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BOOSTERS, FANS AND FRIENDS
Important Terms & Definitions
Who is a Representative of Athletic Interests (Booster/Donor)?
NCAA rules indicate that all alumni, friends, and employees of the University are categorized as representatives of athletics interests. The NCAA stipulates that once an individual has been identified as a representative or booster/donor of the University's athletics programs, he or she retains this status forever even if the individual is no longer associated with the athletics program. Furthermore, the NCAA states that it is possible to be a representative of athletics interest at more than one university at the same time.
A representative of athletics interests is anyone who has ever:
- made any type of contribution to the athletics department or to a booster club
- joined the institution's 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
- promoted the institution's athletics program in any manner
- purchased season tickets from the University
- been an employee of Georgia College & State University
- been involved with the GC athletics program in any capacity
- you are a parent of a GC student-athlete
- you are the spouse of a GC athletics department employee
As a representative of athletics interests (booster/donor), you may not:
- contact a prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an effort to evaluate a prospect
- visit the prospect's institution to pick up film or transcripts pertaining to the evaluation of the prospect's academic eligibility or athletic ability
- contact a prospect, his/her parents, legal guardians or spouse on or off campus
- contact a prospect by telephone or by letter
- make special arrangements for entertainment for recruiting purposes
- provide extra benefits to a prospect, student -athlete at GC or another institution or to the parents, family and/or guardians of the prospects or student athletes.
Permissible activities by boosters:
- GC boosters may attend events (e.g., contests, banquets) where prospects are present on his or her own initiative, subject to the understanding that the booster may NOT contact the prospect or the prospect's relatives
- GC boosters may inform the Bobcat coaches of prospects in their area by contacting the GC staff and sending Bobcat coaches newspaper clippings with the names of particular prospects
- Do continue establishing family relationships with friends and neighbors. Contacts with prospects are permitted as long as they are not made for recruiting purposes and are not initiated by GC staff members
- GC boosters may arrange employment for prospective student-athletes. The prospect may not begin the job until after the completion of his or her senior year in high school. Compensation must be based on work actually performed and at a normal rate
- A student-athlete or an entire team may receive an occasional family meal from a booster under certain conditions. The occasional meal MUST be provided in the individual's home, may be catered and must be restricted to infrequent or special occasions. The GC Athletic Department requests that all arrangements for team events be made in advance with the approval of the head coach and the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance, Ginger Chaffinch.
Who is a Prospective Student-Athlete?
NCAA rules stipulate that a prospective student-athlete is a person who has started classes for the ninth (9th) grade, regardless of his/her athletics ability and /or participation.
- A prospective student-athlete remains a prospect even after he or she has signed a National Letter of Intent or accepts an offer of financial aid to attend an institution.
- The prospect remains a prospect until he/she reports for the first day of classes for a regular term (fall or spring) or the first official day of practice (whichever comes first).
As a representative of athletics interest you are not permitted to contact any student-athlete or the family member/guardian of a student-athlete who is or has enrolled at another institution for the purposes of recruiting and/or to determine the possibility of transferring to GC. The same rules apply to these students as they do for prospective student-athletes.
What is an "Extra Benefit"?
The NCAA defines an extra benefit as any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution's athletics interest ("booster/donor") to provide a student-athlete (or a student-athlete's relative or friend) a benefit that is not generally available to other GC students and their relative and/or friends. Therefore, please be aware of the following:
- A student-athlete cannot accept anything from an employee of GC or athletics booster/donor (e.g., use of a car, hair cut, clothing, gifts, money, tickets for any kind of entertainment, payment of long distance telephone calls).
- A student-athlete cannot accept free or reduced cost room and/or board from any GC employee or booster/donor of GC's athletics programs. This includes in on or off campus, in the student-athlete's home city or any other location. This would preclude a student-athlete from "house sitting" without paying rental costs at a comparable rate for similar housing in that locale.
- A student-athlete may not accept free or reduced cost storage room for personal belongings for the summer months from any GC employee or booster/donor of GC's athletics programs.
- A student-athlete cannot accept free or reduced merchandise or services from any merchant unless that free or reduced cost item is also available to the general public.
- A student-athlete cannot eat at a restaurant as the guest of an athletics booster/donor or an employee of GC.
