Reference Guide to NCAA Rules
The University of Toledo (UT) has a reputation of upholding the highest degree of academic and athletic integrity. This tradition can only continue if alumni, boosters, fans and friends of the University are well-informed about National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules and regulations for "representatives and athletics interests." The NCAA has explicit guidelines for what Representatives of Athletic Interests, traditionally known as boosters, can and cannot do to help an institution's athletics program.
The University of Toledo Athletics Department is providing this brochure to assist with any questions regarding the recruitment of prospective student-athletes (prospects), as well as contact and benefits with currently enrolled student-athletes. Universities are required by the NCAA to notify boosters of consequences regarding rules violations. Athletics representatives found in violation of NCAA rules are subject to forfeiture of benefits and privileges, including season tickets. The NCAA Committee on Infractions has processed major cases in which penalties have included both disassociation of athletics representatives from the university and the loss of season ticket privileges, in addition to the loss of eligibility of involved student-athletes.
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES FOR INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS
If you care about the integrity of the University and its intercollegiate athletics programs, please take the time to read this guide. The eligibility of The University of Toledo student-athletes and the reputation of this institution depends on our supporters knowing the rules!
DO YOU WANT TO HELP TOLEDO SUCCEED?
As a supporter of The University of Toledo, you have a lot of pride in your university. You are proud of UT's high academic standards, its adherence to values, and the overall quality of the UT experience. Chances are, you are proud of the great athletic tradition as well. It's a tradition that includes conference championships, All-Americans and incredible victories on the playing fields, courts and other athletic venues. But most importantly, Toledo athletics has a long tradition of integrity. We all want to see the Rockets win, but at UT, it is most important to win the right way - that means following NCAA, MAC and The University of Toledo rules. This guidebook was developed to offer a general overview of key NCAA rules regarding the interaction between the athletics representatives and prospects and enrolled student-athletes.
This is not a comprehensive guidebook. Should you have specific questions regarding a situation, please contact:
Brian Lutz, Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, at 419.530.8496 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
REPRESENTATIVES OF ATHLETICS INTERESTS- YOU ARE A REPRESENTATIVE OF ATHLETICS INTERESTS IF YOU:
1) Participate in or have been a member of any of The University of Toledo's various athletic association booster groups.
2) Make or have made a donation to any of UT's athletics programs or the Rocket Fund.
3) Have ever helped to arrange summer employment for student-athletes.
4) Have been involved in promoting UT Athletics in any way.
5) Are the parent(s) or legal guardians of an enrolled student-athlete.
6) Participated as a varsity athlete at UT.
ONCE A BOOSTER ... ALWAYS A BOOSTER
According to the NCAA, once an individual has been identified as an athletics representative, he or she retains this identity forever, even if that person no longer contributes to the athletics program.
The University of Toledo is ultimately responsible for the behavior of all its athletics representatives in relation to NCAA rules and regulations. Violations of NCAA regulations by an athletics representative could result in severe sanctions against the University (e.g., loss of scholarships, television and post-season bans) and the loss of eligibility for involved student-athletes.
REMEMBER ... as a representative of athletics interests, you are responsible for making The University of Toledo Compliance Office aware of any infractions of NCAA or MAC rules you know have occurred. Even if a violation was unintentional, the eligibility of a prospect or enrolled student-athlete could be in jeopardy. Please contact Brian Lutz at 419.530.8496 with any information or questions you may have.
Only University of Toledo coaches who successfully complete the NCAA Coaches' Certification Test on an annual basis may be involved in the recruiting process. Representatives of athletics interests may not make any recruiting contacts. This includes letters, e-mails, telephone calls or face-to-face contact on- or off-campus with a prospect or the prospect's parents.
A PROSPECTIVE STUDENT-ATHLETE refers to any student who has started classes for the ninth grade. In men's basketball, seventh graders and above are considered prospective student-athletes.
Any student below the ninth grade who receives benefits from The University of Toledo or a booster would become a prospect. In addition, student-athletes enrolled in preparatory school or two-year colleges are considered prospects. Lastly, student-athletes at other four-year institutions may not be contacted by a coaching staff member unless permission has been granted by their current institution.
AN ENROLLED STUDENT-ATHLETE is a student who is participating in athletics or has completed his/her eligibility but is still enrolled at The University of Toledo.
You may forward information about prospects to the appropriate coaching staff.
