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Guide for Friends/Athletics Representatives

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 06/18/2006
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Guide for Friends/Athletics Representatives

TO OUR FRIENDS,

Princeton University, as a cooperative member of the Ivy Group and The National Collegiate Athletic Association, is committed to maintaining a high degree of integrity in its athletic program. We ask all of you to join us in being well-informed about NCAA regulations in order to ensure that we meet this challenge.

The NCAA has developed explicit guidelines for what athletics representatives can and cannot do relative to our student-athletes. The Department of Athletics has produced this brochure to answer questions you may have regarding the recruitment of prospective student-athletes and contact with currently enrolled student-athletes.

By assisting the University in rules compliance, you are not only reaffirming the integrity our program, but also protecting the athletics eligibility of our students.

Please take time to read the information below. There are always questions that will arise as a result of specific situations. If you feel unclear about how to operate within the NCAA guidelines, feel free to contact the Department of Athletics. As always, we appreciate your support of Princeton University.

Please direct any questions to:

Allison Rich

Senior Associate Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator

Jadwin Gym

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ 08544

Phone 609-258-3751

Fax 609-258-4477

e-mail

arich1@princeton.edu

WHO IS AN ATHLETICS REPRESENTATIVE?

The NCAA considers you a "representative of athletics interests" if you:

  1. Participate in or have been a member of any of Princeton's various athletics Friends groups and/or PVC.
     
  2. Make or have made a donation to any of Princeton's men's or women's athletics programs or to the PVC or any Friends group.
     
  3. Provide or have helped arrange summer employment for enrolled student-athletes.
     
  4. Have been involved in promoting Princeton Athletics in any way.

  5. Are the parent of an enrolled student-athlete.

  6. Assisted or have been requested by Athletics staff to assist in the recruitment of prospects.
Once you obtain this status, you retain it forever, even if you no longer contribute to the athletics program. As a representative you are responsible for making the Department of Athletics aware of any infractions of Ivy Group or NCAA rules you know hav e occurred. Even if a violation was unintentional, the eligibility of a prospective or enrolled student-athlete could be in jeopardy.

EXTRA BENEFITS AND THE ENROLLED STUDENT ATHLETE

DEFINITIONS YOU SHOULD KNOW:

  • An enrolled student-athlete is a student who is presently participating in athletics or has completed his or her eligibility but is still enrolled at the University.

     

  • An extra benefit is any special gift or arrangement provided to an enrolled student-athlete or to a student-athlete's relative or friend which is not available to the general student body of that institution. Regulations governing extra benefit s can also apply to gifts or arrangements (other than legitimate employment) subsequent to a student-athlete's graduation.
RULES TO REMEMBER:
  1. Athletics representatives cannot provide an "extra benefit" to an enrolled student-athlete.

     

  2. If a student-athlete accepts any extra benefit, that athlete will lose all eligibility for intercollegiate athletic participation. If the student-athlete has completed eligibility, the University is still responsible and may receive penalties ap plied to the specific sport program.
QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE:
Q. What are some examples of "extra benefits" to enrolled student-athletes that are prohibited by the NCAA?

 

A.
  • Arranging, providing or co-signing a loan
  • Providing a meal, clothing or transportation
  • Providing a ticket to any athletic, institutional or community event
  • Providing the parents, family or friends of a student-athlete with free admission to a team banquet
  • Arranging or providing any special discount, credit or special payment arrangement on any purchase or service
  • Giving any type of gift

 

Q. Are athletics representatives allowed to help finance a student-athlete's education?

 

A. No. Under Ivy and NCAA rules, receipt by a student-athlete of any type of financial assistance from any non-family or non-institutional source constitutes a rules violation that renders the student-athlete ineligible.

 

Q. May a Friends group finance a season-ending banquet? May it purchase awards for the team?

 

A. Provided all funds are expended through the athletic department, it is permissible for a Friends group to be the source of funds for banquets and awards. Since the NCAA has established a value limit on awards received by student-athletes, it is important to have any awards approved by the Department of Athletics.

 

Q. May I provide meals to student-athletes?

 

A. You may invite enrolled student-athletes for a meal in your home, but not in a restaurant. This may be done only infrequently and on special occasions. It is also permissible for you to provide transportation to student-athletes to attend a meal in your home. Make sure you have the Athletic Director's permission before extending an invitation.

 

RECRUITING AND THE PROSPECTIVE STUDENT-ATHLETE

DEFINITIONS YOU SHOULD KNOW:

  • A prospective student-athlete (prospect) is any student who has started the ninth grade. Also, any other student who is contacted for recruitment purposes becomes a prospect.

     

  • A recruiting contact is any face-to-face encounter between a prospect or a prospects's parent or legal guardian and a University staff member or athletics representative during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting.
RULES TO REMEMBER:
  1. Only coaches and University staff members are allowed to be involved in the athletic recruiting process. There is an allowance for some limited contact by alumni through the local Schools Committee program. All alumni not involved with a local schools committee, and other representatives who are not employed by the University, are prohibited from contacting (in person, by phone, by fax or by letter) a prospect or his or her family for the purpose of encouraging participation in Princeton University's athletic program. If an alumnus or an alumna is called by a prospect, he/she may discuss the University in general, but may not discuss the athletics program.

