DO's & DON'T's For Boosters
Interaction with Prospects
Since coaches must be certified to recruit and are the only permissible off-campus recruiters, a representative of the institution's athletic interest:
MAY NOT make in-person, on-campus or off-campus recruiting contacts with prospective student-athletes, their relatives or legal guardians. This prohibition includes written and telephone communications.
MAY NOT contact prospective student-athlete's coaches, principals or counselors in an attempt to evaluate the prospective student-athletes.
MAY NOT visit the prospective student-athlete's school to acquire film or transcripts for purposes of evaluating their athletic or academic eligibility.
MAY NOT entertain, provide tickets or gifts and other benefits to a junior or senior in high school, prep school, or two-year college coaches, athletic director or for any other individual responsible for teaching or directing an activity in which a prospective student-athlete is involved.
MAY NOT contribute to the payment of registration fees for prospective student-athletes to attend summer sports camps.
MAY NOT mail anything, including newspapers, posters, programs, media guides, clippings, etc. to prospective student-athletes.
MAY NOT contribute to the payment of transportation costs for prospective student-athletes or their relatives or friends to visit the campus. This includes commercial or private transportation by car, train, or plane.
MAY NOT contact enrolled student-athletes at other four-year colleges to explore the possibilities of them transferring to the university and its athletic programs.
As a representative of the institution's athletic interest, you:
MAY notify our coaches about prospects in your area that may be strong additions to our teams.
MAY Attend high school, two year college athletic contests, or other events where prospects may compete, however, you may NOT contact the prospect or the prospect's relatives.
MAY continue existing friendships with families of prospects, but you may NOT attempt to recruit the prospect.
MAY employ prospective student-athletes the summer after they have signed a National Letter of Intent.
As a representative of the university's athletic interests, you may NOT:
Provide a student-athlete with extra benefits or services including, but not limited to:
- a loan of money
- a guarantee of bond
- the use of an automobile
- signing or co-signing a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan
- Make services available to a student-athlete (e.g., movie tickets, dinners, use of a car) from commercial agencies (e.g., movie theaters, restaurants, car dealers) without charge or at reduced rates
- Provide a student-athlete with a special discount, payment arrangement or credit on a purchase or service
- Provide a student-athlete with professional services without charge or at a reduced cost
- Allow a student-athlete to use a telephone or credit card without charge or at a reduced cost; or
- Serve as a "sponsor" or "family" for enrolled student-athletes.
For an enrolled student-athlete, a booster may:
Invite an entire team to your home for a meal. The meal, which may be catered, should be limited to infrequent or special functions. (Holidays, Birthdays etc.) Boosters are permitted to give a student-athlete(s) transportation to their homes on these occasions (local transportation only).
Invite an entire team for dinner when the team is visiting your area for an away athletics contest. This meal may take place at a booster's home or at a restaurant. (Student-athletes are allowed certain benefits as a team that they are not permitted as individuals).
Athletics representatives (boosters) may employ prospective student-athletes, provided the following criteria are met:
The arrangement of employment by an institution or booster for a prospect shall be permitted, provided the employment does not begin prior to the completion of the prospect's senior year of high school.
The institution or booster may employ a prospect enrolled as a full-time student in a two-year college provided the employment does not begin prior to the time period in which the prospect has officially withdrawn from or has completed the requirements for graduation at the two-year-college.
An institution or its athletics representatives (boosters) shall not provide a prospect free transportation to and/or from a summer job unless it is the employer's established policy to transport all employees to and/or from the job site.
The job is a legitimate employment situation.
The prospective student-athlete is paid the going rate.
A Booster Employing a Currently-Enrolled Student-Athlete
NCAA Criteria for Specific Employment Situations
- Compensation may be paid to a student-athlete
- only for work actually performed
- at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality for similar services
Camp/Clinic Employment: A student-athlete may be employed by their institution, by another institution, or by a private organization to work a camp or a clinic as a counselor, unless otherwise restricted by NCAA legislation.
Athletic Equipment Sales: A student-athlete may not be employed to sell equipment related to his or her sport if his or her name, picture, or athletics reputation is used to advertise or promote the product, the job, or the employer. However, if the student-athlete's name, picture, or athletics reputation is not used for advertising or promotion purposes, the student-athlete may be employed in a sales position.
