ß† A Guidebook to NCAA Regulations for Representatives of Athletics Interest
ß† A guide to assist alumni, friends and boosters of East Central University Athletics in helping maintain strict adherence to NCAA rules and regulations.
Alumni, Boosters, and Fans:
As supporters of East Central Athletics, you are essential to the success of the department and your interest is very much needed and appreciated. We could not maintain and improve our intercollegiate athletics success without your support. We are certain that you want to help us maintain the high standards we have for Tiger Athletics as well as assure that we stay in compliance with NCAA regulations. It is important that you, as representatives of Tiger athletics interests, are aware of the rules and regulations regarding you involvement in the department. The NCAA considers East Central University responsible for your acts when we have knowledge that you are promoting our intercollegiate Athletics Department.
Please read the following information carefully.
This is meant to be an overview of the rules and regulations regarding your involvement in East Central Athletics. Because of the complexity of the NCAA rules, this guide does not include all applicable situations and should not be relied upon exclusively. We need your help in complying with these rules.
Glossary of Definitions
The NCAA defines a prospective student-athlete as any student who has started classes for the ninth grade. In addition, as student who has not started the ninth grade becomes a prospect if the institution provides that student (or the studentís relatives and friends) with any financial assistance or other benefit not provided to prospective students in general.
A student-athlete is a student whose enrollment was solicited by a member of the athletics staff or other representative of athletics interests with a view towards the studentís ultimate participation in the Intercollegiate Athletics Department. Any other student becomes a student-athlete only when the student reports for an intercollegiate squad that is under the jurisdiction of the Athletics Department. A student is not deemed a student-athlete solely on the basis of prior high school athletics participation.
A contact is any face-to-face encounter between a prospect or the prospectís parent or legal guardian and an institutional staff member athletics representative during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting. Any such face-to-face encounter that is prearranged or that takes place on the grounds of the prospectís educational institution or at the site of organized competition or practice involving the prospectís high school, two-year college, or all-star team shall be considered a contact, regardless of the conversation that occurs.
An evaluation is any off-campus activity designed to assess the academic qualifications or athletics ability of a prospective student-athlete, including any visit to a prospective student-athleteís educational institution (during which no contact occurs) or the observation of any practice or competition at any site at which the prospective student-athlete participates.
Recruiting is any solicitation of a prospect or the prospectís family by a university staff member or by a representative of the Universityís athletics interest (you) for the purpose of securing the prospectís enrollment at the University and/or participation in the Athletics Department.
An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institutionís athletics interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athleteís relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. Receipt of a benefit by the student-athlete or his relatives or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation, if it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the institutionís student or their relatives, or friends or to a particular segment of the student body (e.g., foreign students, minority students) determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability.
A quiet period is that period of time when it is permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the member institutionís campus. No-in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts or evaluations may be made during the quiet period.
A dead period is that period of time when it is not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on o off the member institutionís campus or to permit official or unofficial visits by prospective student-athletes to the institutionís campus. The provision of complimentary admission to a prospective student0athlete during a dead period is prohibited, except as provided in Bylaw 18.104.22.168 for a prospective student-athlete who visits an institution as part of a group. During such a dead period, a coaching staff member may not serve as a speaker at or attend a meeting or banquet at which prospective student0athletes are in attendance, except as provided in Bylaw 13.1.9, and may not visit the prospective student-athletesí educational institutions. It remains permissible, however, for an institutional staff member to write or telephone prospective student-athletes during such a dead period.
Who is an Athletics Representative?
A "representative of the institution's athletics interests", or "booster", is an individual who is known (or who should have been known) by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to:
Have participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization, including corporate entities (e.g. apparel and equipment companies), promoting the institution's intercollegiate athletics program;
- Have made financial contributions to the Athletics Department or to an athletics booster organization of that institution;
- Be assisting or to have been requested (by the Athletics Department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospects;
- Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits, to include arranging employment, for enrolled student-athletes or their families, or;
- Have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution's athletics program.
Note: Once an individual is identified as such a representative, that person retains that identity indefinitely.
A prospective student athlete ("prospect") is a student who has started classes for the ninth grade.
- An individual remains a prospective student-athlete even after signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend an institution and until reporting for regular squad practice, attends the first day of class in any regular term.
Boosters Are Permitted To:
- View a prospect's athletics contest on his or her own initiative, subject to the understanding that the athletics representative may not contact the prospect, the prospect's relatives or legal guardian(s) on such occasions.
- Make written communications after the beginning of the prospect's junior year.
- Have on-campus contact with prospective student-athletes.
- Notify coaches about prospects who may be contributors to the athletics program.
- Have unavoidable incidental contact provided the contact is not prearranged by the representative or an athletics department staff member; does not take place on the grounds of the prospect's educational institution or at the sites of organized competition or practice; is not made for the purpose of recruitment; and involves only normal civility.
- Continue existing friendships with families of prospects without attempting to recruit the prospect.
Boosters Are Not Permitted To:
- Make telephone calls to prospective student-athletes.
- Contact a prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect.
- Visit a prospect's educational institution to pick up film/videotape or transcripts pertaining to the evaluation of the prospect's academic eligibility or athletics ability.
- Make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospect or the prospect's relatives or legal guardian(s). These contacts shall be made only by authorized Athletics Department staff members.
An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institutions athletics interest to provide a student-athlete, or their relatives, legal guardian(s) or friends a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.
Representatives of athletics interest cannot provide anything or make special arrangements for student-athletes and prospective student-athletes that are not available to the general student population.
- Cash or loans in any amount, or signing or co-signing for a loan.
- Providing an automobile or the use of an automobile.
- Providing gifts of any kind, including birthday cards, holiday gifts or awards for athletic performance.
