NCAA Booster Guidelines - Fall 2011

THE PRINCIPLE OF INSTITUTIONAL CONTROL AND RESPONSIBILITY
Institutional control of athletics is a fundamental requirement of NCAA legislation. The institution's responsibility for the conduct of its athletics program includes responsibility for the actions of its staff members and for the actions of boosters or "representatives of the University's Athletics Interests."

WHO IS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNIVERSITY'S ATHLETICS INTERESTS?
You are considered a "Representative of the University's Athletics Interests (a booster) if you:

    * have participated in or are currently a member of any athletics department booster group, the Fighting Sioux Club, or Sioux Boosters;
    * made a donation to the men's or women's athletic program;
    * have assisted or been asked to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes;
    * have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or
    * have been or are involved in promoting UND athletics in any way.
    * Once a person is defined as a booster/representative of UND's athletic interests, they retain that identity indefinitely, even if they no longer support the athletics program.

PERMISSABLE ACTIVITIES BY BOOSTERS

    * UND boosters may attend events (e.g., contests, banquets) where prospects are present on his or her own initiative, subject to the understanding that the booster may NOT contact the prospect or the prospect's relatives.
    * UND boosters may inform the Sioux coaches of prospects in their area by contacting the UND staff and sending Sioux coaches newspaper clippings with the names of particular prospects.
    * Do continue establishing family relationships with friends and neighbors. Contacts with prospects are permitted as long as they are not made for recruiting purposes and are not initiated by UND staff members.

UND boosters may arrange employment for prospective student-athletes. The prospect may not begin the job until after the completion of his or her senior year in high school. Compensation must be based on work actually performed and at a normal rate.

Occasional Meals

A single current student-athlete or an entire team may receive an occasional family meal from a booster under certain conditions. The occasional meal MUST be provided in the individual's home, may be catered and must be restricted to infrequent or special occasions. All occasional meals must be pre-approved by the Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance PRIOR to the meal occuring. It is an NCAA violation for student-athletes to receive too many occasional meals, so seeking approval BEFORE the meal ensures that any meals offered are permissible per NCAA legislation.

IMPERMISSIBLE ACTIVITIES BY BOOSTERS

In Division I, representatives of UND's athletic interests are prohibited from making any in-person, on- or off-campus recruiting contacts, as well as written or telephone communications with a prospect or the prospect's parents or relatives. This prohibition also applies to any written communication on the internet where the prospective student-athlete will actually receive the communication (i.e. tweeting "at" someone on Twitter or writing on someone's wall or creating fan pages encouraging a prospective student-athlete to attend UND on Facebook).

Contact With Prospect's Coach or School Staff
Contact with a prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect is prohibited.

Financial Aid or Other Benefits to Prospects and Current Student-Athletes
Representatives of UND's athletic interests (boosters) may not provide any financial aid or other benefits, such as clothing, special discounts, tickets to events, or co-signing loans, to a prospect or their relatives OR current UND student-athletes and their relatives. If boosters were to give financial aid or any benefits to a prospect or their relatives OR student-athletes and their relatives, it would make that prospect/student-athlete ineligible for competition at UND and possibly mean that UND athletics teams would have to forfeit any contests that the prospect/student-athlete participated in at UND.

Contact With Prospect's Coach or School Staff
Contact with a prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect is prohibited.

Pre-existing Relationship With a Current or Prospective Student-Athlete

Boosters are prohibited from providing any type of benefit to a current or prospective student-athlete. NCAA Bylaw 12.1.1.1.6 prohibits preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual's athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a professional athlete, unless such treatment, benefits or services are specifically permitted under NCAA legislation.

The only exception to this rule is if there is a clear preexisting relationship between the booster and the student-athlete. The NCAA membership services staff reviewed the application of NCAA Bylaw 12.1.1.1.6 as it relates to factual situations in which an individual (student-athlete or prospective student-athlete) has received benefits prior to collegiate enrollment from someone other than a family member or legal guardian, and agreed that the following objective guidelines generally should be used in determining whether such benefits are contrary to the legislation:

  1. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) develop as a result of the athlete's participation in athletics or notoriety related thereto?
  2. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) predate the athlete's status as a prospective student-athlete?
  3. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) predate the athlete's status achieved as a result of his or her athletics ability or reputation?
  4. Was the pattern of benefits provided by the individual to the athlete (or the athlete's parents) prior to the athlete attaining notoriety as a skilled athlete similar in nature to those provided after attaining such stature?

The subcommittee, however, noted that the origin and duration of a relationship and the consistency of benefits provided during the relationship are key factors in determining whether the benefits provided are contrary to the spirit and intent of Bylaw 12.1.1.1.6. The subcommittee determined that prior to initial full-time collegiate enrollment, a prospective student-athlete may receive normal and reasonable living expenses from an individual with whom the student-athlete has an established relationship (e.g., high-school coach, non-scholastic athletics team coach, family of a teammate), even if the relationship developed as a result of athletics participation, provided:

  1. The individual is not an agent,
  2. The individual is not an athletics representative of a particular institution involved in recruiting the prospect, and
  3. Such living expenses are consistent with the types of expenses provided by the individual as a part of normal living arrangements (e.g., housing, meals, occasional spending money, use of the family car).

The subcommittee noted that the above mentioned interpretation does not apply to individuals who have no logical ties to the prospect. It also noted that a current student-athlete who, prior to initial collegiate enrollment, has been receiving normal and reasonable living expenses from an individual with whom he or she has an established relationship may continue to receive occasional benefits (e.g., meals during campus visits, reasonable entertainment) from an individual or family with whom the student-athlete has an established relationship. Such expenses may not include educational expenses associated with a grant-in-aid (i.e., tuition and fees, room and board, and required course-related books). [References: Bylaws 12.1.1.1.6 (preferential treatment, benefits or services); 15.2.5 (financial aid from outside sources); 16.12.2.4 (preferential treatment)]

Please contact the UND Compliance Office PRIOR to providing a benefit of any kind to a current or prospective student-athlete, and for questions regarding the above information.