What is a Booster (Representative of Athletics Interest)?
A "representative of the institution's athletics interests" is an individual who is known (or who should have been known) by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to:
Prohibited Activities by Representative of Institution’s Athletics Interest: (NCAA Bylaw 13)
Permitted Activities by Representative of the Institution’s Athletics Interest: (NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52)
Rules Governing Contacts and Benefits for Student-Athletes (NCAA Bylaw 16)
In addition to regulating contact of our representatives of athletics interest with prospects, the NCAA also regulates contact with current PNW student-athletes, as well as their relatives and friends. An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of athletics interest to provide a student-athlete, prospect, or their relatives or friends a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. In general, a benefit may not be provided that is not authorized by NCAA legislation or make special arrangements for student-athletes and prospective student-athletes that are not available to the general student population.
What is an Extra Benefit?
An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution's athletics interests ("booster") to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete's relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. Specifically prohibited financial aid, benefits and arrangements include, but are not limited to, the following:
Examples of prohibited extra benefits not allowed by NCAA rules (Bylaw 16), but are not limited to, are as follows:
As a representative of the institution’s athletics interest, you are permitted to (NCAA Bylaw 16):
Consequences to Boosters for NCAA Violations
Institutions required by the NCAA 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. The NCAA Committee on Infractions has processed cases in which penalties have included both the disassociation of boosters with the institution and the loss of season ticket privileges.
Rules Governing Student-Athlete Employment
Student-athletes receiving grant-in-aid will be eligible for employment during the regular academic year as well as during the university’s official vacation periods (winter and spring break) and the summer. The following rules are applicable to student-athlete employment:
Check with the PNW Compliance Office before you do anything that may jeopardize a current or prospective student-athlete's eligibility!
Booster Regulations - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can an athletics representative be involved in any way when a prospect is on an official or unofficial visit?
A: Yes. However, the Athletics Representative may have contact only on campus during the student-athletes official or unofficial visit. Off campus contact is prohibited.
Q: Is it permissible for an athletics representative to provide summer employment for student-athletes?
A: Yes. Please remember that compensation must be paid only for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality for services of like character.
Q: May a student-athlete’s name or picture be used to directly or indirectly advertise, recommend, or promote the sale or use of a commercial product or service?
A: No. Such activity would jeopardize the eligibility of the student-athlete. The NCAA membership has always maintained that student-athletes not be involved in the promotion of a commercial product.
Q: Is it permissible for a booster to reimburse the coach for expenses incurred in transporting a prospect to visit the campus?
Q: Is it permissible for a booster to pay in whole or in part registration fees associated with sport camps?
Q: Is the contact rule applicable to established family, friends, and neighbors?
A: No. However, it must be understood that such contacts may not be made for recruiting purposes and are not initiated by a member of the institution’s coaching staff.
Q: May a booster attend a public event (e.g., high school awards banquet or dinner) at which prospects are in attendance?
A: Yes. Please remember that contact with a prospect may not be prearranged by a Department of Intercollegiate Athletics staff member, and no attempt may be made to recruit the prospect.
Q: Is it permissible for an athletics representative to provide enrolled student-athletes a home cooked meal?
A: Yes. Provided it is on an “occasional” basis and any such meal is not at a restaurant. Please note: All requests must receive prior approval from the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Q: Is PNW responsible for the acts of boosters and booster support groups?
A: Yes. Boosters are governed by the same NCAA and institutional rules and regulations as those placed upon all institutional athletics staff members.
Q: When is a prospect considered a student-athlete?
A: A prospect is considered a student-athlete when he or she reports for regular squad practice or attends classes in any term at the college.
Q: Is it permissible for a booster to provide an enrolled student-athlete with professional services (for which a fee would normally be charged) for personal reasons?
A: No. Professional services provided at a fee less than the normal rate or at no expense to a student-athlete are considered extra benefits.
Q: May a student-athlete make a public appearance at a business establishment for any purpose such as signing autographs etc.?
A: No. Such appearances can be construed as a direct or indirect endorsement of the commercial establishment, thus jeopardizing the eligibility of the student-athlete. It should be noted that student-athletes may make appearances at schools, hospitals, or other nonprofit or charitable organizations provided they do not receive compensation (other than expenses) and such activities are authorized by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Q: Is it permissible for a booster to provide gifts or awards to a student-athlete for his or her athletic performance?
A: No. All awards must conform to NCAA awards legislation and must be approved by PNW.
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