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Important Definitions

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Information for Current Student-Athletes
Information for Prospective Student-Athletes
Information for Sports Agents and Financial Advisors

Amateurism
A student-athlete loses his/her amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the student-athlete (or his/her parent or legal guardian):

  • uses his/her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport;
  • accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate participation;
  • negotiates, signs, or enters into any oral or written agreement with an agent;
  • competes on any professional athletics team or receives any compensation from a professional sports team; or receives, directly or indirectly, a salary, reimbursement of expenses or any other form of financial assistance from a professional sports organization based upon athletics skill or participation.

Representative of Athletics Interest (Booster)
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 should have been known) by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to:

  • have participated in or be a member of an agency or organization that promotes the institution's intercollegiate athletics program;
  • have made financial contributions to the athletics department or to an athletics booster organization of that institution;
  • be assisting or to have been requested (by the athletics department) to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes;
  • be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or
  • have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution's athletics program.

Some examples of a representative of athletics interests (i.e., booster) are: fans, undergraduate students, graduate students, all university faculty and staff, and alumni. (This is not an exhaustive list). ONCE A BOOSTER ALWAYS A BOOSTER!

Extra Benefit
An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution's athletics interests (booster) to provide a student-athlete, or his/her relatives or friends, a benefit not authorized by the NCAA. The benefits a student-athlete may not receive include, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  • money;
  • special discounts;
  • payment arrangements or credit on a purchase (e.g., airline ticket, clothes) or service (e.g., laundry);
  • free or reduced-cost professional services not available on the same basis to the general public or student body;
  • use of a telephone or credit card for personal reasons without charge or at a reduced rate;
  • entertainment services (e.g., movie tickets, meals, use of a car) from commercial agencies (e.g., theaters, restaurants, car dealers) without charge, or at a reduced rate, free or reduced-cost admission to professional athletics contests from professional sport organization, unless such services are available to the student body in general;
  • guarantee of bond;
  • signing or cosigning a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan;
  • preferential treatment, benefits or services based on athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a future professional;
  • free or reduced-cost athletics equipment, supplies or clothing directly from a manufacturer or commercial enterprise;
  • payment or other compensation for work not performed or at unreasonable levels of the work performed;
  • employment arrangements for student-athlete's or prospect's relatives or friends;
  • payment of registration fees or other expenses to attend a Santa Clara sports camp or clinic;
  • use of personal property (e.g., car, summer house, computer);
  • holiday or birthday presents;
  • promise of employment after college graduation;
  • payment or arrangement for payment of transportation costs incurred by a student-athlete or prospect's relatives or friends; or any other item or service given because an individual is a student-athlete.

Recruiting
Any solicitation of a prospective student-athlete or a prospective student-athlete's relatives or legal guardians, by an institutional staff member or by a representative of the institution's athletics interests for the purpose of securing the prospect's enrollment and participation in the institution's athletics program.

Recruited Prospective Student-Athlete
Actions that cause a prospective student-athlete to become recruited include, but are not limited to:

  • providing a prospective student-athlete with an official visit (i.e., a visit to an institution's campus financed in whole or in part by the institution);
  • having an arranged, in-person, off-campus encounter with the prospective student-athlete and/or the prospective student-athlete's parents/legal guardians or relatives;
  • initiating or arranging telephone contact with the prospective student-athlete, the prospective student-athlete's relatives or legal guardian (s) on more than one occasion for the purpose of recruitment; or
  • issuing a National Letter of Intent to the prospective student-athlete.

Prospect
A prospective student-athlete (i.e., prospect) is an individual who has started classes for the ninth grade. In addition, a student who has not started classes for the ninth grade becomes a prospect if the institution provides any financial assistance or other benefits that the institution does not provide to prospects generally. A prospect remains a prospect until one of the following occurs (whichever is earlier):

  • The individual registers and enrolls in a minimum full-time program of studies and attends classes in any term of a four-year collegiate institution's regular academic year; or
  • The individual participates in a regular squad practice or competition at a four-year collegiate institution that occurs before the beginning of any term; or
  • The individual officially registers and enrolls and attends classes during the summer prior to initial enrollment and receives institutional athletics aid.

Contact
Any face-to-face encounter between a prospect or the prospect's parents, relatives or legal guardian(s) and an institutional staff member or an athletics representative during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting. A meeting that is prearranged or takes place at the prospect's school, competition site, or practice site is considered a contact regardless of the conversation that takes place.

Evaluation
Any off-campus activity designed to assess the academic qualifications or athletics ability of a prospective student-athlete, including any visit to a prospect's school (during which no contact occurs) or observing a practice or competition at any site.

Contact Period
A period of time when it is permissible for authorized athletics department staff members to make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations.

Evaluation Period
A period of time when it is permissible for authorized athletics department staff members to be involved in off-campus activities designed to assess the academic qualifications and playing ability of prospective student-athletes. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts shall be made with the prospective student-athlete during an evaluation period.

Quiet Period
A period of time when it is permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the member institution's campus. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts or evaluations may be made during the quiet period.

Dead Period
A period of time when it is not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off the member institution's campus or to permit official or unofficial visits by prospective student-athletes to the institution's campus. It remains permissible, however, for an institutional staff member to write or telephone prospects during a dead period.

Official Visit
A visit to the member institution's campus financed in whole or in part by the member institution.

Unofficial Visit
A visit to an institution's campus made at the prospect's own expense. An institution may provide complimentary admission to an on-campus athletics event in which the institution's team competes and transportation to view off-campus practice or competition sites within a 30-mile radius of the institution's campus when accompanied by a staff member.