Giving : Boosters

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What is a Booster (Athletic Representative)?

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:

  • Have participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization, including corporate entities promoting the institution's intercollegiate athletics program;
  • Have made financial contributions to the athletics department or to an athletics booster organization of that institution;
  • Be assisting or to have been requested to assist in the recruitment of prospects;
  • Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families;
  • Have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution's athletics program. Once an individual is identified as such a representative, the person retains that identity indefinitely


What Can a Booster Do?

  • Provide employment for prospective or currently enrolled student-athletes during permissible periods. All compensation paid to a student-athlete must be for work actually performed and given at a rate equal to the going rate for a similar job in the local area.
  • Attend games where prospects are competing, as long as no contact is made with the prospect or prospect's parents.
  • Invite an individual student-athlete or an entire team in a sport for an occasional, occurring from time-to-time, meal provided the meal is in the individual's home (as opposed to a restaurant). The meal may be catered. Arrangements for these activities should be made through the head coach in the sport and the Athletic Compliance Office at PNW.
  • Notify the Athletics Department or a member of the Purdue Northwest coaching staff about outstanding prospects.
  • Check with the PNW Compliance Office before you do anything that may jeopardize a current or prospective student-athlete's eligibility.


What is a Booster Prohibited from Doing?

  • Providing a prospective student-athlete, his/her parents, relative, friends, or coaches with any material benefit.
  • Make recruiting presentations to groups of prospective student-athletes.
  • Entertain or provide awards or gifts for a current student-athlete, or his/her family and friends.
  • Use a student-athlete's name, picture, or appearance to promote sales or advertise the use of a commercial product or service.
  • Pay a student-athlete for a speaking engagement.
  • Make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospect or the prospect's relatives or legal guardian(s).


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:

  • Employment arrangement for a prospect's relatives
  • Gifts of clothing or equipment
  • Co-signing of loans or providing loans to a prospect's relatives or friends
  • Cash or similar items
  • Any tangible items, including merchandise
  • Free or reduced-cost services, rentals or purchases of any type
  • Free or reduced-cost housing
  • Use of an institution's athletics equipment


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?

A:  No.

Q: Is it permissible for a booster to pay in whole or in part registration fees associated with sport camps?

A:  No.

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.