Employing Student-Athletes for Private Lessons: Parents may employ student-athletes to conduct private lessons. Student-athletes may engage in fee-for-lesson instruction, per NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199, provided they abide by employment rules and the following additional NCAA restrictions:
- Institutional facilities are not used;
- Playing lessons shall not be permitted (e.g., playing a game of golf or tennis);
- 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;
- The compensation is paid by the lesson recipient (or the recipient's family) and not another individual or entity;
- 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;
- The student-athlete does not use his or her name, picture or appearance to promote or advertise the availability of fee-for-lesson sessions.
188.8.131.52 General Rule. The student-athlete shall not receive any extra benefit. The term “extra benefit” refers to any special arrangement by an institutional employee or representative of the institution’s athletics interests to provide the student-athlete or his or her relatives or friends with a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.
184.108.40.206 Discounts and Credits. A student-athlete may not receive a special discount, payment arrangement or credit on a purchase (e.g., airline ticket, clothing) or a service (e.g., laundry, dry cleaning) from an institutional employee or a representative of its athletics interests.
220.127.116.11.1 Free or Reduced-Cost Services. An athletic representative may not provide a student athlete with professional services (for which a fee normally would be charged) without charge or at a reduced cost except as permitted elsewhere in this bylaw. Professional services provided at less than the normal rate or at no expense to a student-athlete are considered an extra benefit, unless they are available on the same basis to the general student body.
18.104.22.168.2 Credit Cards. It is not permissible to allow a student-athlete to use a credit card for personal reasons without charge or at a reduced cost. (Revised: 1/10/05 effective 8/1/05)
22.214.171.124.3 Entertainment Services. A student-athlete may not receive services (e.g., movie tickets, dinners, use of car) from commercial agencies (e.g., movie theaters, restaurants, car dealers) without charge or at reduced rates, or free or reduced-cost admission to professional athletics contests from professional sports organizations, unless such services also are available to the student body in general.
126.96.36.199 Other Prohibited Benefits. An institutional employee or representative of the institution’s athletics interests may not provide a student-athlete with extra benefits or services, including, but not limited to:
(a) A loan of money;
(b) A guarantee of bond;
(c) An automobile or the use of an automobile;
(d) Transportation that is not generally available to the institution’s students and their friends and relatives [see
Bylaws 188.8.131.52 and 16.9-(e)]; or (Revised: 1/12/04 effective 8/1/04)
(e) Signing or cosigning a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan.
184.108.40.206 Camp Concession. It is not permissible for a member institution or a member of its athletics department staff conducting a sports camp to permit a student-athlete (enrolled in the institution) to operate, at the student-athlete’s own expense, a concession selling items related to or associated with the camp to campers or others in attendance (see Bylaw 220.127.116.11.3.2).
18.104.22.168 Athletics Equipment. A student-athlete may not accept free of charge, or purchase at a discounted or reduced price, athletics equipment, supplies or clothing (e.g., tennis racquets, golf clubs, hockey sticks, balls, shirts) from a manufacturer or commercial enterprise, that is not offered to the general student body. Such items may be provided to the student-athlete’s institution, to be used by the institution’s team in accordance with accepted practices for issuance and retrieval of athletics equipment. (Revised: 1/9/06)
22.214.171.124 Sponsor Families. A member institution shall not permit individuals outside the institution to serve as “sponsors” or “families” for student-athletes who are enrolled in the institution, unless such a sponsorship program exists to provide the same benefits and support services to all students at the institution.
126.96.36.199 Civic-Group Gifts. A member institution shall not permit a civic group to provide a student athlete a trip to a postseason football game or to pay summer-camp expenses for a student-athlete.
188.8.131.52 Assistance in Payment of Bills. A member institution is not permitted to administer a fund for a student-athlete (even if funds are provided by the student-athlete) in order to assist the student-athlete in making payments for various personal expenses (e.g., utility bills, rent, fees and entertainment expenses), unless the institution provides such a service to all students and formal accounting procedures are used. (Adopted: 1/10/92)