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A Guide to NCAA Regulations For Boosters

Better Safe Than Sorry...

Dear Friends:

The University of Arizona deeply appreciates your loyal support and continued interest in its athletics program. The mission of our department is to strive for excellence in academics and athletics. In order to fully accomplish this, we must always seek the highest standard of ethical conduct. With your assistance and cooperation, we can continue to achieve these goals.

This brochure has been developed to provide you with a reference guide to the many NCAA regulations. All applicable situations cannot be covered, therefore, if you have questions, please call Bill Morgan, our assistant athletic director for compliance.

The University of Arizona appreciates your interest and support, but we need to emphasize that an inappropriate contact or an inadvertent action on your part could jeopardize the eligibility of recruits or enrolled student-athletes, as well as cause our department to revoke from you some privileges that you currently enjoy.

Sincerely,

Greg Byrne
Director of Athletics

 

Who is a "Prospective Student-Athlete?"

A "prospective student-athlete," known as a recruit or prospect, is a student who has started classes for the ninth grade. In addition, any younger student-athlete who receives any benefits from the institution would be considered a recruit.

Who is a "Representative of Athletic Interests?"

YOU ARE IF:

* you have ever been a member of the Wildcat Club or any of the Sport's Interest Groups which support specific U. A. athletics teams (i.e., Rebounders, Lung busters, etc.), and/or purchased tickets to Athletic contests.

* you have ever contributed to the University of Arizona athletics programs.

* you have ever helped to arrange employment of enrolled student-athletes.

* you have ever promoted the athletics program at the University of Arizona.

* you have ever been involved with the U.A. athletics program.

According to NCAA rules, once an individual has been identified as an institutional "representative of athletic interests" the individual retains that title for life. The University of Arizona is ultimately responsible for the acts of all "representatives of athletic interests" in relation to NCAA rules and regulations.

What happens if a Representative of Athletic Interests is involved in an NCAA violation?

NCAA rules mandate that the university withhold any benefits or privileges provided to a representative of athletic interests who is involved with an NCAA violation. Thus, all ticket, parking and other privileges would be withheld if a "rep" was found to be in violation of NCAA rules.

Who is able to recruit for The University of Arizona?

Only The University of Arizona Coaches who have passed the NCAA Recruiting Rules Examination may be involved in the recruitment process for a sport. There may be NO recruiting contacts made by "reps." This includes letters, telephone calls or face-to-face contact on or off the campus.

You may be of assistance by forwarding all information on recruits to the appropriate coaches.

You may, as a "rep," continue to maintain friendships developed previously even when it may involve a recruit.

NCAA Rules Regarding Contact with High School and Junior College Coaches:

You May Not contact the recruit's coach, principal or counselor for the purpose of evaluating the prospect. You are NOT permitted to pick up films, video tapes or transcripts from the prospect's educational institution.

You May Not entertain high school, prep school or junior college COACHES at ANY location.

You May Not provide tickets or transportation for high school, prep school, or junior college COACHES at any location. Only the Athletics Department may provide complimentary admissions to those coaches for regular season home athletics events.

You May Not reimburse high school, prep school, or junior college coaches of a recruit for expenses incurred in transporting a prospect to visit the campus.

NCAA Rules Regarding Contacts with High School and Junior College Recruit:

You May Not make any contact with a recruit or the recruit's family on or off the institution's campus. If a coach has a recruit at an athletic event, you should not approach the coach until the recruit and family have gone elsewhere. If a recruit approaches you off campus regarding the athletics program, explain that NCAA rules do not permit you to discuss the program. Suggest that the prospect contact the head coach of the sport for information. Remember; this prohibition of contact includes telephone calls and letters to a prospect and/or members of their family.

You May Not become involved [directly or indirectly] in making arrangements for a for a recruit or the recruit's family or friends to receive money or financial aid of any kind.