- Providing special discounts or credit on a purchase of goods or a service (e.g. airline ticket, clothing, car repair, movie, etc.)
- Providing free or reduced rent/housing.
- Purchasing complimentary admissions from a student-athlete.
- Providing an honorarium to a student-athlete for a speaking engagement.
- Paying or providing the actual and necessary expenses (room, board and transportation costs) incurred by friends or relatives to visit an enrolled student-athlete.
- A student-athlete or the entire team in a sport may receive an occasional family home meal from a representative of athletics interests provided the meal is in the individual's home, and may be catered. Reasonable local transportation for the student-athletes to attend such meals is allowed.
It is permissible to arrange employment for prospective student-athletes during the summer prior to their enrollment as freshmen and anytime for current student-athletes with prior approval from the Compliance Office.
For the student-athlete:
- Compensation can only be for work actually performed.
- The compensation is at a rate commensurate with the going rate of that locality for similar services.
- The employer shall not use the athletics reputation of a student-athlete employee to promote the sale of the employer's products or services.
- Neither the institution nor its representatives shall provide free transportation to and from the job unless it is the employer's policy to transport all employees to and from the job site.
PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR STUDENT-ATHLETES†
All charitable, educational and non-profit promotional activities involving student-athletes must have prior written approval from the Director of Athletics.
Subsequent to becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual:
- Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name, picture or appearance to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind or
- Receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual's use of such product or service.
However, a member institution or recognized entity thereof, a member conference or a non institutional charitable, educational or nonprofit agency may use a student-athlete's name, picture or appearance to support activities considered incidental to the student-athlete's participation in intercollegiate athletics if, among other criteria:
All money derived from the activity goes directly to the member institution, member conference or the charitable, educational or nonprofit agency and not the student-athlete.
Under certain circumstances it is permissible for a student-athlete's name or picture, or the group picture of a team, to appear in an advertisement of a particular business, commercial product or service (check with the Compliance Office for details)
NOTE: Autographed items such as pictures, posters, basketballs signed by a coach or eligible student-athlete(s) have guidelines associated with their distribution.
CONSEQUENCES TO BOOSTERS FOR NCAA VIOLATIONS†
NCAA rules require institutions to notify boosters that any benefit or privileges provided to the booster relating to the institution's athletics program will be withheld if the booster is found to be in violation of any NCAA rules or regulation. The NCAA Committee on Infractions has processed cases in which penalties have included both the disassociation of boosters with the institutions and the loss of season ticket privileges.
Q. Can an athletics representative be involved in any way when a prospect is on an official or unofficial visit?
A. Yes. Athletics representatives can participate with the prospect only on the school's campus.
Q. Is it permissible for a booster to reimburse the coach of a prospect for expenses incurred in transporting a prospect to visit the campus?
A. No. In fact the college is not permitted to reimburse the prospect's coach for any expenses to include travel, meals and lodging.
Q. Is it permissible for a booster to pay registration fees associated with sport camps?
A. No. All prospects and/or their schools must pay camp fees.
Q. Is the contact rule applicable to established family, friends, and neighbors?
A. No. However, it must be understood that such contacts may not be made for recruiting purposes and are not to be initiated by a member of the institutions coaching staff.
Q. May a booster attend a public event (e.g., high school award banquet or dinner) at which prospects are in attendance?
A. Yes. Any contact with a prospect may not be prearranged by an athletics department staff member, and no attempt may be made to recruit the prospect.
Q. May a recruit call a booster?
A. Yes . A booster may have a telephone conversation with a prospect provided the prospect initiates the call and the call was not prearranged by an institutional staff member. The booster is not permitted to have a recruiting conversation with the prospect but may exhibit normal civility.
Q. Is East Central responsible for the acts of boosters and booster support groups?
A. Yes. Boosters are governed by the same NCAA and institutional rules and regulations as those placed upon all institutional athletics staff members.
Q. May a student-athlete make a public appearance at a business establishment for any purpose, such as signing autographs, etc.?
A. No. Such appearances can be construed as a direct or indirect endorsement of the commercial establishment, thus jeopardizing the eligibility of the student-athlete. It should be noted that student-athletes may make appearances at schools, hospitals, or other non-profit or charitable organizations provided they do not receive compensation (other than expenses) and such activities are authorized by the Athletics Department.
Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide gifts or awards to a student-athlete for his or her athletics performance?
A. No. Such recognition would be considered extra benefits not available to the general student-population.
Q. How can a booster communicate with a prospective student-athlete other than during an on-campus visit?
A. By letters, facsimiles and other electronically transmitted correspondence.
Q. Can a booster contact an enrolled student-athlete at another institution for the purpose of encouraging a transfer?
Play it Safe, Check First
Compliance with NCAA Regulations is of the highest priority for our Athletics Department and Institution. We need your assistance in complying with NCAA Rules. Before you make contact with a student-athlete to arrange a home meal, employment, or promotional activity, or when you are faced with a situation and ensure as to how to respond, please call the East Central Assistant Athletic Director and NCAA Compliance Coordinator at (580) 559-5261 before acting!
The East Central Compliance Office was created to ensure that the Athletics Department, its coaching staff and the student-athletes are committed to the highest standards and principles of ethical behavior and complete adherence to the letter and spirit of NCAA rules. This Guide to NCAA Rules includes only a sampling of all the regulations that exist.
A full disclosure of NCAA rules and regulations are to be found in the annual NCAA Manual. There are frequent rule changes annually so this Guide could be outdated quickly and should not be relied upon exclusively. If you have specific situations or questions that require additional interpretations, or seek further information regarding these or other rules, contact the Compliance Coordinator at the following address:
Assistant Director of Athletics/NCAA Compliance Coordinator
East Central University
1100 E. 14th Street, PMB L-8
Ada, Oklahoma 74820