You may have telephone contact with a prospect regarding permissible pre-enrollment activities, such as summer employment, provided the prospect has already signed a National Letter of Intent and the Compliance Office is aware you are making these arrangements.
You may have a telephone conversation only if the prospect initiates the call. A university may not prearrange such a call to a staff member/coach, and you are not permitted to have a recruiting conversation, but may only exhibit normal civility. You must refer any questions about our athletics programs to an UT Athletics Department staff member/coach.
You may view a prospect's athletic contest at your own initiative, provided you do not contact the prospect or his/her parents. In addition, you may not contact a prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect.
You may continue established family relationships with friends and neighbors. Contacts with sons and daughters of these families are permitted so long as they are not made for recruiting purposes or encouraged by a University of Toledo Athletics Department staff member.
A RECRUITING CONTACT is any face-to-face encounter between a prospect, or a prospect's parent or legal guardian, and a University staff member or representative of athletics interests during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of greeting. An impermissible contact, even if unintentional, could subject The University of Toledo to penalties imposed by the NCAA.
The questions you should ask:
Q. May a booster aid the UT coaching staff in recruiting by observing or evaluating high school prospects?
A. A booster may view a prospect's game on his or her own initiative as long as he/she does not contact the prospect on such occasions. A booster may not contact a prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect, nor may he/she visit the prospect's school to pick up game films or transcripts.
Q. Can athletics representatives contact a prospect to encourage him/her to attend The University of Toledo?
A. No. Any such contact could result in the prospect being declared ineligible for competition at UT.
Q. Is it permissible for an athletics representative or booster to have contact with prospective student-athletes and/or their parents?
A. The only contacts a booster may have are:
- If a booster is discussing summer employment opportunities with a prospect (after he or she has signed the National Letter of Intent)
- If an established relationship between a booster and the prospect already exists. The booster may continue to enjoy friendly relationships with the family, friends and neighbors. He/she may not, however, take advantage of these relationships for recruitment purposes.
- If unavoidable incidental contact occurs that involves only normal civility.
Q. What should a booster do if he or she has contact (i.e. exchange of a greeting) with a prospect or group of prospects at a University of Toledo athletic event?
A. Once again the NCAA understands that unavoidable incidental contacts may occur. As long as ... The contact is not prearranged; No attempt at recruitment is made; and only normal civility takes place (i.e., exchange of greeting). The booster will not be held responsible for making recruiting contact.
Q. May a prospect call a booster?
A. Yes. A booster may have a telephone conversation with a prospect only if the prospect initiates the call. The telephone call may not be prearranged by a University staff member, and the conversation should be limited to the University in general. All athletically related questions must be referred to the Athletics Department.
An extra benefit is any special gift or arrangement provided to an enrolled student-athlete or a student-athlete's relative or friend that is not available to the general student body of that university. Extra benefit legislation also may apply to gifts or arrangements (other than legitimate jobs) subsequent to the student-athlete's athletics eligibility or graduation.
THE ENROLLED STUDENT-ATHLETE
The rules to remember:
1) Representatives of athletics interests cannot provide an "extra benefit" or special arrangements to an enrolled student-athlete that is not available to all other students at the University.
2) If a student-athlete accepts any benefit based on his or her athletic ability, that athlete will lose all eligibility for intercollegiate athletic participation. If the student-athlete has completed eligibility, The University of Toledo is still responsible and may be subject to penalties to the affected sport program. Additionally, the booster or representative involved may be forced to disassociate from the University's athletics program.
The questions you should ask:
Q. What are some examples of "extra benefits" to enrolled student-athletes that are prohibited by the NCAA?
A. The following are prohibited extra benefits:
- Arranging, providing or co-signing a loan.
- Providing the use of a car.
- Providing a ticket to any athletic, University or community event.
- Providing the parents, family or friends of a student-athlete with a free admission to a University of Toledo or booster club recognition banquet.
- Providing typing services or covering the related expenses for course-related papers or projects.
- Arranging or providing any special discount, credits or special payment arrangements on any purchase or service.
- Giving any type of gift-in-kind or money.
Q. Are athletics representatives or boosters allowed to help finance the UT Intercollegiate Athletics Program?
A. Athletics representatives may not provide services or extra benefits to enrolled student-athletes. It is permissible, however, to contribute to the Rocket Fund. Additionally, it is permissible to contribute to a sport-specific booster club, which helps enhance the overall intercollegiate experience for student-athletes in that sport.
