Bowie State University Guide to NCAA Rules
Compliance Guide for Booster Club Members
To protect the integrity of the BSU athletics program and the eligibility of student-athletes, Booster Club members and other athletic supporters must comply with rules and regulations put forth by the NCAA. Although this is not a complete and final listing of all NCAA rules and regulations, it is a valuable quick reference for alums and friends of Bowie State University.
Who is a Representative of Athletic Interests?
A Representative of Athletic Interests is anyone who has ever:
- Made any type of contribution to the College’s Department of Athletics and Recreation or to a team.
- Been a PARENT of a Bowie State University student-athlete.
- Provided benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families.
- Assisted in any manner in the recruitment of a prospective student-athlete.
- Promoted the University’s athletic programs in any manner.
- Been involved with a Bowie State University Athletics program in any capacity.
- You are the spouse of a Bowie State University Department of Athletics and Recreation employee.
As a Representative of Athletic Interests, you may not:
- Contact a prospective student-athlete’s coach, principal, or counselor in an effort to evaluate a prospective student-athlete.
- Visit the prospective student-athlete’s institution to pick up film or transcripts pertaining to the evaluation of the prospective student-athlete’s academic eligibility or athletic ability.
- Contact a prospective student-athlete, his/her parents, legal guardians, or spouse, on or off campus.
- Contact a prospective student-athlete by telephone or in writing.
- Make special arrangements for entertainment for the recruiting purposes.
- Provide “Extra Benefits” to a prospective or current student-athlete at Bowie State University, their parents, family, and/or legal guardian.
NCAA rules indicate that a representative of the institution's athletic interests or a "booster" is any individual that has ever:
- Made any type of contribution to the athletics department or to its booster club;
- Joined the institution's booster club (e.g. The Bulldog Booster Club) or any sport-specific support group;
- Provided or helped arrange employment for a student-athlete;
- Provided benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families;
- Assisted in any manner in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes; or
- Otherwise promoted the institution's athletics program.
It is also important to note that once an individual becomes a booster, he or she remains as such for life. According to NCAA rules, the institution is responsible for all actions of its boosters.
NCAA legislation does not allow for a booster to play any role in the recruiting process. Listed below are restricted practices that apply not only to the prospects but also to their parents or legal guardians.
Contacts - Boosters may not make recruiting contacts in person with prospects at any site.
Communication - Boosters are prohibited from communicating to prospects for recruiting purposes via telephone calls, letters, and email, instant messaging, texting, Facebook or other means of communication.
Gifts -The provision of any financial aid or other benefits (e.g., clothing, special discounts, and tickets to events, loans of money or other items) to prospects or their relatives is prohibited.
Evaluation - A booster may view a prospect's athletics contests on his or her own initiative; however, a booster may not contact the prospect, prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect. A booster may not secure transcripts or video pertaining to the prospect's academic or athletic ability.
Employment - The employment or arranging of employment for a prospect before the end of his/her senior year of high school is prohibited. After graduation, a booster may employ a prospect as long as compensation is for work actually performed, and at the going rate for services of like character.
A prospective student-athlete or prospect is any student who:
- Has started classes for the 9th grade; or
- Is enrolled at another 4-year institution, junior college and/or prep school.
A student-athlete remains a prospect even after signing a National Letter of Intent. Both the institution and prospect continue to be governed by NCAA recruiting legislation until enrollment occurs at the institution. Only those coaching staff members who have passed the coaches certification exam are permitted to recruit prospective student-athletes.
During enrollment, only benefits expressly authorized by NCAA legislation are permitted. Restricted areas include, but are not limited to items listed below.
Special Benefits - The student-athlete shall not receive any extra benefit. The term "extra benefit" refers to any special arrangement to provide the student-athlete or his/her relatives or friends with a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.
Special Arrangements - A student-athlete may not receive a special discount, payment arrangement or credit on a purchase or a service (e.g., laundry, dry cleaning, rent).
Speaking Engagements -Student-athletes may receive only necessary travel expenses associated with a speaking engagement, not an honorarium. All speaking engagements must be approved by the Compliance Office.
Employment - A booster can provide employment with compensation only for work performed and at the going rate for services of like character.
Services - An athletics representative may not provide an athlete with professional services without charge or at a reduced cost.
Telephone and Credit Cards - It is not permissible to allow a student-athlete to use a telephone for personal reasons without charge or use a booster's credit card for purchases.
Entertainment - A student-athlete may not receive services (e.g., use of a car, dinners) from commercial agencies (e.g., car dealers, restaurants) or boosters without charge or at reduced rates.
It is also important to note that:
- Boosters may invite an enrolled student-athlete, or the entire team, to their home for an occasional meal. The term "occasional" is defined as once per month. This must be approved in advance by the Compliance Office.
- Boosters with an employment opportunity for a student-athlete should contact the Athletics Department at (301) 860-3582.
- Boosters who know of a prospect should forward information to the appropriate coaching staff member rather than contacting the prospect themselves.
An NCAA violation could result in the following consequences:
- A currently enrolled student-athlete being declared ineligible for competition.
- A prospect's eligibility being jeopardized.
- Damage to the reputation and to the integrity of Bowie Athletics.
- NCAA sanctions being placed on Bowie State University and the BSU Bulldogs Athletics program.
For more information, contact:
Jason R. Imperati
Associate Athletic Director of Compliance