Key Terms to Remember

Who is a "Prospective Student-Athlete"

A "prospective student-athlete," know as a PSA, is any student who has started classes for the ninth grade. In addition, any younger student becomes a prospect if the institution provides such an individual (or his/her relatives or friends) any financial assistance or other benefits that the institution does not provide to prospective students generally.

A prospective student-athlete remains a prospect even after he or she has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Connecticut. The prospect remains a prospect until they report for the first day of classes for a regular term (fall or spring).


Permissible Activities in Regards to Prospective Student-Athletes

The following are permissible actions by representatives of athletics interests with regard to prospective student-athletes:

  • YOU MAY attend high school and junior college athletic events.
  • YOU MAY continue prior established family relationships with friends and neighbors. Questions about prior established family relationships should be directed to the Compliance Office. Contacts with sons or daughters of these families certainly are permitted as long as they are not made for recruiting purposes and are not initiated by WSSU's coaching staff members. You are permitted to play "pick-up" basketball or softball games, continue neighborhood picnics or backyard barbecues and engage in your normal activites with prospects and their parents who are family friends. Again , you simply are not permitted to attempt to recruit the prospect or discuss the athletics program.
  • YOU MAY attend a public event (e.g., a 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 WSSU coaching staff any newspaper clippings or other information about prospects that 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 discuss summer employment arrangements with a prospect after he/she has signed a National Letter of Intent.


What is Institutional Control?

Institutional control of athletics is a fundamental requirement of NCAA legislation. Specifically, the NCAA constitution provides that each institution shall be responsible for:

  • Controlling its intercollegiate athletics program in compliance with the rules and regulations of the NCAA;
  • Monitoring its program to ensure compliance, identifying and reporting to the NCAA instances in which compliance has not been achieved and taking appropriate corrective actions; and
  • Ensuring that members of the institution's staff, student-athletes and other individuals or groups representing the institution's athletics interests comply with NCAA regulations.




What is an "Extra Benefit?"

An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of athletics interests to provide a student-athlete (or his/her relatives, guardians or friends) a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.

In general, you may not provide anything or make special arrangements for student-athletes and prospective student-athletes that are not available to the general student population. Examples of extra benefits prohibited by the NCAA include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • cash or loans in any amount
  • co-signing or arranging a loan
  • gifts or free services (e.g., airline tickets, meals, holiday gifts)
  • use of an automobile
  • special discounts for goods and services (e.g., car repairs, legal services, haircuts)
  • payment for work not performed
  • rent free or reduced cost housing


Who is a "Representative of Athletic Interests?"

You are if:

YOU HAVE EVER been a member of the WSSU Club or any of the "Friends" groups which support specific athletic teams.

YOU HAVE EVER contributed to WSSU’s athletic programs.

YOU HAVE EVER purchased season tickets for athletics contests.

YOU HAVE EVER helped to arrange employment for enrolled student-athletes during the summer or semester break.

YOU HAVE EVER promoted the athletic program at WSSU.

YOU HAVE EVER participated as a varsity student-athlete at WSSU and/or are an alumnus of WSSU. According to NCAA rules, once an individual has been identified as an institutional "representative of athletics interests" the individual retains that title for life. WSSU is ultimately responsible for the acts of all "representatives of athletics interests" in relation to NCAA rules and regulations.