Q. If, after an athletics awards banquet, a senior student-athlete strikes up a conversation with a booster about possible post-graduation job opportunities, what is the booster permitted to discuss?
A. A booster is not permitted to promise anything of value to an enrolled student-athlete.
Q. Is it permissible for an athletics representative to directly provide gifts or awards to a prospect or enrolled student-athlete for his/her athletics performance?
A. No. All awards must be first approved by the associate athletics director for compliance and meet all NCAA and MAC regulations.
Benefits provided by a former student-athlete to a current student-athlete are permissible as long as the benefits are similar to those benefits provided when the former student-athlete and the current student-athlete were both in college. For example, if a former student-athlete wishes to return to campus on an occasional basis and treat a current student-athlete to dinner/reasonable local entertainment, such an activity would not be considered an extra benefit because friends generally treat each other to meals/local entertainment during their collegiate enrollment.
Activities that are not permissible include:
1) A former student-athlete paying transportation, lodging and meal expenses for a current student-athlete to attend a professional athletics contest in which the former student-athlete will be a participant.
2) A former student-athlete providing an all-expense paid vacation to a current student-athlete.
3) A former student-athlete providing rent-free housing to a current student-athlete.
4) A former student-athlete providing an automobile to a current student-athlete.
It is permissible for athletics representatives or alumni to contact a prospect regarding summer employment, prior to enrollment, provided the prospect has signed the National Letter of Intent. However, no contact may be made without approval from the associate athletics director for compliance.
NOTE: Any such employment arrangement for a prospect may not begin until the prospect has graduated from high school. Enrolled student-athletes, scholarship and walk-ons are eligible for employment during the regular academic year and during official vacation periods (Christmas, spring break and summer). Earnings from a student-athlete's on- or off-campus employment that occurs at any time are exempt and are not counted in determining a student athlete's full grant-in-aid or in The University of Toledo's financial aid limitations, provided:
1) The compensation does not include any remuneration for value or utility that the student-athlete may have for the employer because of the publicity, reputation, fame or personal following that he or she has obtained because of athletics ability;
2) The student-athlete is compensated only for work actually performed; and
3) The student-athlete is compensated at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality for similar services.
Q. Can a student-athlete receive advice from anyone else without jeopardizing his or her eligibility?
A. Yes, a student-athlete may secure advice from a lawyer concerning a proposed professional sports contract as long as the lawyer does not represent the student-athlete in negotiations for such a contract. Additionally, a student-athlete may not verbally agree to allow legal representation prior to the completion of his or her eligibility.
Q. What are the regulations that govern student-athletes, coaches and staff members with regard to athletics gambling activities?
A. Student-athletes, coaches and staff members of The University of Toledo shall not knowingly:
- Provide information to individuals involved in organized gambling activities concerning intercollegiate athletics competition;
- Solicit a bet on any intercollegiate team;
- Accept a bid on any team representing The University of Toledo;
- Participate in any gambling activity that involves intercollegiate athletics and professional athletics through a bookmaker, a parlay card or any other method employed by organized gambling.
ARE THESE GROUPS CONSIDERED BOOSTERS?
Q. Are parents of enrolled student-athletes and the following on-campus groups also considered representatives of athletics interests?
A. Parents of enrolled student-athletes are considered representatives of athletics interests; therefore, they may not be involved in the recruiting process on or off campus. If parents of a prospect should contact you with questions about your son's or daughter's athletic experiences at The University of Toledo, you should direct the questions to the associate athletics director for compliance. If you are a UT alum, you may discuss your educational experiences at UT, but you may not discuss athletics. Faculty and staff members are not permitted to recruit off campus, except within a 30-mile radius of campus when entertaining a prospect during an official visit. Faculty and staff members may not telephone a prospect until the summer following his or her junior year. In most instances, a prospect may receive only one call a week from a University staff member (faculty members, athletics departments staff members or administrators) regardless of who makes the call. Faculty and staff members may write to prospects beginning September 1 following the prospect's junior year of high school (June 15 following prospect's sophomore year in men's basketball).
Athletic Department staff members may have recruiting contacts on campus. Only those coaches certified to recruit may contact prospects off campus. All University of Toledo Athletics Department staff members may write to prospects. A spouse of a coach or staff member may make contact with a prospect on campus. Additionally, he or she may make off-campus contact, within a 30-mile radius of the University's Main Campus, during the prospect's official visit. The spouse may not, however, have any correspondence (follow-up letter, visit, etc.) with the prospective student-athlete.
