Guide To NCAA Rules For Alumni, Boosters, and Friends
Courtesy: UALR Sports Information
          Release: 12/13/2005
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MESSAGE FROM THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT


Dear Trojan Supporter:

 

On behalf of UALR, I want to thank you for your support. Without the financial assistance from generous community members like you, we simply would not be able to compete at a national Division I level.

 

Being a member of the NCAA, we are required to educate all people who interface with the university on compliance with NCAA rules and regulations as part of the NCAA certification process. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is committed to operating a first-class program while strictly adhering to the rules and regulations of the NCAA.

 

The reach of NCAA rules extends beyond the athletic department itself. Because of your relationship with the athletic department, you may be considered a “representative” of the university’s athletic program. Therefore, we are required to educate you on NCAA rules, and how they may apply to you in your capacity and the interpretation of certain rules.

 

By knowing and understanding the rules, we can all best serve the Trojan Athletic program. Please review the enclosed material at your convenience. Should you have any questions or need further information, please contact me at 501-569-3322

 

Again, I thank you for your support. Go Trojans!

 

Sincerely,

 

Richard Turner

Assistant Director of Athletics, Compliance Coordinator

 

INTRODUCTION

 

This information was prepared by the Compliance Office at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to assist alumni, boosters and friends in understanding the application of NCAA rules and regulations that govern the conduct of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

 

This publication only is intended to provide a basic understanding of NCAA legislation and is not a complete compilation of such legislation. Anyone having a question about the application of NCAA legislation may contact Richard Turner, Assistant Director of Athletics, Compliance Coordinator, at 501-569-3322. Don’t be afraid to ask.

 

We appreciate your full cooperation and your support to ensure full compliance to all NCAA rules and regulations.

 

DEFINITION OF TERMS

 

Q. What does the term “institutional control” mean?

 

A. It is the responsibility of each institution to control its intercollegiate athletics program in compliance with the NCAA rules and regulations. The institution is responsible for the actions of its staff members and any other individual or organization engaged in activities associated with the athletics interests of the institution.

 

Q. At what point does an individual become a representative of the institution’s athletics interests (booster)?

 

A. An individual becomes a representative of the institution’s athletics interest when the individual is known (or who should have been known) by a member of the institution’s executive or athletics administration to:

1.       Have participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization promoting the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program.

2.       Have made financial contributions to the athletics department or to an athletics booster organization of that institution.

3.       Be assisting or to have been requested (by the athletics department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospects.

4.       Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families.

5.       Have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution’s athletics program.

Please not that once an individual is identified as such a representative, the person retains that identity indefinitely regardless if the involvement with the individual or athletic department continues.

 

Q. Who is considered a student-athlete?

 

A. The term student-athlete basically refers to any student whose enrollment was solicited by a member of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s athletic staff and is currently participating in intercollegiate athletics at UALR.

 

Q. Who is considered a prospect or prospective student-athlete?

 

A. The terms “prospect” and “prospective student-athlete” are used interchangeably and refer to any student who is in ninth through twelfth grade, regardless if the individual participates in athletics at his or her school.

 

GENERAL COMPLIANCE ISSUES

 

Q. Are athletic representatives the only individuals bound by NCAA legislation?

 

A. No. Any individual who confers a benefit upon a student-athlete that is contrary to NCAA legislation by definition automatically becomes an athletic representative and jeopardizes the student-athlete’s eligibility as well as the university’s athletic program.

 

Q. How so?

 

A. Anytime a student-athlete receives an improper benefit, it becomes an individual violation for the student-athlete involved and may adversely impact the student-athlete’s eligibility to compete. It may also be an institutional violation for the university if it comes from an individual associated with the athletic program or the violation involves individuals with whom the university knew or should have known were acting contrary to NCAA legislation.

 

Q. Does this apply to all individuals associated with the student-athlete?

 

A. Generally speaking, the NCAA rules pertain to individuals with whom the student-athlete meets after first enrolling at the university. It also could refer to individuals the student-athlete knew prior to coming to the university, if that individual is providing benefits or services not previously provided to that athlete.