You May Not provide room and/or board, transportation of any kind or any other benefit to a recruited student-athlete during the period of the individual's eligibility including the summer prior to initial enrollment.

You May Not make contact with a prospective student-athlete or members of his or her family [parents and or guardians] during the prospect's official visit to the institution's campus.

You May Not provide cash or the use of an automobile to a prospect or student-host on his or her official visit to the campus.

You May Not transport pay or arrange for payment of transportation costs for a prospect, relatives or friends to visit campus or elsewhere. While it is permissible for a friend or neighbor to transport a high school or community college student who is NOT an athlete to the campus, NCAA regulations prohibit the activity for a prospective student-athlete.

You May Not entertain or provide tickets at reduced cost to U. of A. home or away athletics or non-athletics events to a prospect, the prospect's family or friends. Admission to these events is strictly managed by the Department of Athletics.

You May Not pay or offer to pay registration fees for summer sports camps for a prospect.

You May Not contact an enrolled student-athlete at another institution for the purpose of encouraging transfer to the University of Arizona and participation in our athletic program.

Permissible Activities by a Representative of Athletic Interests in Regards to a Prospective Student-Athlete:

You May attend high school and junior college athletic events.

You May continue established family relationships with friends and neighbors. Contacts with sons or daughters of these families certainly are permitted as long at they are not made for recruiting purposes and are not initiated by members of The U. of A.'s coaching staff. You are permitted to play "pick-up" basketball or softball games, continue neighborhood picnics or backyard barbecues and engage in your normal activities with prospects and their parents who are family friends. Again, you simply are not permitted to attempt to recruit the prospect or discuss the athletic program.

You May attend a public event (e.g., high school awards banquet or dinner) at which prospects are in attendance. No attempt should be made to recruit the prospect.

You May send to the U. of A. coaching staff 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.

You May offer assistance to members of the U. of A. coaching staff who are recruiting in your community [keeping in mind the prohibition against you contacting prospect(s) or coach(es)-you can't accompany the coach during contacts].

You May discuss summer employment arrangements with a prospect AFTER he/she has signed a National Letter of Intent.

NCAA Rules Regarding Contacts with Currently Enrolled Student-Athletes:

You May Not provide a student-athlete any benefits or special arrangements.

You May Not provide room and/or board or any type of transportation during the summer for a student-athlete with eligibility remaining.

You May Not provide room, board, or transportation costs incurred by friends or family of an enrolled student-athlete to visit campus or attend an away athletics contest.

You May Not expend funds to entertain student-athletes, their friends or relatives. You are not even permitted to buy a soda or cup of coffee for them.

You May Not use the name, picture or appearance 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 eligibility.

You May Not use the name, picture or appearance of an enrolled student-athlete to promote an educational or charitable cause until or unless it has been approved by the Compliance Office.

You May Not provide any payment of expense or loan of any automobile for a student-athlete to return home or to any other location for ANY reason.

You May Not provide awards or gifts directly to a student-athlete for his or her athletics performance. All awards financed by "representatives of athletic interests" must first be approved by the University of Arizona and meet NCAA award regulations.

You May Not provide an honorarium to a student-athlete for a speaking. Only necessary travel expenses can be given when speaking to educational or charitable groups. All speaking engagements must be approved in advance by the Compliance Coordinator or C.A.T.S. Personal Development Office.

You May Not allow a student-athlete, his or her friends or relatives to use your telephone to make free local or long distance calls (this includes calling or credit cards).

You May Not employ or arrange for the employment of a prospective or enrolled student-athlete without checking first with the University of Arizona Compliance Office. The Athletic Department is permitted to make arrangements for student-athlete's employment, but the NCAA has several specific requirements that must be adhered to prior to the beginning of such employment.

You May Not provide transportation for prospects or enrolled student-athletes to their place of employment unless transportation is provided for all other employees.

You May Not employ student-athletes at a rate which is greater than the standard rate for similar jobs in your area.

