Inappropriate contacts or actions by NCAA member institutions may jeopardize the eligibility of prospective and/or student-athletes, as well as lead to sanctions being imposed upon an NCAA member institution.
This document will remind you of some of the inappropriate things that have caused student-athletes to become ineligible for NCAA play, as they have to do with inappropriate actions by member institutions.
Prospective Student-Athlete: A prospective student-athlete (“prospect”) is defined as an individual who has begun classes for the ninth (9th) grade. However, it is possible for a student who is still in a lower grade to be considered as a prospect. Please ask first if you have any questions or concerns.
Student-Athlete: A student-athlete is a student who is enrolled at a four-year institution and whose enrollment was solicited by a member of the athletics staff or other representative of athletics interests with a view toward the student’s participation in the intercollegiate athletics program.
Contact: A contact is any face-to-face encounter between a prospect, or the prospect’s parent or legal guardian, and an institutional staff member or athletics representative during which any dialogue occurs.
Recruiting: Recruiting is any solicitation (by phone, mail or in-person) of a prospect or a prospect’s family member or legal guardian. Only those institutional coaches who have passed the NCAA Recruiting Test are permitted to recruit for the institution.
Representatives of Athletics Interests: An individual, independent agency, corporate entity or any organization who is known (or who should have been known) by a member institution’s executive or athletics administration to:
(a) Have participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization promoting the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program;
(b) Have made financial contributions to the athletic department or to an athletics booster organization of that institution;
(c) Be assisting or to have been requested (by the athletic department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospects;
(d) Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or
(e) Have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution’s athletics program.
Once an individual is identified as such a representative, the person retains that identity indefinitely.
Extra Benefit: An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or an athletics representative to provide a prospect or a student-athlete (or the prospect or student-athlete’s relatives or friends) with a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. The following are examples of extra benefits:
• Receiving cash or loans in any amount.
• A coach or recruiter or staff or booster signing or co-signing a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan.
• The Employment of the relatives or friends of a student-athlete.
• Receiving gifts of any kind (e.g., birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day) or free services (e.g., clothing, airline tickets, laundry, car repair, haircuts, meals in restaurants).
• Receiving special discounts for goods or services.
• Receiving the use of an automobile.
• Receiving a meal other than in a coach’s home on special infrequent occasions (e.g., Thanksgiving, birthday).
• Receiving the use of your summer home to go water skiing, hunting, etc.
• Receiving transportation for any purpose.
• Receiving rent-free or reduced-rent housing.
• Receiving a benefit connected with on- or off-campus housing (e.g., television set, stereo equipment).
• Receiving tickets to an athletic, institutional or community event.
• Receiving a guarantee of a bond.
• Receiving a promise of financial aid for postgraduate education.
• Receiving employment after college graduation.
NCAA RECRUITING POLICIES FOR ATHLETICS REPRESENTATIVES
THEY MUST NOT become directly or indirectly involved in arranging for a prospect, or the prospect’s relatives or friends, to receive money or financial aid of any kind.
THEY MUST NOT provide any “extra benefits” to or for a prospect, or the prospect’s relatives or friends.
THEY MUST NOT write to, telephone or contact in person a prospect or the prospect’s family (on or off campus). If a coach is accompanied by a prospect on campus, in the community or at the airport, do not approach the coach and prospect. If a prospect approaches you at an off-campus location regarding an institution’s athletic program, explain that NCAA rules do not permit you to discuss the program. Suggest that the prospect contact the institution’s athletics department for information.
THEY MUST NOT entertain high school, prep school or two-year college coaches at any location.
THEY MUST NOT contact the prospect’s coach, principal or counselor for evaluating the prospect. THEY MUST NOT videotape games or pick up films or transcripts from the prospect’s educational institution.
HOWEVER . . .