- On infrequent, special occasions (e.g., a birthday, Thanksgiving, etc.), a student-athlete may accept an invitation to the home of an employee of GC or an athletics booster/donor for a meal.
- A student-athlete cannot use a Department of Athletics copy machine, fax machine or make long distance phone calls using departmental equipment or the long distance access code of an employee of GC or athletics booster/donor.
- Members of the Department of Athletics staff or an athletics booster/donor are not permitted to type reports, papers, letters, etc., for a student-athlete.
- A student-athlete cannot receive a special discount, payment arrangement or credit on a purchase (e.g., airline ticket, clothing), or service (e.g., laundry, dry cleaning) from an employee of GC or an athletics booster/donor.
- An GC employee or a booster/donor cannot provide a student-athlete with a loan of money, a guarantee of bond, the use of an automobile or the signing or co-signing of a note to arrange a loan, or pay or provide other compensation for work not performed or at unreasonable levels for work performed.
- An GC employee may provide a student-athlete only reasonable and occasional local (i.e., within a 30 mile radius of the GC campus) transportation. However, an GC employee may not utilize a University vehicle for purposes of assisting a student-athlete's move from one residence to another.
What are the consequences of NCAA violations?
Recruiting violations by GC employees and/or Representatives will result in the prospective or enrolled student-athlete becoming immediately ineligible to represent GC in intercollegiate athletics. A major recruitment violation can cause a prospect or current student-athlete to become permanently ineligible for intercollegiate athletics at GC.
Therefore, GC encourages all employees and representatives of GC athletic interests to contact the Department of Athletics if there is doubt concerning their contact with potential or enrolled student-athletes. Should you, at any time, have a question please do not hesitate in directing these inquiries to:
Assistant Director of Athletics/Compliance
Department of Athletics
Campus Box 65
Milledgeville, GA 31061
GC student-athletes are often asked to participate in promotional activities (e.g., speaking engagements). However, student-athlete involvement in a promotional activity is also subject to specific NCAA rules and is limited to institutional, charitable, educational and/or nonprofit activities.
Permissible Activities (Bylaw 188.8.131.52 Institutional, Charitable, Educational or Nonprofit Promotions)
A member institution or recognized entity thereof (e.g., fraternity, sorority or student government organization), a member conference or a non-institutional charitable, educational or nonprofit agency may use a student-athlete's name, picture or appearance to support its charitable or educational activities or to support activities considered incidental to the student-athlete's participation in intercollegiate athletics, provided the following conditions are met:
(a) The student-athlete receives written approval to participate from the director of athletics (or his or her designee who may not be a coaching staff member), subject to the limitations on participants in such activities as set forth in Bylaw 17;
(b) The specific activity or project in which the student-athlete participates does not involve co-sponsorship, advertisement or promotion by a commercial agency other than through the reproduction of the sponsoring company's officially registered regular trademark or logo on printed materials such as pictures, posters or calendars. The company's emblem, name, address and telephone number may be included with the trademark or logo. Personal names, messages and slogans (other than an officially registered trademark) are prohibited;
(c) The name or picture of a student-athlete with remaining eligibility may not appear on an institution's printed promotional item (e.g., poster, calendar) that includes a reproduction of a product with which a commercial entity is associated if the commercial entity's officially registered regular trademark or logo also appears on the item;
(d) The student-athlete does not miss class;
(e) All moneys derived from the activity or project go directly to the member institution, member conference or the charitable, educational or nonprofit agency;
(f) The student-athlete may accept actual and necessary expenses from the member institution, member conference or the charitable, educational or nonprofit agency related to participation in such activity;
(g) The student-athlete's name, picture or appearance is not utilized to promote the commercial ventures of any nonprofit agency;
(h) Any commercial items with names or pictures of student-athletes (other than highlight films or media guides per Bylaw 184.108.40.206) may be sold only at the member institution at which the student-athlete is enrolled, institutionally controlled (owned and operated) outlets or outlets controlled by the charitable or educational organization (e.g., location of the charitable or educational organization, site of charitable event during the event); and
(i) The student-athlete and an authorized representative of the charitable, educational or nonprofit agency sign a release statement ensuring that the student-athlete's name, image or appearance is used in a manner consistent with the requirements of this section.
If your organization would like to utilize GC student-athletes to participate in an event, please contact the Compliance Coordinator at 478-445-6870.