Type of Doctors Considered in Requests for an Exception

Bylaw: Article V, Section L

“In exceptional cases, where extenuating circumstances exist, an institution may request an exceptional ruling to a standard rule.”


The National Eligibilty Comittee has determined that Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants should not be the deciding party in supporting medical documentation for requests for exceptions that involve medical extenuating circumstances.

Background and Intent

After consultation from medical professionals, the NEC determined that Nurse Practioners and Phycision Assistants have to have a collaborative agreement in place with an MD or DO to practice. Most states still require an MD or DO for disability certification (with a few exceptions). MD/DO would be the appropriate party to be the designated signer for all medical hardships and request for an exception as they would be the final medical professional to sign off on diagnosis from a Nurse Practitioner and or Phycisions Assistant.


A student-athlete is required by a doctor to take a medical withdrawal from school due to health issues. The student only sees a physicians assistant at the local health clinic who provides the documentation for the medical withdraw. Upon returning to school, the student requests an exception for the academic term in which he withdrew so the term does not count against him for the 24/36-Hour Rule. The student submits the documentation from the physicians assistant as part of the documentation to show proof of the need for the medical withdrawal.

The NEC has determined that the information provided by the physicians assistant in all likelihood will not suffice for medical documentation for a request for an exception. A student must provide documentation that an MD or DO evaluated the student and recommended a medial withdraw.

Related Bylaws

Article V, Section E, Item 1 – Exceptions to the terms of attendance.

Related Interpretations

Non-NAIA Institutions’ Ability to Request a Medical Hardship or an Exception to a Standard Rule

NEC Interp – Creation date July 2016