Athletics News
    Athletic Scholarship Information

    California Assembly Bill No. 2079 requires Colleges and Universities in California to disclose information regarding their policies surrounding athletics scholarships. Should you have any questions, please call the USC Compliance Office at (213) 740-6727.

    Scholarships | Cancellation or Reduction of Athletic Scholarships | Athletic Release | Medical Expenses

    Scholarships

    For information regarding the cost of attendance, average stipend amounts received by student-athletes, and costs not covered by an athletic scholarship, please visit the USC Financial Aid Website.

    Pursuant to NCAA rules, a verbal commitment is not binding on either the student athlete or the institution. The National Letter of Intent is a binding agreement between a prospective student athlete and an institution in which the institution agrees to provide a prospective student athlete who is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules athletics aid for one academic year in exchange for the prospective student athlete's agreement to attend the institution for one academic year. The National Letter of Intent must be accompanied by an institutional financial aid agreement. If the prospective student athlete signs the National Letter of Intent but does not enroll at that institution for a full academic year, he or she may be subject to specific penalties, including loss of a season of eligibility and a mandatory residence requirement.

    Summer School

    With limited exceptions, scholarship student-athletes are eligible for discretionary aid during a summer school session only if they received aid the previous semester. If a student-athlete's aid will increase after the summer (Ex: going from 50% scholarship to 100% scholarship), only the percentage of scholarship they received prior to summer school will be used to calculate aid. Approval for summer session will be contingent on signatures (approval) from the Student-Athlete Academic Services (SAAS) Academic Counselor, the student-athlete's coach, and the SAAS Director.

    Information about summer costs is available here.

    Period of award

    NCAA Division I Manual - Bylaw 15.02.7 (Period of Award).

    The period of award begins when the student-athlete receives any benefits as a part of the student's grant-in-aid on the first day of classes for a particular academic term, or the first day of practice, whichever is earlier, until the conclusion of the period set forth in the financial aid agreement. An athletics grant-in-aid shall not be awarded in excess of the student-athlete's five-year period of eligibility.

    Cancellation or Reduction of Athletic Scholarships

    USC Policies

    A. With limited exceptions, an Athletic Scholarship may only be reduced or canceled during the period of the award or subsequent to the award expiring for those reasons authorized under NCAA rules as set forth in a Student-Athlete's Financial Aid Agreement. These reasons include, but not limited to, a Student-Athlete rendering himself/herself ineligible, engaging in serious misconduct warranting substantial disciplinary penalty, including, but not limited to a violation of the USC Student Conduct Code and Policies, USC Department of Athletics Alcohol and Drug Policy (available upon request) and Trojan Family Code (available upon request), Team Rules (available upon request), and NCAA or Pac-12 rules.

    In order to reduce or cancel a Student-Athlete's athletic scholarship during the period of an award the Head Coach for the Student-Athlete's sport, or other Athletic Department Senior Associate Athletic Director, shall notify the Sport Administrator for the sport and the Athletic Director, of the intent to reduce or cancel the scholarship. The Athletic Director, Sport Administrator, and the Senior Woman Administrator (or in the case of a Student-Athlete whose Sport Administrator is the SWA - a different Senior Associate Athletic Director) shall review the request and approve or disapprove the reduction or cancellation. The Student-Athlete shall have the right to appeal any reduction or cancellation of his or her athletic scholarship in accordance with NCAA rules. The following is an excerpt from the financial aid agreement.

    The following is an excerpt from the financial aid agreement.

    I am aware that the amount of this aid may be reduced or canceled if:

    • I become ineligible for intercollegiate competition (e.g., by carrying less than 12 units, failing an NCAA drug test, not meeting NCAA or USC academic standards);
    • I give false information on my application, letter of intent or Financial Aid Agreement or otherwise fraudulently misrepresent myself to USC;
    • I engage in serious misconduct that warrants substantial penalty from USC including, but not limited to violations of USC Student Conduct Code and Policies, USC Department of Athletics Alcohol and Drug Policy, USC Department of Athletics Trojan Family Code, Team Rules (each of these documents are available upon request), NCAA or Pac-12 rules;

    I am also aware that this aid may be reduced or canceled if:

    • I voluntarily withdraw from the sport for personal reasons;
    • I sign a professional sports contract or accept money for playing in an athletics contest for this sport (unless my eligibility is exhausted);
    • I receive compensation from a professional sports organization or any other compensation except as provided under NCAA Bylaws 12 and 15;
    • I agree to be represented by an agent (verbal or written) and/or accept money or benefits from an agent or someone representing the agent;
    • I receive other financial aid that causes me to exceed my individual limit as stipulated in Bylaw 15;
    • I have more than three unexcused absences from class in one month or I fail to attend class;
    • I exhaust my eligibility in the sport; or
    • I complete all requirements for the declared major of my undergraduate degree.

