Information for Belmont Athletics Boosters and
Representative of Athletic Interests

 

A NOTE FROM THE BELMONT COMPLIANCE OFFICE

Belmont University wishes to thank those who support Belmont Athletics. Your assistance will continue to be solicited and, as always, greatly appreciated.

"REPRESENTATIVE OF ATHLETIC INTERESTS" is a term given by the NCAA to members of athletic support groups. The NCAA holds its institutions responsible for the education and orientation of these organizations, a process called INSTITUTIONAL CONTROL. In the NCAA the worst violation you can have is LACK of "institutional control." The following in brief are the rules and regulations as they relate to representatives of athletics interest. Please read carefully because the NCAA will not accept ignorance of the rules as an excuse. SO BE A KNOWLEDGEABLE BOOSTER and KNOW THE RULES.

Thanks...the Belmont Compliance Office

Who is a Booster?

You are a representative of Belmont’s athletics interests (more commonly referred to as a booster) if you have:

  • Participated in or are a member of an organization that supports Belmont’s athletics program;
  • Made a financial contribution to the Belmont University athletic department or any of its boosters clubs;
  • Assisted or have been requested by the athletic department staff to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes;
  • Provided benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their relatives or friends;
  • Ever been a season ticket holder for any Belmont athletics team;
  • Attended Belmont University as a student or are the parent/legal guardian of a current or former student-athlete; or
  • Been involved in promoting Belmont’s athletics program

Boosters may be individuals, independent agencies, corporate entities or other organizations.

Once a booster, always a booster! Once an individual is identified as a booster, the person retains that identity indefinitely.

Who is a Prospective Student-Athlete?

A prospective student-athlete, also referred to as a "prospect" or "recruit," is any student who has started classes for the ninth grade (seventh grade for men’s basketball). Students enrolled in preparatory schools and two-year colleges are also considered prospects.

An individual remains a prospect until his/her enrollment in a collegiate institution or until the time he/she reports for a collegiate team's official practice, even if he/she signs a National Letter of Intent with Belmont.

What is an Extra Benefit?

An extra benefit is any special arrangement by a Belmont employee or booster to provide a prospect, student-athlete or their relatives or friends a benefit not expressly authorized by the NCAA. Examples of impermissible benefits include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Providing cash or loans in any amount or signing/co-signing for a loan;
  • Giving gifts of any kind, including birthday/holiday/graduation gifts;
  • Offering free or reduced-cost services (e.g., car repairs, haircuts, dental work), housing or meals;
  • Providing the use of an automobile or any other transportation (e.g., a ride home);
  • Giving tickets to athletics or community events (e.g., concerts), even if you received the tickets for free;
  • Arranging employment for a prospect's or student-athlete's relatives or friends;
  • Providing course supplies, typing, tutoring or other academic support services;
  • Entertaining prospects or student-athletes, their relatives or friends.

Employment of Current or Prospective Student-Athletes

  • Current Student-Athletes: NCAA rules permit boosters to legitimately employ or arrange employment for current student-athletes both during the academic year or vacation periods. The following restrictions apply:
    • Any compensation must be for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with services of like character in that locality;
    • A student-athlete's compensation may not include any remuneration for the value or utility that the student-athlete may have for the employer because of the publicity, reputation, fame or personal following that he/she has obtained because of athletics ability;
    • Providing transportation to/from work is prohibited, unless such transportation is provided to all other employees;
    • The student-athlete may not be used to advertise, promote or endorse the employer or product;
    • If there are any questions concerning the employment, they should be directed to the Athletic Compliance Office.
  • Prospective Student-Athletes: Boosters may employ or arrange for the employment of a prospect that has signed a National Letter of Intent with Belmont, provided the employment does not begin until the completion of the prospect's senior year in high school and meets the criteria listed above.

Booster Involvement in the Recruiting Process

The NCAA rules strictly limit what boosters can do regarding the recruitment of prospects to Belmont. Only coaches and institutional staff members may be involved in the recruiting process. As a booster, you MAY NOT:

  • Call, write, email or make in-person contact with a prospect or the prospect's family, friends or coaches for recruiting purposes. Contact includes using the Internet to communicate with a prospect (e.g., "chat rooms," posting messages on the prospect's MySpace page, etc.);
  • Contact a prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect;
  • Visit a prospect's school to acquire films or transcripts in an attempt to evaluate the prospect's athletics ability or academic eligibility;
  • Have contact with a prospect, his/her relatives or friends during any of their visits to Belmont’s campus;
  • Contact students enrolled in other four-year institutions regarding the possibility of transferring to Belmont.

