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Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators


James Ottavio Castagnera

The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators is a practical tool, intended for administrators dealing with students in higher education, focusing principally on four-year institutions. Addressing the ever-developing relationship between higher education and the law, the book will provide the academic administrator with the means to knowledgably and confidently navigate the many legal threats and challenges facing colleges today. Using examples from real cases and scenarios from different institutions, the handbook provides sample policies, checklists, and advice that administrators can apply to a wide variety of situations, both preventatively and proactively. Also included are relevant 2008-09 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and each chapter includes a section on the impact of the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008. The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators is a compendium of practical knowledge and guidance, useful for any administrator dealing with the legal minefield that is higher education.


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Chapter 3 Student Activities 53


CHAPTER 3 Student Activities Athletic Programs Colleges and universities in the cu rrent c ompetitive en vironment a re expected to present to their students a panoply of ath letic opportunities. These broadly include: (1) co mpetitive inte r-institutional p rograms, typi cally u nder th e au spices o f the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), (2) inter-mural activities, and (3) fitness oppo rtunities. The i nstitution that lacks any one of these i s l ikely to find itself at a severe competitive disadvantage vis a vis it s peer competitors. Each o f these l evels o f athl etic activity posed its own pa rticular challenge s to university administrators. Ho wever, the y shar e in common several legal issue s: (a) stud ent eligibility; (b) discrimination considerations; (c) liability for injuries. Student Eligibility At the level of inter-collegiate athletic competition, our discussion will be limited to the NCAA. The non-profit organization boasts more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. These schools are divided among Divisions I, II and III. Division I See chart on following page. Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators 54 Student Activities 55 Division II Source: National Collegiate Athletic Association [] © National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2009. All rights reserved. Division III NCAA Division III is the competitive level that does not grant athletic scholar- ships. It is typically identified with small colleges that place special emphasis on the “scholar-athlete.” In the NCAA’s own words, “Colleges and universities...

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