     

  2. If you are a member of a local Schools Committee, the NCAA has granted a limited exception to some of its contact rules. Under this exception the following applies:

     

    • All off-campus interviewing activity must be carried out within Princeton's regular admissions structure and normal program for prospective local students. Again, if you are not a local Schools Committee member, you are prohibited from any contact with prospective student-athletes.

       

    • Any individual involved in interviewing prospective student-athletes through the local Schools Committee structure must also perform this function with non-athletic prospects.

       

    • Whenever you are in contact with prospects, or their parents or friends, it is a violation of NCAA and Ivy rules to pay for any meals, snacks or entertainment, except during Schools Committees or bona fide alumni group gatherings that involve both athletic and non-athletic prospects.

       

    • No on-campus interviewing or recruiting contact by alumni with prospective student-athletes may take place.

       

    • It is an NCAA violation for alumni to engage in certain evaluation activities, such as picking up game films and transcripts, or contacting high school coaches or athletic directors regarding prospects.

       

    • Also, it is a violation to provide benefits to prospective student-athletes, such as transportation, tickets or other items of value.

     

  3. A prohibited contact, even if unintentional, could subject Princeton to penalties imposed by the NCAA. Prospects could lose eligibility at the University due to a recruitment violation by a representative.

     

  4. A prospective student-athlete remains a prospect even after he or she has accepted admission to Princeton University. A prospect does not lose his or her prospect status until the start of classes at the University or until the beginning o f official team practice prior to the start of classes.
QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE:
Q. May I contact high school coaches or guidance counselors directly regarding a student-athlete?

 

A. Because such contact would involve specific athletic recruiting, not general, institutional recruiting, a representative would be prohibited from such contact.

 

Q. May I attend a high school game? May I speak with a prospect's parents prior to or during a high school game?

 

A. It is permissible for you to attend a high school game. However, since NCAA rules equate contact with a prospect's parents to contact with a prospect, it is not permissible to speak with parents for the purposes of recruiting the prospect .

 

Q. May I accompany the coach during his or her "home" visit with the prospect?

 

A. No. This would constitute your direct involvement in the athletic recruitment of the prospect and would not be permissible.

 

Q. What if I am a friend of the family, a relative, or a neighbor of the prospect?

 

A. The rule is not intended to preclude your "normal" contact with family friends, relatives or neighbors. However, any contact for the purpose of recruiting them to your institution would not be permitted.

 

Q. May I drive a prospect to a Schools Committee reception in my local area?

 

A. No, unless such arrangements are made for all students in attendance. Otherwise, providing such transportation would be considered an "extra benefit" and would render the prospect ineligible to play if he/she enrolled at Princeton.

 

Q. May I invite a number of prospective student-athletes to my home to talk about Princeton University?

 

A. Except as part of a Schools Committee reception or gathering, which would include athletes and non-athletes, it would not be permissible.

 

Q. May I buy a meal for a prospect?

 

A. Again, except as part of a Schools Committee function, this would be considered an "extra benefit" to the prospect and he or she would be ineligible to participate if he/she enrolled at Princeton.

 

Q. May I set up a reception for prospective student-athletes or phone them at a coach's request?

 

A. Whether or not the coach has talked with you, events involving prospective student-athletes, and telephoning prospective student-athletes, must occur through regular School Committee channels. Requests from coaches for such activities should be referred to your local Schools Committee chair.

 

Q. May I meet with prospects while they are on campus? May I buy them dinner during their official visit? May I drive them to campus?

 

A. No. On-campus contact with prospects is not permitted.

 

Q. May I assist a prospect or an enrolled student-athlete with summer employment?

 

A. Yes, provided the following conditions are met. Students are paid only for work actually performed and they are paid at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality for similar services. You are not permitted to assist a prospe ct until after he or she has accepted admission to Princeton.

PERMISSIBLE HELP

 

  • Join A Friends Group/Sports Association

    These groups provide support for teams through funding for special team trips, recruiting, and hosting receptions for teams at home and away contests. This is the best way to help your team of choice, and you'll be kept up to date on their progress throughout the year.

     

  • Identify Outstanding Student-Athletes

    If you know of outstanding student-athletes in your area, send information such as newspaper clippings to the respective coach, or give the coach a call and let him/her take it from there.

    Reminder - You can not contact prospects directly, nor can you contact high school coaches or guidance counselors to get information on prospects, but there is no rule against attending their contests.

     

  • Offer Assistance to the Coaching Staff

    You may provide lodging, meals and transportation to the coaches when they come to your community to contact and evaluate prospects.

     

  • Provide Summer Jobs and Internships

    If you know of positions in your business or community which might be filled by a student-athlete, then contact the athletic director for names of those who might be qualified.

    Reminder - The pay for these jobs must be at the going rate for that position.

    THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING PRINCETON ATHLETICS

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