation rates, as well as encourage athletes to graduate even earlier so they may pursue graduate degrees while still playing, and presumably receiving aid. I would limit it, however, to those that graduate from an NAIA school being able to continue for a 5th year. I think the recruiting advantage over NCAA schools would be significant regarding both HS and JUCO students. I would imagine, though, the NCAA would take exception to this, and have some sort of response.

  3. Leave the season’s of competition to 4 but I think we need to look at the possibility of JV competition as not countable. Still use the 10 semester rule but do not charge a student athlete a season of competition if they play in JV games only. This would help promote JV teams and help institutions with grad rates and retention.

  4. Erin says:

    To be a progressive association, considering a 5th season of competition would make us not only more marketable but also more innovative compared to other associations. This would also alleviate pressure on students to complete their growing course work demands in four years; something we should consider especially since we’ve been focusing on student’s mental health.

  5. Pat Atwell says:

    Given the number of credit hours that many high school students are bringing into college upon arrival the five year limit might enable many students to complete their Master’s degrees while competing.

    At this time I support a four year limit for competition.

  6. Ed Lehotak says:

    We would be in favor of a 5th year of eligibility. However, we feel that the student athlete has to be at an NAIA institution for their 4th year of competition before being allowed to participate in a 5th season. We also feel that this would help more student athletes graduate by keeping them in school as student athletes for their 5th year.

  7. Don says:

    I support the 4 years of competition. Unless athletes are on scholarships, I don’t think too many would pay for another year of college just to get a 5th season of competition.

  8. Rob Ramseyer says:

    I think this needs more conversation but I am initially in favor. It would be distinctive to the NAIA. I also think it would help improve graduate rates and also boost enrollments in some of our 4+1 programs.

  9. I would like to continue to explore 5 seasons of competition. Nothing would force a student or an institution to stay through 5 years, but in those cases where they were behind academically, or wanted to pursue graduate school and they could stay another year and compete they would. I definitely think it would create a recruiting advantage over the NCAA

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