The NCAA enforcement program strives to maintain a level playing field for the more than 400,000 student-athletes. Commitment to fair play is a bedrock principle of the NCAA. The NCAA upholds that principle by enforcing membership-created rules that ensure equitable competition and protect the well-being of student-athletes at all member institutions.
Boosters play a role in providing student-athletes with a positive experience through their enthusiastic efforts. They can support teams and athletics departments through donations of time and financial resources which help student-athletes succeed on and off the playing field.
Boosters, referred to by the NCAA as “representatives of the institution’s athletic interests,” include anyone who has:
• Provided a donation in order to obtain season tickets for any sport at the university.
• Participated in or has been a member of an organization promoting the university’s athletics programs.
As a booster, you may not:
• Contact a prospect in-person on-campus or off campus.
• Contact a prospect by telephone, email, Internet or letter.
• Provide gifts or free or reduced-cost services to a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardian.
• Employ relatives, guardians or friends of a prospect as an inducement for the prospect’s enrollment and athletics participation at a university.
• Become directly or indirectly involved in making arrangements for a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardian to receive money or financial aid of any kind.
• Provide transportation for a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardian.
• Provide free or reduced-cost tickets for a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardian to attend an athletic event.
• Provide any material benefit (e.g., meals, cash) to the coach of a prospect, including high school, two-year college, AAU and summer team coaches.
Even though there are many rules prohibiting your involvement with prospects and the recruiting process, as a booster, you may:
• Notify university coaching staff members about noteworthy prospects in the area.
• Attend high school or two-year college athletic contests or other events where prospects may compete, provided no contact occurs.
• Continue existing friendships.
As a booster, you may not provide a student-athlete or a student-athlete’s friends, relatives or guardians:
• Tickets to college or professional sporting events.
• A special discount, payment arrangement or credit on a purchase or service.
• Cash or loan or signing or co-signing of a loan.
• Transportation, payment of expense or loan of any automobile.
• Benefits or gifts based upon the student-athlete’s athletic performance.
• Free or reduced rent or housing.
An honorarium to a student-athlete for a speaking engagement.
With the various NCAA rules and regulations regarding benefits to student-athletes, it may seem difficult to be a part of a university’s athletic programs. However, you can show your support as a booster in other ways. Boosters may:
• Make contributions to university programs and other gift-in-kind arrangements.
• Attend university athletic events and show student athletes you support their hard work and dedication to the university.
Institutional control of athletics is a fundamental requirement of NCAA legislation. Specifically, the NCAA constitution states that the university must:
• Control its intercollegiate athletic programs in compliance with the rules and regulations of the NCAA.
• Monitor its program to insure compliance.
• Identify and report to the NCAA instances in which compliance has not been achieved and take corrective actions.
• Insure those members of university staff, student-athletes and other individuals or groups representing the university’s athletic interests comply with NCAA rules and regulations. As a member of the NCAA, the university is responsible for the actions of its alumni, supporters and fans.
• Made financial contributions to the athletic department or to a university booster organization.
• Arranged for or provided employment for enrolled student-athletes.
• Assisted or has been requested by university staff to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes.
• Assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student athletes or their families.
• Been involved otherwise in promoting university athletics.
Once an individual is identified as a “representative of the institution’s athletics interests,” the person retains that identity forever.
Only institutional staff members are permitted to recruit prospective student-athletes. Generally, NCAA rules prohibit anyone else from contacting (calling, writing or in-person contact) prospects or the prospect’s relatives or guardian for recruiting purposes.
Students are still considered prospects even if they have signed a National Letter of Intent or any other financial aid agreement with a university.
Boosters are not precluded from continuing established friendships with families who have prospective student-athletes. However, boosters may not encourage a prospect’s participation in university athletics or provide benefits to prospects that were not previously provided.
If a violation occurs, it may jeopardize a student-athlete’s eligibility for intercollegiate competition, jeopardize a school’s membership status with the NCAA or cause a booster to lose access to all booster benefits.Last Updated: Jan 21, 2013