Every person, from fan to student-athlete, plays an important role in complying with NCAA rules. UNCP is held responsible by the NCAA for the actions of its boosters. If a booster commits a violation, UNCP may be subject to penalties from the NCAA.
A “representative of UNCP’s athletics interests” (booster) is someone who has ever:
- Participate in or have been members of the Braves Club or any other group that supports athletics.
- Have made financial contributions to the Braves Club or Athletics Department.
- Have assisted in the recruitment of student-athletes.
- Provide or have helped arrange benefits for enrolled student-athletes or their families.
- Participated as a student-athlete of UNC Pembroke.
- Have been involved in promoting UNCP Athletics in any other way.
If any of the above apply, you are a booster. According to the NCAA, once an individual has been identified as a UNCP Athletics booster, that person retains that title for life.
The NCAA has specific regulations on what is and is not acceptable of boosters towards prospective student athletes (PSA) or enrolled student-athletes.
A booster may:
- Continue to maintain contact with a PSA and their family as long as the booster is an established friend or neighbor and there is no attempt to recruit the student-athlete.
- Have incidental contact – not prearranged by the athletic department – with a PSA.
- Talk to a PSA via telephone only if the PSA initiates the conversation and the call is not for recruiting purposes.
- Watch a recruit's athletic contest, but may not have contact with that recruit.
- Provide an occasional family home meal to a student-athlete or an entire team if the meal takes place in the home – as opposed to a restaurant. Meals must be restricted to infrequent and special occasions. A booster may provide transportation to the student-athlete or team only if the meal takes place in the booster's home. Requests of this type should be directed to the specific team.
A booster may not:
- Have face-to-face contact with a PSA or their parents, legal guardian(s), or relatives to encourage them to enroll at UNCP or have any face-to-face contact in excess of the exchange of a greeting.
- Telephone or write to recruits or their parents, encouraging them to enroll at UNCP.
- Mail anything to PSAs, including newspapers, clippings, posters, programs, etc.
- Pick up videotapes or transcripts relating to a prospective student-athlete at his/her high school or junior college.
- Contact a recruit's counselor, principal, or coach in an attempt to evaluate that recruit.
- Provide a prospective/enrolled student-athlete any benefit or special arrangement. Examples of "benefits" include but are not limited to: special discount payment arrangements; a loan of money in any amount; the use of a car; the purchase of meals or services at commercial establishments; selling or giving a student-athlete tickets to athletic, institution, or community events; the use of personal property; and providing holiday or birthday gifts.
- Provide, arrange, or pay for transportation, for any UNCP student-athlete.
- Use the name, picture, or appearance of an enrolled student-athlete to advertise, recommend, or promote sales or use of a commercial product or service of any kind. Even the sale of a picture of a current student-athlete would place their eligibility in jeopardy.
- Use the name, picture, or appearance of an enrolled student-athlete to promote an educational or charitable cause until it has been approved by UNCP's compliance office.
- Allow a student-athlete, his/her friends, or relatives to use your telephone to make free local or long-distance calls.
- Employ student-athletes at a wage that is greater than the standard rate for jobs in the area.
A good "rule of thumb" to remember is that, if you do something
special for the entire student body, you can also do it for the
student-athlete! Always make arrangements for such activities
through the head coach or the compliance office. Please, ASK BEFORE
High School Fundraisers/Promotional Activities
UNCP Athletics is prohibited from providing any tangible support to high school fund-raising events aimed at raising money for any facet of the high school, including the athletics program. This extends to groups affiliated with UNCP Athletics.
An individual booster can provide funding to support a high school athletics program located in the booster's community provided that he/she acts independently of UNCP. The contributed funds must be channeled through normal fund-raising procedures and the funds cannot be earmarked for a specific student-athlete. UNCP Athletics can support fund-raising projects that involve schools where students are 8th grade and younger. UNCP Athletics can also support charitable community fund-raising projects where the proceeds will not benefit students 9th grade and above.
Can Boosters Recruit?
Only UNC Pembroke coaches who have passed the NCAA Recruiting Rules test may be involved in recruiting student-athletes. There may be no recruiting contacts made by boosters. This includes email & computer interaction, letters, telephone calls, or face-to-face interaction on or off campus. Boosters may help by forwarding information on prospective student athletes to the appropriate coaching staff.
Five important rules:
- Only coaches and Athletic Department staff members are permitted to be involved in the recruiting process. Alumni, friends, and boosters are not allowed to contact prospective student-athletes. This includes any contact through computer message boards, email, facebook, Twitter, instant messaging, text messaging, letters, and any other form of correspondence.
- A prospective student-athlete remains a prospect even after he/she signs a National Letter of Intent. He/she does not lose prospective student-athlete status until the start of classes or the first day of practice.
- Contact that is not pre-arranged and involves only normal civility is not precluded. Conduct any such contact without reference to UNCP. Extricate yourself from the situation in a timely and civil manner.
- Don't do anything for prospective or enrolled student-athletes without prior authorization from the compliance office for UNCP Athletics. If you have questions, please ASK BEFORE YOU ACT.
- If the student-athlete accepts any benefits based on his/her special consideration as an athlete, the student-athlete will jeopardize his/her eligibility for intercollegiate athletic participation.
Q & A for Boosters
Q: Can a booster make contact with a PSA and
his/her legal guardian(s) on an official visit to campus?
Q: Can boosters entertain PSA's, relatives, and friends at a UNCP home or away game?
Q: Does the no contact rule mentioned above apply to established family, friends, or neighbors of a PSA?
A: No. However, it must be understood that such contacts may not be made for recruiting purposes and may not be initiated by a UNCP coaching staff member.
Q: May a booster attend a public event (e.g. high school awards banquet) at which PSAs are in attendance?
A: Yes, but any contact with PSA's may not be prearranged by a UNCP Athletics staff member and no attempt may be made to recruit the prospect.
Q: Is it permissible for a booster to provide enrolled student-athletes with professional services (for which a fee would usually be charged) for personal reasons?
A: No. Professional services provided to a student-athlete at less than usual charge, or no charge, is considered an extra benefit, which would be prohibited.
Q: May a booster "evaluate" a PSA on behalf of UNCP Athletics?
A: Legislation does not preclude a booster from watching a PSA's contest on the booster's initiative, as long as the booster does not contact the prospect. However, the booster is prohibited from contacting a PSA's coach, principal, or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect, as well as from visiting a high school or junior college campus to pick up film or transcripts pertaining to the evaluation of a PSA's academic or athletic ability.
Q: How long is a PSA considered a "recruit?"
A: A PSA remains a recruit even after signing a National Letter of Intent to attend UNCP. Both UNCP Athletics and the recruit continue to be governed by NCAA recruiting legislation until:
- The PSA reports for regular squad practice;
- The Registrar or Director of Admissions certifies that a PSA is officially enrolled at UNCP on the first day of classes; or
- The PSA attends a class in any regular term. (Fall or Spring)
Q: Is it permissible for a booster to provide
an honorarium to a student athlete for a speaking engagement?
A: No. Student-athletes may receive only necessary travel expenses when speaking to educational or charitable groups. All speaking engagements must be approved in advance by the UNCP Athletic Department (910) 775-4108.