Who is a Representative of Athletics Interest?
The NCAA defines a "representative of the institution’s athletics interests" as an individual, independent agency, corporate entity (e.g., apparel or equipment manufacturer) or other organization who is known (or 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 promoting the institution’s inter-collegiate 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 (by the athletics department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospects;
Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or
Have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution’s athletics program.
Please remember, "Once a Razorback, always a Razorback!" In other words, once an individual is known by the University, or should have been known by the University, to be a representative of athletics interests, or booster, of the program, that person will always be considered such by the NCAA. No matter how many years have intervened between activities relating to the Razorbacks athletics.
TEN THINGS BOOSTERS SHOULD KNOW
10. A prospect is any high school or prep school student in the ninth grade or above, and also students in junior colleges and former students who have officially withdrawn from other four-year institutions.
9. Boosters cannot directly or indirectly be involved in making any arrangements for a prospect or the prospect’s family to receive money or monetary benefits of any kind. This is called an EXTRA BENEFIT.
8. Extra benefits include, but are not limited to, transportation to games, free tickets to athletics events, paying registration fees to summer camps, and/or assisting the prospect in arranging for a third party loan.
7. Boosters cannot provide discounted or free services/products to student-athletes that are not available to the entire U of A student body.
6. Only coaches and authorized U of A staff members can be involved in the recruiting process. Boosters cannot make any contact in person or by telephone with a prospect or the prospect’s family for the purpose of recruiting for U of A athletics. If you see a prospect at a competition, no contact can be made at all.
5. A prospect or his or her parent may telephone a booster. If this occurs, the booster should be cordial and end the phone conversation immediately. Any questions should be referred to the Athletics Department Compliance Office.
4. Even after a prospect signs a National Letter of Intent, she is still considered a prospect. All contact rules still apply.
3. Boosters should not entertain high school coaches at any location for the purpose of promoting U of A.
2. If rules violations do occur, it is critical that boosters let us know so we can manage, educate, and report to the proper entities.
1. ASK BEFORE YOU ACT! If you are ever unsure about the legality of any benefit or action, it is better to check with the Compliance Office rather than put the student-athlete’s eligibility in jeopardy.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is it permissible for a booster to provide enrolled student-athletes a home-cooked meal?Yes. Provided the meal is on an "occasional" basis and any such meal is not at a restaurant. Remember, it is not permissible for a booster to provide transportation for an enrolled student-athlete, unless the transportation is intended to transport him or her to attend occasional meals. Note: All requests must receive prior approval.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?No. Such activity would jeopardize the eligibility of the student-athlete. The NCAA has maintained that student-athletes not be involved in the promotion of commercial products.Is it permissible for a booster to provide employment for student-athletes?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 similar services. The athletic department should approve such employment.Is it permissible for a booster to provide gifts or awards to a student-athlete for his or her athletics performance?No. All awards must conform to NCAA awards legislation and must be approved by U of A.