Acquiring Talent for the Division I Gridiron: NCAA Recruiting Governance, Autonomy, Limitations, and Expansions Related to Football Student-Athletes

Joanna Hensley, Kayla Peak


The purpose of this commentary is to explore the provisions and governance that guide the various avenues by which an amateur student-athlete may find himself on the roster of a Division I football team. In its entirety, the article is meant to clarify the complex scenarios woven into the NCAA Manual. Further, the observations serve to illuminate the obscure corners of collegiate football that house potential opportunity and possible pitfalls as the student-athlete advances to the gridiron. The analysis distinguishes the most prominent parties affected by NCAA legislation while focusing on the 65 institutions entrusted with extended autonomy. Historical context outlines the path of the NCAA in financial and authoritative transitions. Insight is provided into the structure, voting, and applicability of NCAA football governance. The evolution of and modern developments in financial aid are studied, as well as the statutory limitations enforced against competitors within self-promulgating NCAA membership. Examples illustrate the various methods explained. Lastly, observations and conclusions are offered regarding the future of NCAA governance of student-athlete financial aid and compensation.


Division I Football, Recruiting, National Letter of Intent, Financial Aid, Power Five, Transfer Process, FBS, FCS, Student-Athlete, NCAA

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