Surprising Rules College Basketball Players Must Follow


Blood from a wound should be cleaned up as soon as possible.

The players have exactly 20 seconds to take care of everything from a badly scraped knee to a bleeding nose or else they have to leave the game. The rule also applies to an irritated (or lost) contact lens.


No jersey number can end in 6, 7, 8 or 9.

NCAA only offers players a total of 37 jersey numbers to choose from – and none of them include 6, 7, 8 or 9. Why? These numbers require two hands to sign, which complicates matters for referees.


Don’t take your teammates.

We’d file this one under things that should be left unsaid, but there’s a real rule which states “climbing or lifting a teammate to gain greater height” is not allowed.


Players on the bench must remain seated.

Well, most of the time. The one exception in the rulebook? “Reacting spontaneously to exceptional play, sitting on the bench immediately afterwards.”


No jewelry can be worn during the game.

It’s a security issue. If your team wins, you can wear your best jewelry to the after-party, but not on the field.


You must return your jersey.

Men’s and women’s leagues follow the same rule to 1. Prevent sweat from dripping onto the court. 2. Prevent injuries, such as tripping over loose fabric or getting caught on an opponent. 3. Give players more movement while shooting a ball.


Long fingernails are also prohibited.


You have to be big.

Alright, alright, it’s not exactly a to reign, but it certainly helps. In NCAA Division 1, the average male player is just under 6’5″while the average player is 5’6″ tall.


You must maintain a certain GPA.

Division I students must earn at least six credit hours each term and meet their school’s GPA requirements for graduation. They must also obtain 40% of their diploma by the end of the second year, 60% by the end of the third year and 80% by the end of the fourth year.


Homework should be done on the go.

Many teams travel with an advisor who is responsible for keeping players on the right academic path, with tutoring and help with setting up study schedules. “It’s what coaches sell to their parents and to them on recruiting visits, which we’ll do our homework on the road,” said Chris Barbour, assistant director of student-athlete academic support services at the Xavier University. Recount WCPO.


You gotta fly coach…sometimes.

During the regular season, it’s up to schools to decide how they want their students to travel – some spend big money in private planes, while others travel by coach.


Living with teammates is not mandatory.

But who wouldn’t want to live with peers who have the same busy schedule as you? A standard 60 percent of Division I male basketball players live exclusively with their teammates.


Don’t expect special dorms.

These top players may be on the road to the NBA, but they won’t be treated like LeBron James just yet. Even though universities build housing specifically with student-athletes in mind, NCAA Rules “requiring that student-athlete residence halls house at least 51% of general population students and provide no special treatment to athletes.”


But there are a few advantages.

In 2021, the Supreme Court sided with student athletes over the NCAA in a case regarding educational benefits. Now schools can sign players with just about anything as long as it’s related to education. A former senior NCAA official, Oliver Luck, Recount NPR this could mean a year abroad, internships, law or medical tuition, etc.


You get unlimited meals.


You can refuel at halftime.

Eating simple or “fast” carbs – those that can be digested easily – is key to feeling ready for the second half of a match. It is common for players to have a snack during halftime. For Duke, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the favorites of the team.


Being paid to play in the past makes you ineligible.

Why? The NCAA tries to keep amateurism in the sport. Internationally, things work differently and many teenagers grow up being paid by clubs. When they reach college age and apply to top US universities, many are not eligible.


You must have completed your secondary education in four years.

In a sad turn of events, Colorado freshman Evan Battey was put on trial academically ineligible by the NCAA for the 2017–18 season after his discovery, he repeated ninth grade. He took a year redshirt and was able to train with the team, but not compete or travel.


But college can take longer than four years.

The NCAA offered a “free year” to athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and disrupted the 2020-21 season. For this reason, super seniors are becoming more and more common.


Do not post leads on social media.

According to a Stanford social media guide, current athletes can follow potential recruits online, but aren’t allowed to comment or praise them for any commitments until the news is officially announced. They are also not supposed to post or retweet photos of the prospect’s recruiting visit.


