Policy on Early Reporting of Incoming Student-Athletes
As you know, many incoming student-athletes appear on our campus before they have submitted their final academic documents for certification of their eligibility status. In some cases, certification of their eligibility is a formality - we know from previously reviewing their in-progress academic documents that the recruit will meet NCAA rules and be eligible. Conversely, in some cases, we know that the eligibility status of the incoming student-athlete is tenuous or shaky - again because we have previously reviewed their in-progress academic documents which show that they are not on track to meet NCAA rules. Baylor's policy is that any incoming student-athletes who do not project to meet NCAA rules cannot report to our teams until they establish via official academic documents that they have met NCAA rules and secured their eligibility. This is a tangible outgrowth from Big 12 Conference Rule 6.2, which precludes a student-athlete from ever being eligible at any Big 12 institution if they enroll full-time or part-time at any collegiate institution before establishing their final eligibility standing.
Certainly, an incoming student-athlete who projects to meet NCAA rules can report to their team at the appropriate time even if they have not yet established their eligibility. This is a formality - which should of course be completed as soon as possible - but it should not hinder the student-athlete from starting to practice with their team.
The incoming student-athlete who does not project to meet NCAA must not report to their team (or come to the community) until they have officially established that they are eligible pursuant to NCAA rules. This is specifically to preserve the opportunity for the recruit to eventually still come to Baylor should they be forced by NCAA rules to do more academic work elsewhere in order to secure their eligibility.