Boosters, Alumni & Fans
Who Is A Representative of University of Louisville Athletics Interests?
Under NCAA rules, a representative of the University's athletics interests is any individual who has ever:
- made any type of contribution to the athletics department or to a booster club
- joined the institution's booster club or any sport specific support group
- provided or helped arrange employment for a student-athlete
- provided benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families
- assisted in any manner in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes
- promoted the institution's athletics program in any manner
You become a representative by any action on your part to assist the University in any manner. Once you become a representative of the University's athletics interests, you retain that identity forever. NCAA rules hold the University of Louisville responsible for all actions its athletics representatives.
Who is a Prospective Student-Athlete?
NCAA rules stipulate that a prospective student-athlete is a person who has started classes for the ninth (9th) grade, regardless of his/her athletics ability.
- The individual officially registers and enrolls in a minimum full-time program of studies and attends classes in any term of a four-year collegiate institution's regular academic year (excluding summer); or<
- The individual participates in a regular squad practice or competition at a four-year collegiate institution that occurs before the beginning of any term; or
- The individual officially registers and enrolls and attends classes during the summer prior to initial enrollment and receives institutional athletics aid.
** A prospective student-athlete remains a prospect even after he or she has signed a National Letter of Intent or accepts an offer of financial aid to attend the University of Louisville. These individuals are not permitted to take part in any functions which are governed under Bylaw 12.
What About Recruiting?
As a representative of University of Louisville athletics interests, you may NOT:
- contact a prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an effort to evaluate a prospect
- visit the prospect's institution to pick up film or transcripts pertaining to the evaluation of the prospect's academic eligibility or athletic ability
- contact a prospect, his/her parents, legal guardians or spouse on or off the Louisville campus
- contact a prospect by telephone or by letter
- make special arrangements for entertainment for recruiting purposes
What are Extra Benefits?
NCAA legislation expressly prohibits University supporters from providing "extra benefits" to student-athletes. An extra benefit is any special arrangement to provide a student-athlete or his/her family a benefit not authorized by NCAA legislation. In general, you may not provide anything or make special arrangements for student-athletes or prospective student-athletes that are not available to the general student population.
Examples of prohibited "extra benefits" include, but are not limited to:
- providing cash or loans in any amount, or signing or co-signing for a loan
- a guarantee of bond
- the use of an automobile
- gifts of any kind, including birthday cards, flowers and holiday gifts
- gift of clothing or equipment
- providing loans to relatives or friends
- any tangible items, including merchandise
- free or reduced-cost services, rentals or purchases of any type
- free or reduced-cost housing
- gift of cash or like items
- providing special discounts for goods and services (e.g., car repairs, legal services, haircuts, etc.)
- purchasing complimentary admissions from a student-athlete
- providing an honorarium to a student-athlete for a speaking engagement
What about Student-Athlete Appearances & Promotions?
Student-athletes are prohibited from being involved in the advertisement, recommendation or promotion of sales or use of any commercial product or service of any kind.
All charitable, educational and nonprofit promotional activities involving student-athletes must have prior approval from the athletics department.
What about Student-Athlete Employment?
All student-athletes are eligible for employment during the regular academic year. Student-athletes will continue to be eligible for employment during the University's official vacation periods (i.e., Christmas, Spring Break) and during the summer.
Very detailed rules regarding which student-athletes may be employed, when and how much money they can earn must be followed. In addition, the Compliance Office must keep written records verifying all student-athlete employment.
If you have an interest in hiring a student-athlete, you must first contact the University's Compliance Office prior to employing the student-athlete. Failure to contact the Compliance Office prior to employing a student-athlete could jeopardize the student-athlete's eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics at Louisville and could result in an NCAA violation for the student-athlete's sport.
What are the rules governing gambling?
A student-athlete, coach and/or employee of the University of Louisville may not provide information to individuals involved in any type of organized gambling concerning sporting events. In addition, student-athletes, coaches and employees of the University of Louisville may not solicit or accept any wager on any intercollegiate or professional athletics contest.
What are the consequences to boosters for NCAA violations?
The University of Louisville is required by NCAA regulations to notify boosters of consequences regarding rules violations. Boosters found in violation of NCAA rules are subject to losing benefits and privileges, including season tickets.
Pre-existing relationship with a current or prospective student-athlete
Boosters of the University of Louisville are prohibited from providing any type of benefit to a current or prospective student-athlete (PSA). NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199.6 prohibits preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual's athletic reputation or skill or payback potential as a professional athlete, unless such treatment, benefits or services are specifically permitted under NCAA legislation.
The only exception to this rule is if there is a clear preexisting relationship between the booster and the student-athlete. The NCAA membership services staff reviewed the application of Bylaw 188.8.131.52.6 as it relates to factual situations in which an individual (student-athlete or PSA) has received benefits prior to collegiate enrollment from someone other than a family member or legal guardian, and agreed that the following objective guidelines 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 benefits 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 benefits predate the athlete's status as a PSA?
3. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefits 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 benefits provided are contrary to the spirit and intent of Bylaw 184.108.40.206.6. The subcommittee determined that prior to initial full-time collegiate enrollment, a PSA may receive normal and reasonable living expenses from an individual with whom the student-athlete has an established relationship (e.g., high-school coach, non-scholastic 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 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 full-time 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 that individual or family that they have the established relationship with. Such expenses may not include educational expenses associated with a grant-in-aid (i.e., tuition and fees, room and board, and course related books).
Please contact the University of Louisville Athletic Compliance Office PRIOR, to providing a benefit of any kind to a current or prospective student-athlete, and for questions regarding the above information.
When it comes to intercollegiate athletics, the golden rule is ...
ASK BEFORE YOU ACT!