You can monetize your name, image and likeness.


So, yes, you can be an influencer.

Prior to 2021, players were not allowed to accept brand deals or sponsorships. When the ban was lifted, some athletes became social media stars in their own right. Louisiana State University’s Shareef O’Neal (yes, Shaquille O’Neal’s son) has over 2.5 million instagram followers and earning potential on social networks of 3.5 million dollars a year.


You can also register your brand name.

UConn player Paige Bueckers has $1 million social media earning potential – and she’s taken advantage of it”paige bucketsnickname by launching a sportswear line.


But not everything can (or should) be shared online.

In 2021, Ohio Bobcats guard Michael Brown Jr. landed in hot water during post a TikTok video about the NCAA tournament bubble in Indianapolis. He showed his personal identification information, as well as the tracking devices that everyone had to wear inside. He then deleted the video and re-uploaded it without the security issues.


Only two family members get a free ride to the Final Four.

Reaching the NCAA Tournament semi-finals isn’t easy, but athletes can lend their support. In 2015, the NCAA launched a program that pays each player $3,000 in total to cover travel, hotel and meal expenses for two family members. This increases to $4,000 for championship games.


Men and women have separate weight rooms at the NCAA Tournament.

This resulted in a big controversy in 2021, when several women’s teams complained that they did not have equal equipment and training space compared to men.


You must return home immediately after a March Madness loss.

In 2021, Oregon State Beavers were kicked out of their hotel after their Elite 8 loss and were told to catch a flight home at 1:15 a.m. Brutal.


Don’t ask the coaches for favors.

Need help moving? Sorry, the staff cannot do any favors for players outside of the game. In 2000, UNLV’s Chris Richardson was famous struck with an offense after his assistant coach helped him move a mattress.


Don’t ask coaches for money either.

In a sadder story, in the 1980s, North Carolina State head coach Jim Valvano bought out one of his players. a return plane ticket to attend her grandmother’s funeral. Upon his return, everyone faced the consequences.


Prepare to give up all your free time.

Being a Division I athlete is no joke. Players could spend at least 25 hours per week in the Arena for things like practice, film breakdown, rehabilitation, etc.. Factor that into the time you need to go to class, do your homework, travel for games, and you have a busy schedule.


Sleep should take a back seat.

With such a busy lifestyle, plus the jet lag from all that travelling, there just isn’t much time to sleep. According to an NCAA study, a third of student-athletes sleep less than seven hours a night.


You may not use tobacco during practice or a game.

Smoking is absolutely prohibited for student-athletes, and its use may result in disqualification from competitions. It makes sense to be honest.


You must wear a light uniform at home games.

Have you ever noticed that it’s very easy to tell who the home team is when watching a game? There is a reason for this. Visitors wear dark colors and hosts wear light colors.


You must eat with your team when traveling.

At least at Rutgers. the school guide says “all meals must be with the team unless otherwise directed by the coaching staff.” Players must also show up to meals with their school’s sports equipment.


The purchase of Wi-Fi at the hotel is prohibited.

On the road, every little expense is monitored. A player from Oklahoma once spent $9.95 for internet service, but then incurred an NCAA code violation. After another UNC-Asheville player tweeted about needing Wi-Fi to do homework during March Madness in 2016, the NCAA announced that it would provide it free to tournament attendees.


You cannot wear a microphone.


You cannot use live video for coaching.

Men’s teams are prohibited from using any video during play or practice timeouts (except for certain “experimental” case), but women’s teams are allowed to use preloaded sideline tapes.


Before, you couldn’t dunk during warm-ups.

Before 2015, the pre-game dunk was worth a penalty to the players. While he was considered “showboating“and a sign of bad sportsmanship, it’s now seen as a way to cheer up the crowd for the upcoming game.


Women are not allowed to dunk a dead ball.


Men should also follow dead ball etiquette.

That of men rule book doesn’t mention a specific consequence for diving on a deal ball, but it does say a technical foul can be issued “when the ball is dead and involves unnecessary, unacceptable or excessive contact.”

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