Even though there are many rules prohibiting your involvement with prospects and the recruiting process, as a booster you MAY:

  • Notify Belmont coaches of an outstanding prospect by sending newspaper clippings and other information about the individual;
  • Observe a prospect's athletic contest on your own initiative, provided no contact with the prospect, his/her family, friends or coaches occurs; and
  • Continue pre-existing relationships (i.e., began prior to the prospect beginning the ninth grade) with a prospect, provided no recruitment activities take place. Should Belmont or its athletics program arise as a topic of conversation, the booster must refer the prospect to the coaches and athletic department staff.

Boosters and Social Media

Representatives of athletics interests are NOT permitted to use social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat to contact or otherwise attempt to correspond with prospective student-athletes (9th grade or above).

This includes, but is not limited to:
  • posting on a wall
  • commenting on photos of a recruit
  • using the inbox/e-mail feature
  • instant messaging
  • “@replies“
  • "mentions“
  • or direct messaging.
Social networking websites have emerged as a preferred channel of communication among high school and college students in the last decade. Belmont representatives of athletics interests are asked to maintain a sense of propriety when using these social networks. Recently, an institution reported an NCAA violation after several boosters contacted potential recruits on their social media and inappropriately encouraged them to attend the institution. This type of communication is likely well intended and motivated by pride in our institution; however, it is prohibited by the NCAA and is ultimately harmful to the Belmont University’s best interests.

 

Occasional Meals

A booster is permitted to invite a current student-athlete or an entire team to his/her home for an occasional meal, under the following conditions:

  • The meal may only be provided in an individual's home or on campus
  • Meals must be restricted to infrequent and special occasions (e.g., birthdays, holidays);
  • A booster may provide transportation for a student-athlete to attend the meal;
  • The meal is approved in advance by the Athletic Compliance Office.

Please note that boosters are prohibited from providing any meals to a prospective student-athlete.

 

Donations of Athletics Memorabilia

The Belmont athletic department prides itself on being a contributing member of the Nashville community. NCAA rules restrict who Belmont athletics may provide institutional memorabilia (e.g., autographed balls, jerseys, tickets, t-shirts, etc.) to. Specifically, the Belmont athletic department MAY NOT:

  • In response to requests from high school, preparatory school or two-year college groups provide any items that assist in raising money for its programs (athletics or other);
  • Donate institutional memorabilia to any organization for the purpose of being used to raise funds to provide financial assistance to high school students to attend collegiate institutions.

If you are a member of a non-profit organization, you may submit a request for a donation/autograph from Belmont athletics at www.BELMONTBRUINS.com. Please note that while every effort will be made, we cannot guarantee that the request will be fulfilled.

What are the Consequences of a Violation of these Rules?

Belmont University is responsible for the actions of its boosters. If a booster provides an impermissible benefit to a prospect, student-athlete, their relatives or friends, Belmont may be subject

13.02.14

A "representative of the institution's athletics interests" is an individual, independent agency, corporate entity (e.g., apparel or equipment manufacturer) or other organization who is known (or who should have been known) by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to: (Revised: 2/16/00)

(a) Have participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization promoting the institution's intercollegiate athletics program;

(b) Have made financial contributions to the athletics department or to an athletics booster organization of that institution;

(c) Be assisting or to have been requested (by the athletics department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes;

(d) Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or

(e) Have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution's athletics program.

13.02.14.1

Once an individual, independent agency, corporate entity or other organization is identified as such a representative, the person, independent agency, corporate entity or other organization retains that identity indefinitely. (Revised: 2/16/00)

13.1.2.1

All in-person, on- and off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete's relatives or legal guardians shall be made only by authorized institutional staff members.  Such contact, as well as correspondence and telephone calls, by representatives of an institution's athletics interests is prohibited except as otherwise permitted in this section.  Violations of this bylaw involving individuals other than a representative of an institution's athletics interests shall be considered institutional violations per Constitution2.8.1; however, such violations shall not affect the prospective student-athlete's eligibility.  (Revised: 8/5/04)

13.01.1

The recruitment of a student-athlete by a member institution or any representative of its athletics interests in violation of the Association's legislation, as acknowledged by the institution or established through the Association's enforcement procedures, shall result in the student-athlete becoming ineligible to represent that institution in intercollegiate athletics.  The Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement may restore the eligibility of a student involved in such a violation only when circumstances clearly warrant restoration. A student is responsible for his or her involvement in a violation of NCAA regulations during the student's recruitment, and involvement in a major violation (see Bylaw19.02.2.2) may cause the student to become permanently ineligible for intercollegiate athletics competition at that institution.