The following three NCAA bylaws are at the heart of Mike Balogun’s fight to become eligible. The first mandates that a student-athlete loses a year of eligibility for each season of participation in an organized sport after the age of 21. The second explains what the NCAA considers an organized sport.
Finally, the third is the NCAA’s "restitution” rule, which allows for penalties against schools that allow student-athletes to play under a court order and that order is later overturned or found to be unjustified.
NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199: Participation after 21st birthday
Any participation as an individual or a team representative in organized sports competition by a student during each 12-month period after a student’s 21st birthday, and prior to initial full-time enrollment in a collegiate institution, shall count as one year of varsity competition in that sport.
NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52.3: Organized competition
Athletics competition shall be considered organized if any one
of the following conditions exists:
(a) Competition is scheduled and publicized in advance;
(b) Official score is kept;
(c) Individual or team standings are maintained;
(d) Official timer or game officials are used;
(e) Admission is charged;
(f) Teams are regularly formed or team rosters are predetermined;
(g) Team uniforms are used;
(h) A team is privately or commercially sponsored; or
(i) The competition is either directly or indirectly sponsored, promoted or administered by an individual, an organization or any other agency.
NCAA Bylaw 19.7: Restitution
If a student-athlete who is ineligible under the terms of the constitution, bylaws or other legislation of the Association is permitted to participate in intercollegiate competition contrary to such NCAA legislation but in accordance with the terms of a court restraining order or injunction operative against the institution attended by such student-athlete or against the Association, or both, and said injunction is voluntarily vacated, stayed or reversed or it is finally determined by the courts that injunctive relief is not or was not justified, the Management Council may take any one or more of the following actions against such institution in the interest of restitution and fairness to competing institutions:
(a) Require that individual records and performances achieved during participation by such ineligible student-athlete be vacated or stricken;
(b) Require that team records and performances achieved during participation by such ineligible student-athlete shall be vacated or stricken;
(c) Require that team victories achieved during participation by such ineligible student-athlete shall be abrogated and the games or events forfeited to the opposing institutions;
(d) Require that individual awards earned during participation by such ineligible student-athlete shall be returned to the Association, the sponsor or the competing institution supplying same;
(e) Require that team awards earned during participating by such ineligible student-athlete shall be returned to the Association, the sponsor or the competing institution supplying same;
(f) Determine that the institution is ineligible for one or more NCAA championships in the sports and in the seasons in which such ineligible student-athlete participated;
(g) Determine that the institution is ineligible for invitational and postseason meets and tournaments in the sports and in the seasons in which such ineligible student-athlete participated;
(h) Require that the institution shall remit to the NCAA the institution’s share of television receipts (other than the portion shared with other conference members) for appearing on any live television series or program if such ineligible student-athlete participates in the contest(s) selected for such telecast, or if the Leadership Council concludes that the institution would not have been selected for such telecast but for the participation of such ineligible student-athlete during the season of the telecast; any such funds thus remitted shall be devoted to the NCAA postgraduate scholarship program;
(i) Require that the institution that has been represented in an NCAA championship by such a student-athlete shall be assessed a financial penalty as determined by the Committee on Infractions.