 

Q. After all that has been mentioned above, what can an individual or athletic representative do for a student-athlete?

 

A. Basically, an individual can provide the student-athlete with an occasional family home meal at the individual’s home and provide the student-athlete with transportation to and from that home meal.

 

Q. It appears that an individual is quite limited in what they can do for student-athletes.

 

A. That is correct. Over the years, the membership has slowly legislated away any activities between student-athletes and athletic representatives because of the abuses that existed and the competitive advantage gained.

 

Q. What do you mean?

 

A. All rules that are adopted by the membership usually have a rational basis for trying to stop a perceived unfair advantage or practice. However, over time, loopholes develop and more legislation is created to stop the abuses created by the loopholes. As you can see, over a period of time, the association has regulated most activities involving student-athletes.

 

THE RECRUITMENT OF PROSPECTS

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative or any other individual to contact a prospect, the prospect’s parents or his/her legal guardian(s) off-campus for the purpose of recruiting the prospect to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to participate in intercollegiate athletics?

 

A. No. All contact (e.g., telephone, mail, in person) for the purpose of recruiting is limited to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock coaching staff members only. If you know of a young person who may want to participate in intercollegiate athletics at UALR, do not contact him/her directly. Instead, please notify a member of the appropriate coaching staff as listed below:

 

Sport

Phone Number

 

(Area Code 501)

Baseball

663-8095

Men's Basketball

569-3304

Women's Basketball

569-3464

Women's Volleyball

569-3371

Men's and Women's Golf

683-7313

Women's Swimming and Diving

683-7312

Women's Tennis

569-3447

Women's Soccer

569-3452

Men's and Women's Track and Field

569-8921

Men's and Women's Cross Country

569-8921

 

 

 

 

Q. What is the definition of a contact?

 

A. Any encounter between a prospect, the prospect’s parents or legal guardian(s) and an institutional staff member or athletic representative during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting constitutes a contact. Additionally, any encounter that is prearranged and takes place on the grounds of the prospect’s educational institution or at the site of organized competition and practice involving the prospect or the team which the prospect represents, shall be considered a contact, regardless of the conversation which occurs.

 

Q. Is the contact rule applicable to a representative who is an established family friend or neighbor whose relationship with a prospect or the team that the prospect represents regardless of the conversation that occurs?

 

A. No. Family friends or neighbors can naturally have contact with the prospect provided such contacts are not made for recruiting purposes and are not initiated by any University of Arkansas at Little Rock athletic department staff member.

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative to pay in whole or partial registration fees associated with a prospect’s attendance at summer sports camps or pay costs incurred by an athletic talent scout?

 

A. No. Athletic representatives cannot pay for any item or activity involving a prospect that may want to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative to entertain high school, preparatory or junior college coaches at any location?

 

A. No. Athletic representatives cannot entertain and provide benefits to coaches as an inducement for the coaches’ influence on a prospect.

 

Q. Is it permissible for ant athletic representative to provide free admission to the institutions away from home contests (including bowl games) to prospects, their friends or relatives?

 

A. No. This activity would be considered an improper recruiting activity.

 

Q. Can an athletic representative make contact with a prospect, the prospect’s parents or legal guardian(s) on an official visit to the campus (a visit in which the institution pays for a prospect to visit campus for 48 hours)?

 

A. No. In addition, the representative cannot be involved in any type of on or off-campus entertainment.

 

Q. During an unofficial visit to campus (a visit in which a prospect pays to visit), is it permissible for athletic representatives to entertain, buy a meal or expend any funds on the prospect, his relatives, friends or legal guardian(s)?

 

A. No. On unofficial visits to campus, the prospect is limited to three (3) complimentary tickets from the institution to attend an athletic event and may not be entertained (e.g., be provided meals or other tangible items) by UALR or its representatives.

 

Q. How many official and unofficial visits are prospects permitted?

 

A. A prospect is permitted no more than five (5) total official visits (one to each school) and may take an unlimited number of unofficial visits.

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative to contact a student-athlete from another four-year school for the purpose of transferring to UALR?

