Boosters & Extra Benefits
As a booster, you are subject to various NCAA regulations regarding your interaction with student-athletes. The biggest concern is always the area of granting extra benefits. If you own a retail business, you need to be sure that you are not extending discounts to those student-athletes from UMBC that are not available to your other customers. There was a violation at another Division I institution several years ago that involved a booster who owned a shoe store. Apparently, student-athletes were given the opportunity to purchase shoes at unadvertised discount rates. This violated NCAA Bylaw 16.02.03 Extra Benefits, which stats:
An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institutions athletics interests (i.e. booster) to provide a student-athlete or the student-athletes relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. Receipt of a benefit by student-athletes or their relatives or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation of it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the institutions students or their relatives or friends or to a particular segment of the student body (e.g. foreign students, minority students) determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability.
To state it simply, if the discount is available to all UMBC students with a current I.D., then there is no extra benefit. It could even be more defined, such as available to only first-year students.
Sometimes, even the smallest thing may be considered an extra benefit. For example, giving each member of a team a personalized Christmas ornament would be an extra benefit, unless you are also giving similar items to other students who are not student-athletes. It may seem small, but rules are rules.
You are a booster, or by NCAA definition, a Representative of Athletics Interest if:
- You participate in or have been a member of any group or organization that promotes UMBCs intercollegiate athletic program.
- You make or have made a donation to any of the Retriever Athletics programs.
- You provide or help arrange for summer employment for Retriever athletes.
- You have been involved in promoting UMBC Athletics in any way.
- You are the parent of an enrolled student-athlete.
Once a booster, always a booster: This is according to NCAA regulations, even if you no longer contribute to the athletics program.
A booster's role in the recruiting process:
- All boosters, alumni, friends and other representatives of athletics interests who are not employed by UMBC are prohibited from making contact (in-person, by phone, fax, e-mail or letter) with a prospective student-athlete or his/her family for the purpose of encouraging their involvement in UMBC athletics.
- An alumnus may be called by a prospect to discuss UMBC generally, but not to talk specifics about Retriever athletics.
- An impermissible contact, even accidental, could jeopardize the prospect's athletic future at UMBC, as the prospect could be sanctioned by the NCAA.
- You may view a prospect's game on your own initiative as long as you do NOT contact the prospective student-athlete.
- You may NOT contact a prospect's coach, principal or counselor to try to get an evaluation of the prospect.
- You may NOT visit the prospect's high school to pick up videotapes, DVDs or transcripts.
- If you already have an established relationship with a prospect, you MAY continue that relationship. You may NOT, though, use that relationship for recruitment purposes.
- Once a prospect signs a National Letter of Intent with UMBC, you MAY discuss summer employment opportunities with the prospect, as long as the UMBC Athletic Administration has given you permission to do so.
Remember: Your role as a UMBC Retriever Booster is greatly appreciated, as long as everyone plays by the rules.
If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Zerrlaut, Senior Associate Athletic Director/Compliance, at 410-455-2012 or email@example.com.