Athletics News

NCAA Rule Interpretations: Representatives of Athletics Interests


Aug. 27, 2001

Each week the University of Louisville will be posting NCAA rules interpretations on a variety of topics. All interpretations previously posted can be found in the Archives.

Boosters providing benefits to AAU coaches

Date Issued: Mar 05, 1993
Type: Staff
Item Ref: b

Interpretation:

b. Boosters Providing Benefits to AAU Coaches: Confirmed that a representative of an institution's athletics interests is not permitted to provide any material benefits (e.g., meals, cash) to the coach of any prospective student- athlete, including AAU coaches. [References: Bylaws 13.9.2 (material benefits), 13.2.1 (general regulation) and 6.4.2 (representatives of athletics interests)]

Athletics representative making in-person recruiting presentation to prospects

Date Issued: Jan 20, 1993
Type: Staff
Item Ref: b

Interpretation:

Athletics Representative Making In-Person Recruiting Presentation to Prospects: Confirmed that it is not permissible for an alumnus or alumnae who was a former student-athlete to make a generic in-person recruiting presentation to a group of prospective student-athletes. [References: Bylaws 13.1.2.1 (permissible recruiters--Division I) and 13.1.2.3-(g) (videotape of representative)]

Athletics representatives providing room and board to a student-athlete

Date Issued: Sep 06, 1991
Type: Staff
Item Ref: b

Interpretation:

b. Athletics Representative Providing Room and Board to a Student- Athlete: Reviewed Bylaw 15.2.2 (room and board) and 87/03/19 Interpretations Committee minutes, Item No. 5, and determined that a student-athlete may receive room and board from an athletics representative of the institution with the understanding that the member institution is required to document and ensure that the room and board cost charged by the athletics representative and paid by the student- athlete is consistent with the cost for similar room and board arrangements in that locale, further, meals provided to the student-athlete under such an arrangement should be comparable to the meals served in the institution's on-campus facility.

Individual assists the athletics department in the recruitment of a prospective student-athlete

Date Issued: Sep 06, 1991
Type: Staff
Item Ref: e

Interpretation:

e. Individual Assists the Athletics Department in the Recruitment of a Prospective Student-Athlete: Reviewed Bylaw 13.02.10-(c) (representative of athletics interests) and 83/12/15 NCAA Administrative Committee minutes, Item No. 1-(o), and confirmed that an individual who assists the institution's athletics department in the recruitment of a prospect, regardless of whether the individual has personal contact with the prospect, would be considered a representative of the institution's athletics interests.

Athletics representative arranging entertainment for a student-athlete employee

Date Issued: Aug 22, 1990
Type: Staff
Item Ref: b

Interpretation:

b. Athletics Representative Arranging Entertainment for a Student-Athlete Employee: Reviewed Bylaw 16.12.2 (benefits, gifts and services -- nonpermissible) in regard to whether a representative of the institution's athletics interests who employed a student-athlete during the summer may arrange a party for the student-athlete based on a special achievement (e.g., making the Junior Olympic Team), determined that such an arrangement would be precluded, unless it is demonstrated that the representative provides such entertainment to all employees for a special achievement.

Prospective student-athlete introduced to mayor of community

Date Issued: Nov 09, 1988
Type: Staff
Item Ref: g

Interpretation:

g. Prospective Student-Athlete Introduced to Mayor of Community: Determined that Bylaw 1-2-(b) [booster ban] would not permit a member institution to introduce a prospective student-athlete to a mayor of the institution's home community, inasmuch as it is inherent in such a meeting that the mayor would be involved in promoting the institution's athletics program, or would be assisting in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes and, thus, through such actions, would become a representative of an institution's athletics interests per Constitution 3-2-(d) [definition of booster].

Introduction of boosters to prospective student-athletes in locker rooms

Date Issued: Mar 29, 1988
Type: Official
Item Ref: 6

Interpretation:

Alumni/booster (recruiting)

6. Introduction of boosters to prospective student-athletes in locker rooms: Considered a previous Council-approved interpretation (August 1987) and agreed that while a prospective student-athlete may visit a locker room after a game when athletics representatives are present in the room, the provisions of Bylaw 1-2-(b) would preclude a member institution from introducing an athletics representative (e.g., a former student-athlete) to a prospective student-athlete in a locker room, inasmuch as such an introduction is not considered "incidental" contact.