You May Not pay or provide the expenses (room, board and transportation costs) incurred by friends or relatives to visit an enrolled student-athlete.

Most Commonly Asked Questions:

Q. Once an individual has been identified as a "rep" how long does he or she retain this identity?
A. Forever

Q. Can boosters entertain relatives and friends of a prospective student-athlete at any site off campus?
A. No

Q. Can a booster make contact with a prospective student-athlete and his or her legal guardian(s) on an official visit to the campus?
A. No

Q. During an official visit to campus, is it permissible for a booster to entertain, buy a complimentary meal for or expend any funds on the prospective student- athlete, his or her legal guardian(s), relatives or friends?
A. No. On an official visit to campus, the prospect may only be entertained by the Department of Athletics. The prospect is limited to three complimentary tickets distributed solely by the institution, to a regular season home athletic event. The prospect may not be entertained whatsoever by "reps". Absolutely no funds may be expended by "reps" for the purposes of entertaining a prospect on his/her official visit.

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide free admission to the institution's away-from-home contests to prospects, their friends or relatives?
A. No

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to pay in whole or in part registration fees associate with summer sports camps?
A. No.

Q. Is the contact rule applicable to established family friends or neighbors?
A. No. However, it must be understood that such contacts may not be made for recruiting purposes and may not be initiated by the institution's coaching staff members.

Q. May recruits call a booster?
A. A booster may have a telephone conversation with a prospect provided the prospect initiates the call and an institutional staff member did not prearrange the call. A booster is not permitted to have a recruiting conversation with the prospect but may exhibit normal civility. A booster must refer any questions about the institution's athletics program to the athletics department staff.

Q. May boosters attend a public event (e.g., high school awards banquet or dinner) at which prospects are in attendance?
A. Yes, but no 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 booster engage in evaluation activities on behalf of the institution?
A. The legislation does not preclude a booster from viewing a prospect's contest on the booster's initiative, subject to the understanding that the booster may not contact the prospect. In addition, the booster is prohibited from contacting the prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect, as well as from visiting the prospect's educational institution to pick up film, video tape, or transcripts pertaining to the evaluation of the prospect's academic or athletics ability.

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to expend funds to entertain student athletes and friends?
A. No.

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to pay or provide the actual and necessary expenses (room, board and transportation costs) incurred by friends or relatives to visit an enrolled student-athlete?
A. No.

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide gifts or awards to a student-athlete for his or her athletics performance?
A. No. All awards must conform to NCAA awards legislation and must be approved by the institution.

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide enrolled student-athletes with professional services (for which a fee would normally be charged) for personal reasons?
A. No. Professional services provided at less than normal or at no expense to a student-athlete are considered extra benefits.

Job Opportunities:

We do encourage your assistance in making the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics aware of job opportunities for our student-athletes. Either summer employment, or part-time employment during the academic year. As mentioned earlier in this text, we may assist our student-athletes in their efforts to locate employment; however, with the many NCAA requirements for this employment we request your assistance. Please note that the NCAA requires an ample amount of paperwork from a student- athlete and employer PRIOR to onset of employment. Please notify either the Compliance Office (520) 621-4796, or the C.A.T.S. Personal Development Office (520) 621-8362 with information about employment opportunities you may be able to provide.

Representatives of athletic interests are reminded that NCAA rules regarding enrolled student-athletes remain in effect throughout the entire year, including summer break. When student-athletes complete their final season of eligibility, they must abide by NCAA rules until the end of that academic year and/or until they are no longer receiving athletic financial aid.

Whom Do I Contact?

This handbook is provided to offer general overview of key rules regarding interaction with prospective student-athletes (recruits) and enrolled student-athletes (SA). It is not totally comprehensive. Should there be a need to inquire further, please direct your questions to:

Gretchen Bouton
Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance
University of Arizona
McKale Center 229C
P. O. Box 210096
Tucson, AZ 85721-0096
(520) 621-4796

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