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Current Student-Athletes

SVSU Student-Athlete Handbook

SVSU Athletics takes great pride in the fact that our student-athletes are some of the best in the country, both on and off the field. The first step to following the rules is knowing the rules, so this page is intended to be a resource for our current student-athletes. 

While you are a student-athlete at Saginaw Valley State University, you are obligated to abide by NCAA, GLIAC, and University rules. The athletics compliance office is ready to assist you with these issues. The staff will conduct an annual rules education session with each team and periodic updates as needed during the course of the academic year. Student-athletes are encouraged to ask questions and utilize the athletics compliance office. Below you will find some information regarding NCAA and SVSU rules. This is not a complete listing, so as a general rule, ask before you act.


Full-Time Enrollment Requirement
To be eligible for practice, competition, and financial aid, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. If you need fewer than 12 credit hours to graduate, you may enroll in only these final hours and still be eligible for practice, competition, and financial aid. Graduate students who have eligibility remaining must be enrolled in at least nine credit hours to be considered full-time at SVSU.

Extra Benefits

What are Extra Benefits?
An extra benefit is any special arrangement from the institution, its staff or its boosters to provide a benefit to student-athletes or their friends or family unless that benefit is (1) provided to the institution's students generally or (2) specifically permitted by NCAA rules.

Examples of Impermissible Extra Benefits:

  • The use of an automobile
  • Giving a loan or helping to secure a loan
  • Discounts on services, like dry cleaning or car repair
  • Discounts on purchases, such as clothing or airline tickets
  • The use of a cell phone or phone card
  • Receipt of services from businesses, like movie tickets or dinner

Examples of Permissible Benefits the institution may provide:

  • Athletics scholarships
  • Appropriate equipment for practice and competition
  • Travel expenses for competition
  • Complimentary admissions to their contests for family and friends
  • Awards to recognize their participation and achievement
  • Medical treatment
  • Academic support services

These are only some examples of impermissible and permissible benefits. The area of extra benefits is very complex and we do not want SVSU student-athletes to inadvertently do something that jeopardizes their eligibility. That is why the athletics compliance office encourages student-athletes to ask questions prior to accepting a benefit.

Progress Toward Degree Requirements

To maintain your eligibility, you must:

  • Complete 24 credits prior to second year of enrollment;
  • Earn 18 semester credits during the academic year (excluding summer);
  • Earn six academic credits in the previous regular academic term or full-time enrollment;
  • Declare a major no later than the beginning of your fifth semester or third year of enrollment and, thereafter, complete the required credits in courses applicable to your declared major;
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average that is 90% of the minimum GPA required to graduate (at least 1.8, 24-47 credit hours), 95% of the minimum GPA (1.9, 48-71 credit hours), and 100% of the minimum GPA (2.0, 72 credit hours and above).


DO ...

  • Student-athletes should be paid (1) only for work actually performed, and (2) at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality for similar services.
  • Student-athletes should be provided only those benefits, like free uniforms or meals during work hours, that are provided to all employees.
  • Student-athletes should be treated as the employer would any employee doing similar work when it comes to things like time off, breaks, scheduling, etc.
  • Student-athletes must submit Employment Approval workflow in ARMs
  • Saginaw Valley State University supports student-athletes receiving compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness from sources outside the University in accordance with the guidelines in the Name, Image and Likeness Policy for Student-Athletes.

DON'T ...

  • Student-athletes should not be paid based on the value he or she may have for their employer's business due to their athletics reputation or ability.
  • Student-athletes names or images may not be used to promote their employer's business or any commercial product or service.

Complimentary Admissions to Home or Away Events in Your Sport

  • The institution may provide you up to 4 complimentary admissions to home events in your sport.
  • Your complimentary admissions MAY NOT be sold.
  • Your guests' names will be placed on a pass list. You may not receive paper tickets for your complimentary admissions.
  • The institution may not reserve additional tickets for purchase by student-athletes or their families.
  • If you have a prospective student-athlete that you would like to invite to a home event, speak to your coach about putting that individual on the complimentary admissions list for prospective student-athletes. 
  • Requests must be submitted no less than 6 hours prior to game start.

Financial Aid

SVSU Athletics Degree Completion Program

The number one goal of the Department of Athletics is graduation. The creation of a degree completion scholarship program aims to assist student-athletes in achieving this goal. The Cardinal Cabaret Auction will serve as the source for funding this program, which aims to provide some level of scholarship to student-athletes in their pursuit of a degree. Support for the Cardinal Cabaret Auction comes in many forms: local and regional businesses through sponsorship, advertising and donations; attendance by SVSU faculty, staff, and Cardinal Athletic Club members; attendance by parents of past, present, and future student-athletes and members of the local community.
Student-athletes may qualify for this award if they are within 32 credit hours of graduation, have earned a cumulative GPA of a 2.2, and have demonstrated character and leadership in their career as a Cardinal Athlete. The award can be used towards completing the requirements for the first undergraduate degree (unless an undergraduate degree is not offered (e.g. Occupational Therapy). In totality, over $40,000 in degree completion aid will be awarded annually. For a complete list of qualifications for this award please seek out an application from the Athletic Academic Advisor.