Athletic Booster Rules and Regulations
The University of Texas at Tyler Athletic Department strives for honor and dignity of fair play and the highest standards associated with intercollegiate athletic programs. "Representatives of Athletics Interests," which include alumni, boosters, and friends of The University of Texas at Tyler all have a key role in order to maintain our standards under the guidelines of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA rules and regulations for "Representatives of Athletics Interests".)
The information below provides basic definitions and guidelines for what Representatives of Athletics Interests, "Boosters", can and cannot do. The University of Texas at Tyler Department of Athletics is presenting you with this guide to assist with any questions you may have regarding your involvement with our student-athletes or prospective student-athletes.
The NCAA refers to a booster as a "representative of athletics interests". A "representative of athletics interests" is an individual who is known (or who should have been known) by a member of the institution's staff or athletics administration to:
- Be a member of or have participated in activities of an agency or organization promoting any part of The University of Texas at Tyler intercollegiate athletic programs
- Have made financial contributions to the intercollegiate athletic department or any athletics "booster " organization of The University of Texas at Tyler;
- Be assisting, or to have been requested, (by a staff member of The University of Texas at Tyler athletic department) to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes;
- Be assisting, or to have assisted, in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or
- Have been involved otherwise in promoting The University of Texas at Tyler intercollegiate athletics.
REMEMBER - Once an individual has been identified as a Representative of Athletics Interests, he or she retains this identity forever.
A "prospective student-athlete" is any student who started ninth grade classes. Before the ninth grade, a student becomes a prospect if a college provides the individual (or his/her relatives or friends) with any financial assistance or other benefits that the college does not provide prospective students generally. An individual remains a prospective student-athlete until one of the following occurs (whichever occurs earlier):
- The individual officially registers and enrolls in a minimum full-time program of studies and attends classes in any term of a four-year collegiate institution’s regular academic year (excluding summer); or
- The individual participates in a regular squad practice or competition at a four-year collegiate institution.
Recruiting is any solicitation of a prospect or a prospect’s relatives [or legal guardian(s)] by an institutional staff member or by a representative of the institution’s athletics interests for the purpose of securing the prospect’s enrollment and ultimate participation in the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program.
A prospective student-athlete becomes a "recruited prospect" at a particular institution when a staff member or athletics representative of the college does any of the following:
- Provides the prospect with an official visit to the University;
- Arranges a face-to-face encounter with the prospect or any other member of his or her family anywhere other than the University campus; or
- Initiates or arranges a telephone contact with the prospect, the prospect’s relatives or legal guardian(s) on more than one occasion for the purpose of recruitment.
Recruiting: Prospective Student-Athlete
An Athletic Department Staff member, representative of athletic interests, alumni, or booster may contact prospective student-athletes (or their relatives or legal guardians) in person, on- or off-campus after July 1 following the completion of the prospect's junior year in high school. All other NCAA rules/regulations apply.
- Any staff member or representative of athletics interest may contact a prospect (who has completed their junior year of high school) at their high school, prep school or two-year college, but must first obtain permission for the contact from their school's executive officer. Contact can only be made when permission is granted.
- No contact may be made with a prospect before their competition, as well as during the day or days of competition. Contact can only be made after the competition is over and the prospect is released by their coach and leaves the facility.
- Under the Division III NCAA Rules & Regulations, certification is not necessary in order to make in-person, of-campus contacts with prospects.
Offers and Inducements
Any University of Texas at Tyler staff member or representative of athletics interests (boosters) may not be involved, directly or indirectly, in arranging for or giving or offering to give any financial aid or other benefits to the prospect (or the prospect's family or friends), other than what is expressly permitted by the NCAA regulations. This shall apply regardless of whether similar financial aid benefits of arrangements are available to prospective students in general. Specifically prohibited items include, but are not limited to:
- Gift of equipment or clothing;
- Arranging employment for a prospect's relatives;
- Providing a loan to the prospect's relatives or friends;
- Co-signing of loans;
- Cash or like items;
- Any tangible items, including merchandise;
- Free or reduced-cost housing;
- Free or reduced-cost services, rentals or purchases of any type;
- Use of the University's athletic equipment (i.e. for high school all-star games); or
- Sponsorship of, or arrangement for, an awards banquet for high school, prep school or two-year college athletes by an institution, its athletics representatives, or its alumni or booster groups.
An ENROLLED STUDENT-ATHLETE is a student who presently is 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 a student-athlete's relative or friend that is not available to the general student body of that institution. Extra Benefit legislation also may apply to gifts or arrangements (other than legitimate jobs) following the student-athlete's graduation.
Representatives of Athletics Interests may not provide "extra benefits" or special arrangements to enrolled student-athletes that are not available to all students at the institution. If the student-athlete accepts any extra benefits, that athlete can lose all eligibility for intercollegiate athletic participation. Additionally, the booster or representative involved may be told to disassociate from the University's athletics program.
Examples of "extra benefits" that are prohibited by the NCAA to enrolled student-athletes:
- Co-signing or arranging a loan
- Cash or loans in any amount
- Use of an automobile
- Providing or arranging any special discounts, credits, or special payment arrangements (i.e. airline tickets, restaurant meals, cash)
- Providing the parents, family or friends of a student-athlete with a free admission to a University of Texas at Tyler or booster club recognition banquet.
- Money for, or a guarantee of, bail or bond
- Rent-free or reduced-cost housing
- Employment of a student-athlete at a higher rate than wages paid for similar work
- Payment to a student-athlete for work not performed
- Tickets to an athletics, institutional or community event
- Financial aid for a post-graduate education
- Promise of employment after college graduation
Acceptable Actions for an Athletic Representative
- Provide an occasional meal in your home to a student-athlete or an entire team.
- Provide transportation to your home for a student-athlete who will be receiving an occasional meal there.
Who To Contact If you Still Have Questions
Once again this information is presented to you as a guide and to assist you with any questions you may have. There are many more rules and regulations by the NCAA that are not contained here. If you are ever unsure regarding your involvement with our prospects or current student-athletes, please contact Mike Reed in the Compliance Office of The University of Texas at Tyler athletic department at (903) 565-5661.
Thank you for your support of The University of Texas at Tyler Athletic Department!