 

A. No. Athletic representatives may not be involved in recruiting activities. In fact, institutional staff members cannot contact a student-athlete enrolled at another four-year school.

 

OFFERS AND INDUCEMENTS OF PROSPECTS PRIOR TO ATTENDING THE UNIVERSITY

 

Q. During the recruitment of, or prior to, the individual’s enrollment at the university, can an athletic representative be involved directly or indirectly in making arrangements for a prospect, the prospect’s relatives and friends to receive money, financial aid or equivalent inducements, regardless of whether similar financial aid benefits or arrangements are available to prospective students in general, their relatives or friends?

 

A. No. However, the institution can arrange employment for a prospect or arrange for educational loans from a regular lending agency, it being understood that no such employment or loan shall be permitted prior to the completion of the prospect’s senior year in high school.  Such arrangements should be made through the athletic department, not directly with the prospect or prospect’s relatives.

 

Q. What is considered addition types of inducements?

 

A. Other types of inducements that are prohibited include, but are not limited to:

1.       Cash or loans

2.       The loan or gift of money or other tangible items (e.g., clothes, cars, electronic/stereo equipment).

3.       Free or reduced cost housing arrangements.

4.       The promise of employment after college education.

5.       Special discounts or payment arrangements of loans.

6.       Employment of relatives or friends of a prospect.

7.       Involvement in arrangement for free or reduced charges for professional or personal services, purchases or charges.

8.       Use of an automobile

9.       Providing transportation to and from a summer job or any other site.

10.   Signing or co-signing a note for a loan

11.   Guarantees of bond

12.   Purchase of items or services from a prospect or the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

13.   Providing, directly or indirectly, transportation to enroll

14.   Any financial aid other than that administered by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

15.   The promise of financial aid for post graduation education

16.   To pay or arrange for the payment of transportation coast incurred by relative or friends of a prospect

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative to pay or arrange for the payment of transportation costs incurred by relatives or friends of a prospect to visit campus or elsewhere?

 

A. No. Even the institution cannot pay transportation costs for the prospect’s relatives or friends when the prospect visits campus, except the prospect can be reimbursed for mileage even if friends or family ride in the prospect’s car.  

 

EMPLOYMENT OF A STUDENT-ATHLETE

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative to employ a student-athlete during the academic year while he or she is enrolled as a full-time student receiving FULL grant-in-aid scholarship during that time period, and is it permissible for an athletic representative to provide summer employment for student-athletes?

 

A. Yes. However, compensation must be paid only for work actually performed at the going rate in that locality for services of like character. Such employment should be arranged through the athletic department by contacting Richard Turner (501-569-3322).

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative to employ “walk-on” (non-athletic scholarship recipients) student-athletes other than during the summer?

 

A. Yes. Also, the employer must notify the athletic department that such employment is being provided. Again, such employment should be arranged through the athletic department.

 

BENEFITS TO STUDENT-ATHLETES

 

Q. May a commercial agency (e.g., movie theater, restaurant, department store, car dealership) make available its services (e.g., movie tickets, meals, merchandise, use of car) to a student-athlete free or at a reduced cost?

 

A. No. It is not permissible for student-athletes to receive such benefits unless they are available to the entire student body. Providing the service to members of the basketball squad, for example, does not meet this requirement. All individuals and vendors must strictly adhere this to inasmuch as this activity is historically the most violated rule and has the most serious consequences for the student-athlete and the university.

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative or any other individual to provide to a student-athlete or friend any benefit that is generally not available to the other students on campus?

 

A. No. The NCAA considers special arrangements to be an “extra benefit”, which are specifically prohibited. This restriction applies to all individuals other than family members or individual that the student-athlete received these benefits from prior to attending college, such as long-time friend or neighbor. Extra benefits include, but are not limited to:

  1. The providing of cash or merchandise
  2. The use of an automobile
  3. The purchase of meals or services at commercial establishments
  4. The use of personal properties (e.g., boats, summer homes, cars, stereos).
  5. Providing holiday or birthday gifts
  6. A special discount payment arrangement or credit on a purchase (airline ticket, clothing) or services.
  7. A loan of money in any amount
  8. A guarantee of bond
  9. Transportation to or from a summer job
  10. A benefit connected with off-campus housing (television sets or stereo equipment, special recreational facilities, furnishings or appointments of extra quality or quantity)
  11. Signing or co-signing a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan.
  12. Selling or giving a student-athlete tickets to an athletic, university or town event
  13. Any benefit that is not generally available to the institution’s students or a particular segment of the student body (e.g., foreign students, minority students) determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability.