    B. Temporary Injury- The NCAA is explicit that an institution CANNOT, under any circumstances, cancel or decrease student-athletes' athletically related aid for any athletics reason including, but not limited to, an injury or illness that prevents the student-athlete from participating in athletics.

    C. Permanent/ career-ending sports-related injury- Student-athletes are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and could be offered a medical athletic scholarship that would be for the identical time frame and financial aid level for a period corresponding to one bachelor's degree (16 unit minimum per semester). The student-athlete must agree to be a medical scholarship recipient and acknowledge and all remaining athletics eligibility will be forfeited.

    D. Coaching Change- If there is a coaching change, reviews are on a case-by-case basis and the University will review the policies outlined within the National Letter of Intent bylaws.

    Information regarding scholarship renewals and appeals process is available upon request.

    Athletic Release

    Bylaw 13.1.1.3 - Four-year College Perspective Student-Athletes

    An athletics staff member or other representative of the institution's athletics interests shall not make contact with the student-athlete of another NCAA or NAIA four-year collegiate institution, directly or indirectly, without first obtaining the written permission of the first institution's athletics director (or an athletics administrator designated by the athletics director) to do so, regardless of who makes the initial contact. If permission is not granted, the second institution shall not encourage the transfer and the institution shall not provide athletically related financial assistance to the student-athlete until the student-athlete has attended the second institution for one academic year. If permission is granted to contact the student-athlete, all applicable NCAA recruiting rules apply. If an institution receives a written request from a student-athlete to permit another institution to contact the student-athlete about transferring, the institution shall grant or deny the request within seven business days (see Bylaw 13.02.1) of receipt of the request. If the institution fails to respond to the student-athlete's written request within seven business days, permission shall be granted by default and the institution shall provide written permission to the student-athlete.

    Bylaw 13.1.1.3.1 - Hearing Opportunity

    If the institution decides to deny a student-athlete's request to permit any other institution to contact the student-athlete about transferring, the institution shall inform the student-athlete in writing that he or she, upon request, shall be provided a hearing conducted by an institutional entity or committee outside of the athletics department (e.g., the office of student affairs; office of the dean of students; or a committee composed of the faculty athletics representative, student-athletes and nonathletics faculty/staff members). The institution shall conduct the hearing and provide written results of the hearing to the student-athlete within 15 business days (see Bylaw 13.02.1) of receipt of the student-athlete's written request for a hearing. The student-athlete shall be provided the opportunity to actively participate (e.g., in person, via telephone) in the hearing. If the institution fails to conduct the hearing or provide the written results to the student-athlete within 15 business days, permission to contact the student-athlete shall be granted by default and the institution shall provide written permission to the student-athlete.

    Bylaw 14.5.5.2.10 (One Time Transfer Exception)

    This exception is available for student-athletes transferring to the certifying institution from another four-year collegiate institution when all of the following conditions are met.

    (a) The student is a participant in a sport other than baseball, basketball, bowl subdivision football or men's ice hockey at the institution to which the student is transferring. A participant in championship subdivision football at the institution to which the student is transferring may use this exception only if the participant transferred to the certifying institution from an institution that sponsors bowl subdivision football and has two or more seasons of competition remaining in football or the participant transfers from a Football Championship Subdivision institution that offers athletically related financial aid in football to a Football Championship Subdivision institution that does not offer athletically related financial aid in football;

    (b) The student has not transferred previously from one four-year institution unless, in the previous transfer, the student-athlete received an exception per Bylaw 14.5.5.2.6 (discontinued/nonsponsored sport exception);

    (c) At the time of transfer to the certifying institution (see Bylaw 14.5.2), the student would have been academically eligible had he or she remained at the institution from which the student transferred, except that he or she is not required to have fulfilled the necessary percentage-of-degree requirements at the previous institution; and

    (d) If the student is transferring from an NCAA or NAIA member institution, the student's previous institution shall certify in writing that it has no objection to the student being granted an exception to the transfer-residence requirement. If an institution receives a written request for a release from a student-athlete, the institution shall grant or deny the request within seven business days. If the institution fails to respond to the student-athlete's written request within seven business days, the release shall be granted by default and the institution shall provide a written release to the student-athlete.

