Giving : Boosters

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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:

  • 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

Prohibited Activities by Representative of Institution’s Athletics Interest: (NCAA Bylaw 13)

  • Contacting a prospect in person or on or off our campus.
  • Writing or telephoning a prospect or a member of the prospect’s family.
  • Making arrangements for a prospect or PSA’s relatives or friends, to receive money or financial aid of any kind.
  • Providing transportation for a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or friends to visit our campus.
  • Providing free tickets or tickets at a reduced cost for prospect or PSA’s relatives or friends to attend athletic event.
  • Entertaining high school, prep school or community college coaches.


Permitted Activities by Representative of the Institution’s Athletics Interest: (NCAA Bylaw 13.1.2.3)

  • Notify our coaches about prospects in your area that may be strong additions to our teams.
  • Attend high school or two-year college athletic contests or other events where prospects may compete; however, the prospect nor the prospect’s relatives may be contacted.
  • Continue existing friendships with families of prospects, but attempts to recruit the prospect are prohibited.


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:

  • Gifts of clothing or equipment
  • Co-signing of loans or providing loans to a prospect's relatives or friends
  • Cash or similar items
  • Free or reduced-cost services, rentals or purchases of any type
  • Free or reduced-cost housing

 

Examples of prohibited extra benefits not allowed by NCAA rules (Bylaw 16), but are not limited to, are as follows:

  • Cash or loans in any amount, or signing or co-signing for a loan, or credit card use
  • Gifts of any kind, including birthday cards and holiday gifts
  • Any tangible items, including merchandise
  • Special discounts for goods and services (e.g. car repairs, legal services, meals)
  • Employment arrangement for a prospect's relatives
  • Free rent or reduced rent, housing or services/purchases of any kind
  • Automobile or the use of an automobile
  • Guarantee of bond
  • Use of an institution's athletics equipment
  • Complimentary admissions from a student-athlete
  • Payment to a student-athlete for a speaking engagement

As a representative of the institution’s athletics interest, you are permitted to (NCAA Bylaw 16):

  • Invite a student-athlete into your home for an occasional meal, but please coordinate such activity with the Director of Athletics and the respective Head Coach.
  • Provide summer employment for enrolled student-athletes (see information regarding employment below).

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:

  • The student-athlete is compensated only for work actually performed at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality for similar services.
  • The student-athlete has not been hired based on his or her athletics ability.

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?

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.