Representative of athletics interest contacting high-school coach, principal or teacher

Date Issued: Sep 17, 1987
Type: Official
Item Ref: 12

Interpretation:

Reviewed the application of Bylaws 1-2-(b) and 1-3 to a situation in which a member institution proposes to conduct a program in which a representative of an institution's athletics interests actively contacts either a high school principal, coach or teacher in an attempt to promote the institution's athletics department, agreed that the application of Bylaws 1-2-(b) and 1-3 would prohibit the implementation of such a program, inasmuch as the legislation was intended to preclude an athletics representative from involvement in the recruiting process and the proposed program would result in the indirect recruitment of the prospective student-athletes for the member institution.

Occasional family home meal

Date Issued: Feb 05, 1987
Type: Official
Item Ref: 3

Interpretation:

Agreed that revised Case No. 68, prohibiting representatives of a member institution's athletics interests from serving as "sponsors" or "foster families" to student-athletes, would not prohibit a student-athlete from receiving an "occasional family home meal" from a representative of the member institution's athletics interests or institutional staff members, restricting such meals to infrequent and special occasions and requiring that the meal be provided in an individual's home, affirmed the permissibility of an athletics representative or institutional staff member entertaining an institution's entire athletics team for a home meal under these conditions, but noted that a member institution or its representative is prohibited from providing transportation to student-athletes receiving such a meal, agreed that this interpretation would permit a student-athlete to receive a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal at the home of an institutional staff member or athletics representative.

Off-Campus Housing Rental Costs (I)

Date Issued: Feb 14, 2001
Type: Official
Item Ref: 1

Interpretation:

The subcommittee reviewed a previous minute related to off-campus housing at the home of an athletics representative and clarified that an assessment to determine rental costs for similar housing in the institution's locale must be based on the fair market rental value for the particular residence or housing. It noted that such an assessment may include the actual housing costs for students residing in similar housing arrangements within the community. However, the subcommittee noted that it is not permissible to assign an under market value for student-athletes based only on the rental costs for all students in that locale who are provided housing at a reduced rate. Further, the subcommittee noted that it remains permissible to obtain housing through the institution's housing office pursuant to policies applicable to the entire student body. [References: Bylaws 15.2.2.1.5 (cost-free apartment), 16.12.2.1 (general rule) and 16.12.2.4 (preferential treatment), 03/19/87 official interpretation, Item No.5 and 09/06/91 staff interpretation, item b.]

Benefits Resulting from an Established Relationship (I)

Date Issued: Jun 06, 2000
Type: Official
Item Ref: 4

Interpretation:

The subcommittee reviewed the application of NCAA Bylaw 12.1.1.1.6 as it relates to factual situations in which an individual (student-athlete or prospective student-athlete) has received benefits prior to or during collegiate enrollment from someone other than a family member or legal guardian, and agreed that the following objective guidelines generally should be used in determining whether such benefits are contrary to the legislation:

  1. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) develop as a result of the athlete's participation in athletics or notoriety related thereto?

  2. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) predate the athlete's status as a prospective student-athlete?

  3. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) predate the athlete's status achieved as a result of his or her athletics ability or reputation?

  4. Was the pattern of benefits provided by the individual to the athlete (or the athlete's parents) prior to the athlete attaining notoriety as a skilled athlete similar in nature to those provided after attaining such stature?

The subcommittee, however, noted that the origin and duration of a relationship and the consistency of benefits provided during the relationship are key factors in determining whether the benefits provided are contrary to the spirit and intent of Bylaw 12.1.1.1.6.

The subcommittee determined that prior to initial full-time collegiate enrollment, a prospective student-athlete may receive normal and reasonable living expenses from an individual with whom the student-athlete has an established relationship (e.g., high-school coach, nonscholastic athletics team coach, family of a teammate), even if the relationship developed as a result of athletics participation, provided:

  1. The individual is not an agent,

  2. The individual is not an athletics representative of a particular institution involved in recruiting the prospect, and

  3. Such living expenses are consistent with the types of expenses provided by the individual as a part of normal living arrangements (e.g., housing, meals, occasional spending money, use of the family car).

The subcommittee noted that the above mentioned interpretation does not apply to individuals who have no logical ties to the prospect. It also noted that a current student-athlete who, prior to initial collegiate enrollment, has been receiving normal and reasonable living expenses from an individual with whom he or she has an established relationship may continue to receive occasional benefits (e.g., meals during campus visits, reasonable entertainment) from an individual or family with whom the student-athlete has an established relationship. Such expenses may not include educational expenses associated with a grant-in-aid (i.e., tuition and fees, room and board, and required course-related books). [References: Bylaws 12.1.1.1.6 (preferential treatment, benefits or services), 15.2.5 (financial aid from outside sources), 16.12.2.4 (preferential treatment)]

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