Q. Is it permissible for a student-athlete to receive preferential treatment, benefits or services (e.g., loans with deferred pay-back basis) because of the athlete’s reputation or potential as a future professional athlete?

 

A. No. Student-athletes are precluded from receiving preferential treatment based upon their athletics ability primarily because of the competitive disadvantage it could create for schools whose athletes do not have access to such services. Therefore, the association prohibits this activity for all student-athletes. It is important to note that a student-athlete may borrow against other future earnings potential from an established, accredited lending institution exclusively for the purpose of purchasing insurance (with no cash surrender value) against a disabling injury that would prevent the individual from pursuing his or her chosen career, provided no third party is involved in arrangements for securing the loan. The student-athlete shall report such transaction to the university and shall file copies of the loan documents and insurance policy with the university.

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative to entertain a student-athlete and their friends?

 

A. No. However, the athletic representative may entertain a student-athlete at the booster’s home, but entertainment must be limited to an “occasional” family meal. The NCAA recently adopted legislation that now permits the person hosting the athlete at an “occasional” family meal to transport the athlete to and from the home for this purpose.

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative to permit and pay for long-distance telephone calls?

 

A. No. This would be an extra benefit that the general student-body would not receive.

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative to pay or provide the actual and necessary expenses (room, board and transportation coast) incurred by friends or relative to visit an enrolled student-athlete?

 

A. No. This is an extra benefit not being provided to the friends and relatives of the general student body.

 

Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative to purchase tickets to professional sports contests and provide them to enrolled student-athletes?

 

A. No. This would be a special arrangement

 

Q. Is it permissible for an individual to provide athletes with professional services at a free or reduced rate?

 

A. No. Professional services provided at less than normal or at no expense to a student-athlete are considered an extra benefit unless it is documented to the compliance office that these services have been provided on a pro bono basis to other citizens in the community and not related to athletics.

 

STUDENT-ATHLETE APPEARANCES AND PROMOTIONS

 

Q. Is the use of a student-athlete’s name or picture for promotional purposes by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock or an officially recognized entity thereof (e.g., fraternity, sorority, or student government organization) or a charitable, educational or non-profit organization permissible?

 

A. Yes provided such activities have the prior written approval of the UALR Director of Athletics and are restricted to the use of student-athlete’s name or picture to promote or support activities of an institution. It is important to not that no commercial company or service may be associated (other than through the reproduction of the sponsoring company’s regular trademark or logo on an item) with the sale of the item involving the name or picture of a student-athlete.

 

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 athlete. The NCAA membership has always insisted that student-athletes not be involved in the promotion of a commercial product.

 

Q. May a student-athlete make a public appearance at a business establishment to sign autographs, etc.?

 

A. 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 non-profit or charitable organizations provided they do not receive remuneration (other than expenses) and such activities are authorized by the Director of Athletics or Richard Turner in the athletic department.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a hometown group (other than the UALR Athletics booster club) to provide an award to a student-athlete for outstanding accomplishment in intercollegiate athletics?

 

A. Yes, provided the student-athlete returns home at his or her own expense; further, it would be permissible for the student-athlete to receive properly personalized awards (e.g., a certificate, medal or plaque) valued at less than $50 from any entity based upon athletic accomplishment provided it is provided through the university.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Compliance with NCAA regulations is of the highest priority for our athletic programs and institution. We need your assistance in complying with NCAA rules. When you are faced with a situation and unsure as to how to respond, we strongly urge you to contact our Compliance Coordinator – Richard Turner at 501-569-3322 before acting. Your continued interest and support of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock athletic programs is most appreciated.

 

 

 

 

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