NLI Signing Dates

Dates for prospective student-athletes signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI) in 2016-17 and enrolling in 2017-18:

Sport(s) Initial Signing Date Final Signing Date
Basketball (Early Period) November 9, 2016 November 16, 2016
Basketball (Regular Period) April 12, 2017 May 17, 2017
Football (Midyear JC Transfer) December 14, 2016 January 15, 2017
Football (Regular Period) February 1, 2017 April 1, 2017
Soccer February 1, 2017 August 1, 2017
All Other Sports (Early Period) November 9, 2016 November 16, 2016
All Other Sports (Regular Period) April 12, 2017 August 1, 2017

Athletics Activities

As is outlined in Bylaw 17 of the NCAA Manual, a student-athlete's participation in countable athletically-related activities (CARAs) shall be limited to the following:

During the Playing Season: Outside the Playing Season:
4 hours daily 4 hours daily
20 hours weekly 8 hours weekly
At least one (1) day off per week At least two (2) days off per week

NOTE: A competition day is considered three (3) hours of activity regardless of the actual duration of the event (this includes pre-game warm-ups, shoot-around, etc.). No countable activities may take place after a competition.

Coaches are required to log their team's weekly playing/practice hours through JumpForward.

Voluntary activities do not count toward the limitations displayed above. However, any activity at which a coach is present must count against daily and weekly hour limits (other than meetings initiated by student-athletes during which no other countable activities occur). Compliance and academic meetings do not count against daily and weekly limits.

Further, the daily and weekly hour limitations on CARAs do not apply to the following time periods:

  • During preseason practice prior to the first day of classes or the first scheduled contest, whichever is earlier
  • During UT's term-time vacation periods as listed in the official academic calendar (e.g., Fall Break, Thanksgiving, MLK Day, Spring Break, Spring Recess)
  • During the academic year between terms when classes are not in session (i.e., winter break)

If you have any questions about any of the items below or whether a specific activity is countable or non-countable, please contact the Compliance Office at 865-974-3871.

Examples of Countable Activities

Countable Activity Non-Countable Activity
Practices (not more than 4 hours per day) Compliance meetings
Athletic meeting initiated/required by coach (e.g. end of season individual meetings) Meetings with coach(es) initiated by student-athlete (as long as no activities occur)
Field, floor, or on-court activity Drug/alcohol educational meetings, CHAMPS meetings, Life Skills meetings
Setting up offensive and defensive alignment Study hall, tutoring or academic meetings
On-court or on-field activities called by any member of the team and confined primarily to members of that team Student-athlete advisory meetings/Captain's Counsel meetings
Required weight-training and conditioning activities Voluntary weight training not conducted by a coach or staff member
Required participation in camps/clinics Voluntary sport-related activities (e.g. initiated by student-athlete, no attendance taken, no coach present)
For cross country, golf and skiing, visiting the competition site Travelling to and from the competition site (as long as no countable athletically related activities occur)
Participating outside the regular season in individual skill-related instructional activities with a member of the coaching staff Training room activities (e.g., treatment and taping), rehabilitation activities, and medical examinations
Recruiting activities (e.g., student host)

Academic Progress Rate

The Academic Progress Rate (APR) is a term-by-term measure of eligibility and retention for Division I student-athletes that was developed by the NCAA as an indicator of eventual graduation rates.

Every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year, based on the eligibility and retention of each scholarship student-athlete (including medical hardships and post-eligibility students). Teams scoring below certain thresholds can face penalties, such as scholarship losses and restrictions on practice and competition. Rates are based on the past four years' performance.

Each semester, the academic eligibility of all UT student-athletes is reviewed by the Registrar's Office in consultation with the Compliance Office, Thornton Athletics Student Life Center, the team's head coach and the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR). Student-athletes are encouraged to meet with their advisor every semester for a complete explanation of the eligibility requirements that they must meet. It is the student-athlete's responsibility to be aware of these requirements.

How is a team's APR calculated?

The APR awards two points each term to student-athletes who meet academic eligibility standards and who remain with the institution. A team's APR is the total points earned by the team at a given time divided by the total points possible.

Each student-athlete can earn a maximum of two points for his/her team every semester that he/she receives athletics aid:

  • One point for eligibility if he/she meets all NCAA eligibility requirements (e.g., progress-toward-degree, credit hours and GPA).
  • One point for retention if he/she returns to UT the following semester.

What is the threshold and what are the penalties?

Teams must earn a four-year APR of 930 to compete in championships. Those that do not may face the following penalties:

  • The first penalty level limits teams to 16 hours of practice per week over five days (as opposed to 20 over six days), with the lost four hours to be replaced with academic activities.
  • A second level adds additional practice and competition reductions, either in the traditional or non-championship season, to the first-level penalties.
  • The third level, where teams could remain until their rate improves, includes a menu of possible penalties, including coaching suspensions, financial aid reductions and restricted NCAA membership.

NCAA Division I Recruiting Calendars

Click to view, save or print recruiting calendars for the following sports (in PDF format):

» Baseball
» Men's Basketball
» Women's Basketball
» Football
» Softball
» Track & Field/Cross Country
» Volleyball

Last Updated: 08.16.16

NCAA Division I Off-Campus Recruiting Guides

Click to view, save or print recruiting guides for the following sports (in PDF format):

» Men's Basketball
» Women's Basketball
» Football
» All Other Sports

Last Updated: 08.17.16

Scholarships / Financial Aid

Coaches may request population of scholarship documents for a prospective student-athlete by completing the NLI / Scholarship Request Form in JumpForward.

All other scholarships inquiries should be directed to Scott Eichner, Associate Director of Compliance, at or (865) 974-4043.

Occasional Meals

NCAA regulations permit a UT coach or staff member to provide a student-athlete or an entire team with an occasional meal (and transportation to attend the meal) at any location in the Knoxville area (e.g., home, campus, restaurant).

A UT booster (or representative of athletics interests) may also provide a meal on infrequent and special occasions, but these meals must take place at the individual's home, on campus or at a facility that is regularly used for home competition. Boosters may provide transportation to the meal only if it takes place at their home.

All occasional meals must be pre-approved by the Compliance Office. To seek approval to provide an occasional meal, please complete the Occasional Meal Form in JumpForward. Questions regarding occasional meals may be directed to Scott Eichner, Associate Director of Compliance, at or (865) 974-4043.

Recruiting: Visits

Prior to providing an official recruiting visit to a prospective student-athlete, coaches must obtain approval from the Compliance Office by completing the Official Visit Request Form in JumpForward.

Following an official visit, coaches must submit the following completed documents to the Business Office:

Questions regarding recruiting visits may be directed to Danielle Averill, Director of Compliance, at or (865) 974-2908.


Student-athletes may receive participation, championship and special achievement awards in accordance with NCAA regulations. Awards must be approved by the Compliance Office prior to purchase by completing the Awards Approval Form.

Some items that an enrolled student-athlete may not be awarded include:

  • Cash
  • Gift cards that are redeemable for cash (original amount or balance thereof)
  • Cash-equivalent award (an item that is negotiable for cash or trade or other services, benefits or merchandise) for athletics participation
  • Country club or sports club membership

If participating in competition outside the playing season during the summer vacation period, a student-athlete may accept prize money that does not exceed his/her actual and necessary expenses (i.e., food, travel, housing). A student-athlete will be declared ineligible if he/she accepts money that exceeds actual and necessary expenses.

Questions regarding awards may be directed to Scott Eichner, Associate Director of Compliance, at or (865) 974-4043.