THEY CAN attend high school and community college athletic events for your enjoyment, but not to scout or videotape for an institution’s coaching staff. While at such an event, you cannot have any contact with prospects or their relatives. Should you find yourself seated next to parents of a prospect, DO NOT initiate conversation with them. If conversation is initiated with you, respond in a civil manner but DO NOT discuss anything regarding a member institution’s athletic program. Direct their questions to the coaching staff or the Athletics Compliance Office of the University/College.
THEY CAN continue ESTABLISHED family relationships with friends and neighbors. You are permitted to engage in your normal activities with prospects and their parents who are family and/or friends as long as they are not made for recruiting purposes and are not prompted by a member institutions coaching staff. Again, you simply are not permitted to attempt to recruit the prospect or discuss the athletics program.
THEY CAN attend a public event (e.g., a high school awards banquet or dinner) at which prospects attend. NO attempt should be made to contact or recruit the prospect at these events.
THEY CAN send the coaching staffs any newspaper clippings or other information about prospects which you think would be of interest. Your assistance in this way is very helpful. The coaching staff will then make the contact with the prospect.
THEY CAN provide employment opportunities for currently enrolled student-athletes as appropriate. Rules regarding employment can befound below.
AWARDS AND BENEFITS FOR PROSPECTS OR STUDENT ATHLETES
THEY CANNOT provide any of the extra benefits listed in the “extra benefits” section of this site.
THEY CANNOT expend funds to entertain prospects or student-athletes, their friends or relatives. THEY CANNOT even permitted to buy a soda or a cup of coffee for them.
THEY CANNOT provide awards or gifts to a prospect or student-athlete for his or her athletic performance. All awards must conform to NCAA regulations and must be approved by the institution.
THEY CANNOT allow a prospect or student-athlete, or his or her friends or relatives to use their telephone or a telephone card to make free long distance calls.
THEY CANNOT provide an honorarium to a prospect or student-athlete for a speaking engagement.
THEY CANNOT use the name or picture of an enrolled student-athlete to directly advertise, recommend or promote sales or use of a commercial product or service of any kind. Even the sale of a picture of an enrolled student-athlete would jeopardize the player’s eligibility.
THEY CANNOT provide room, board or transportation to friends or family of an enrolled student-athlete to enable them to visit campus or attend an away athletics contest.
THEY CANNOT provide room, board or transportation to an enrolled student-athlete for collegiate competition.
NCAA EMPLOYMENT POLICIES
Criteria Governing Compensation to Student-Athletes – Compensation may be paid to a student-athlete:
(a) Only for work actually performed; and
(b) At a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality for similar services.
Such compensation may not include any remuneration for value or utility that the student-athlete may have for the employer because of the publicity, reputation, fame or personal following that he or she has obtained because of athletics ability.
The following rules are applicable to any type of student-athlete employment, whether during the academic year or summer:
• The rate of pay must be the normal rate for the duties performed.
• The hours paid must be the hours worked.
• Payment in advance of hours worked is not permitted.
• Transportation to work may be provided only if transportation is available to other non-athlete employees in similar positions.
A student-athlete may receive compensation for teaching or coaching sport skills or techniques in his or her sport on a fee-for-lesson basis, provided:
(a) Institutional facilities are not used;
(b) Playing lessons shall not be permitted;
(c) The institution obtains and keeps on file documentation of the recipient of the lesson(s) and the fee for the lesson(s) provided during any time of the year; and
(d) The compensation is paid by the lesson recipient (or the recipient’s family) and not another individual or entity.
(e) Instruction to each individual is comparable to the instruction that would be provided during a private lesson when the instruction involves more than one individual at a time.
(f) The student-athlete does not use his or her name, picture or appearance to promote or advertise the availability of fee-for-lesson sessions.
All charitable, educational and nonprofit promotional activities involving student-athletes must have prior approval. Student-athletes are not permitted to be involved in the advertisement, endorsement or promotion of a commercial product or service of any kind.
Important: This document is not meant to be all-inclusive, and it is not meant to provide any specific advice, including legal. It is a general document to provide some general background information, and may not be used to rely upon as absolute information upon which an athlete or family may use to justify certain decisions.