    Bylaw 14.5.5.2.10.1 (Hearing Opportunity)

    If the student's previous institution denies his or her written request for the release, the institution shall inform the student-athlete in writing that he or she, upon written request, shall be provided a hearing conducted by an institutional entity or committee outside of the athletics department (e.g., the office of student affairs; office of the dean of students; or a committee composed of the faculty athletics representative, student-athletes and nonathletics faculty/staff members). The institution shall conduct the hearing and provide written results of the hearing to the student-athlete within 15 business days (see Bylaw 14.02.3) of receipt of the student-athlete's written request for a hearing. The student-athlete shall be provided the opportunity to actively participate (e.g., in person, via telephone) in the hearing. If the institution fails to conduct the hearing or provide the written results to the student-athlete within 15 business days, the release shall be granted by default and the institution shall provide a written release to the student-athlete.

    Bylaw 14.5.5.2.10.2- (Nonrecruited Student)

    A student-athlete who does not qualify for the exception due to Bylaw 14.5.5.2.10-(a) may use the one-time transfer exception, provided he or she was not recruited by the original four-year institution and has never received institutional athletically related financial aid from any four-year institution

    USC Policy

    Pursuant to NCAA Bylaws 13.1.1.3, 14.5.5.2.10 and USC's Athletic Department Student-Athlete Transfer Policy, USC will review and act on requests for permission to contact and/or permit the use of the one-time transfer exception submitted by student-athletes within seven (7) business days. Subject to mitigating circumstances, USC will not grant permission or permit the use of the one-time transfer exception to other Pac-12 or MPSF conference institutions or institutions that are scheduled opponents during the requesting student-athletes remaining NCAA eligibility. Student-athletes may appeal any denial pursuant to NCAA Bylaws 13.1.1.3.1 and 14.5.5.2.10.1.

    Medical Expenses

    NCAA Division I Manual- Bylaw 16.4 (Medical Expenses)

    An institution, conference or the NCAA may provide medical and related expenses and services to a student-athlete.

    USC Policy on Medical Expenses

    The USC Athletic Department will cover medical costs for injuries or illnesses in which the athletic medicine staff coordinates the necessary services, as determined by USC Team Physicians. The student athlete's primary insurance policy will be billed first and all subsequent costs that are not covered by the primary insurance will be paid by the USC Athletic Department. Referrals to outside health care providers without prior approval from the USC athletic medicine staff may not be financially covered. Student athletes should not discontinue their insurance coverage assuming that the USC Department of Athletics will assume financial responsibility for all medical costs. The USC Athletic Department is only responsible for medical costs associated with athletic related injuries or illnesses. The USC Athletic Department is not financially responsible for non-athletic related injuries or illnesses.

    All USC Students must show proof of health insurance coverage at the beginning of the academic year. Students who are enrolled in a private health insurance plan may waive enrollment in the USC Student Insurance program by completing the waiver form and providing proof of insurance to the Student Health Insurance Office. A student who does not have health insurance or does not waive out of the USC Student Health Insurance Plan, will be automatically enrolled in that plan. All student athletes must provide their insurance information to the Department of Athletic Medicine prior to participation. This process is the responsibility of the student athletes.

    The NCAA has also developed a Catastrophic Injury Insurance Program. The NCAA Catastrophic Injury Insurance Program is an insurance program that covers student-athletes who are catastrophically injured while participating in a covered intercollegiate athletics activity. The policy has a $90,000 deductible and provides insurance in excess of any other valid and collectible insurance. All student-athletes are covered under this policy.

    USC's "Student-Athlete Post-Separation Medical Coverage Program" provides for post-separation medical benefits for former student-athletes in accordance with California Education Code Section 67453 and Pac-12 Executive Regulation 7(1)(e).

    Duration of Benefit

    Each student-athlete will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Each case will be reviewed independently.

    Second opinion

    Whether or not USC medical policy covers expenses associated with obtaining a second medical opinion for an athletic-related injury, each individual will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis of what is paid for and done within the parameters of the insurance covering each case regarding independent review. Secondary medical opinions from physicians outside the athletic department must be driven by the athletic sports medicine staff, must have previous and ongoing communications regarding such request, and all requests must be approved by USC medical staff before any secondary medical opinion is sought.