Board of Trustees/Regents may not make on- or off-campus recruiting contacts with prospects.
ENROLLED STUDENTS/ STUDENT-ATHLETES
- May not make or participate in telephone calls to prospects at the direction of a coaching staff member or financed by The University of Toledo or representatives of athletics interests.
- May receive telephone calls made at the expense of the prospect subsequent to July 1 following the prospect's junior year in high school.
- May have written correspondence with prospects.
- Student-athletes are permitted to serve as student hosts for a prospect's official visit.
COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES FOR STUDENT-ATHLETES
All charitable, educational and nonprofit promotional activities involving student-athletes must have prior approval from the assistant athletic director for compliance. Student-athletes are not permitted to be involved in the advertisement, recommendation or promotion of sales or use of a commercial product or service of any kind.
PERMISSIBLE ACTIVITIES FOR BOOSTERS
After reading this brochure, it may seem that University of Toledo representatives of athletics interests are prevented from any involvement with prospective and enrolled student-athletes. However, here are some activities that are permissible:
FOR THE PROSPECTIVE STUDENT-ATHLETE, A BOOSTER MAY ...
- Contact a prospect for the purpose of arranging summer employment after he or she has signed a National Letter of Intent.
- Provide the specific sport coach with names or newspaper clippings of talented prospective students in his or her hometown.
FOR THE ENROLLED STUDENT-ATHLETE, A BOOSTER MAY ...
- Have contact with enrolled student-athletes on campus.
- Invite a student-athlete or an entire team to your home for a meal. The meal, which may be catered, should be limited to infrequent or special occasions (e.g., Thanksgiving, birthday, etc.), and must be approved by the Compliance Office.
- Provide student-athlete transportation to their homes on these occasions (local transportation only).
- Contribute to the Rocket Fund.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you know of a high school student-athlete who might want to attend The University of Toledo, the only permissible activity for an athletics representative is to call the appropriate coach:
Baseball, Cory Mee (419.530.6263)
Men's Basketball, Tod Kowalczyk (419.530.4187)
Women's Basketball, Tricia Cullop (419.530.2530)
Cheerleading, Libby Brown (419.530.5521)
Men's Cross Country, Kevin Hadsell (419.530.7813)
Women's Cross Country, Kevin Hadsell (419.530.7813)
Football, Matt Campbell (419.530.3500)
Men's Golf, Jamie Broce (419.530.4218)
Women's Golf, Nicole Hollingsworth (419.530.7761)
Soccer, Brad Evans (419.530.6250)
Softball, Tarrah Beyster (419.530.6258)
Swimming, TBA (419.530.2782)
Men's Tennis, Al Wermer (419.530.4374)
Women's Tennis, Tracy Mauntler (419.530.2499)
Track and Field, Kevin Hadsell (419.530.7813)
Volleyball, Greg Smith (419.530.7740)
USE OF UNIVERSITY LOGO
Prior approval may be necessary for the use of any University of Toledo logo. Please contact: Dave Nottke, Deputy Athletics Director at 419.539.2143 or at email@example.com.
- A prospect may be declared ineligible to represent The University of Toledo.
- A student-athlete may be declared ineligible to compete for The University of Toledo.
- An entire athletic team may be declared ineligible to compete in MAC or NCAA competition.
- Disassociation of booster from the institution and loss of season ticket privileges.
Please make a concerted effort to understand the rules and ask questions to avoid any of these consequences.
Direct your questions to: Brian Lutz, Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, at 419.530.8496 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
YOUR TREMENDOUS SUPPORT OF OUR ATHLETICS PROGRAMS IS APPRECIATED!
Our student-athletes, our coaches and administrative staff are very appreciative of your spirit and support for The University of Toledo, in particular, intercollegiate athletics. That being said, your adherence to all applicable NCAA, MAC and institutional rules and regulations is essential as we strive to maintain and enhance our athletics prominence while protecting the University's tradition of integrity and values. Our associate athletics director for compliance is here to assist you with your questions and concerns regarding NCAA regulations. Please contact us immediately if you are unsure about any situation. Your attention to these matters makes certain that the eligibility of both prospective and enrolled student-athletes is protected and maintained. Again, many thanks for your cooperation and your ongoing support.