Compliance
Friday, September 14, 2007

Centenary College Athletic Boosters Information 

The success of Centenary College athletics is greatly dependent upon the support provided by boosters.  We must not allow our enthusiasm and passion for winning to overshadow the rules established to protect the integrity of the competition.  Centenary is held responsible for the activities of “representatives of its athletics interest” (boosters).  Such activities, if contrary to the rules, can result in significant punitive sanctions against our student-athletes and teams as well as embarrassment for the school we love.  In supporting our student-athletes and teams, we must be conscious of the NCAA and The Summit League regulations governing booster activity.  Please familiarize yourself with the following points of emphasis and know that you are encouraged to contact the Compliance Coordinator or Athletic Director when you have questions.   

Booster (the fact that you are reading this probably makes you a booster)

Anyone who has any interest in any Centenary student-athlete or team or who, regardless of his/her talent, promotes the Centenary athletics program in any way is considered a “representative of the institution’s athletics interest” or booster.  Consequently, someone with no history of supporting the program (financially or otherwise) will become a booster by default if involved with or linked to impermissible activities.

 

What role can boosters play in recruiting prospective student-athletes?

In Division I, boosters-representatives of athletics interests-are prohibited from becoming involved in recruiting activities.  Thus, they cannot make in-person, on-or off-campus recruiting contacts and they cannot write or telephone prospects, their relatives, or legal guardians.  If a prospect initiates a telephone call to a booster, the booster may speak to the prospect; however, the booster must refer all questions about the Centenary athletics program to the Athletics Department staff.  In Division I, boosters may not contact prospects’ coaches, principals, or counselors in an attempt to evaluate prospects, and they cannot visit prospects’ schools to pick up transcripts or films pertaining to evaluation of the prospects’ academic or athletic ability.

 

Prospects (Also known as “recruits”)

Basically, a student becomes a prospect once he/she starts classes for the ninth grade or receives any benefit from Centenary or Centenary boosters not available to all prospective students.  Note that athletic ability is NOT a criterion used to identify prospects.  A student remains a prospect (even after agreeing to attend Centenary) until he/she either attends class as a full-time student or participates in an official team practice, whichever occurs first.

 

What happens if boosters make incidental contacts with prospects?

Sometimes boosters come into contact with prospects unavoidably, for purposes not related to recruiting.  The “official” term for such an occurrence is “unavoidable incidental contact.”  These contacts cannot occur at a prospect’s home, school, or at the site of an athletics practice or contest that involves a prospect.  Such contacts are not considered incidental and are violations or recruiting rules.  During an unavoidable incidental contact, any conversation with a prospect can involve only ordinary civility, and no recruitment can take place.  Example of unavoidable incidental contact:  Incidental contact between a prospect and a booster at one of your institution’s athletics contests is permissible as long as prior arrangements were not made and no recruiting is involved. 

 

Recruiting

Off-campus, in-person recruiting contact with prospects or prospects relatives/guardians as well as recruiting phone calls to these individuals may be made only by authorized and certified athletic department representatives.  Such recruiting activity by boosters is strictly prohibited.  If you identify a prospect that you think we should know about, please contact the appropriate coaching staff with basic information (i.e. name, school, position, etc...) and they will proceed according to the rules and their discretion.

 

There are some “common sense” exceptions to the prohibition against boosters contacting prospects.  For example, boosters have friends and relatives that are prospects.  Co-workers’ children are prospects and there are prospects that go to your church.  Contact the Compliance Coordinator for details about specific exceptions to the rules or what might be considered inappropriate.

Extra benefits are prohibited

Any material benefit or convenience provided to a student-athlete or prospect (relatives/guardians) must be either 

1)      authorized by NCAA rules, or

2)      generally available to all students or prospective students. 

This is an easy rule to inadvertently break.  The Shreveport-Bossier community along with Centenary alumni and boosters are, by nature, hospitable, generous, and supportive of the activities of young people.  When you feel the desire to help, please remember that you could be hurting.

Alumni/Booster Events

Refrain from bringing prospects to such events as they can easily be considered recruiting events—especially if coaches are present and the event is held off-campus.  If you are organizing such an event, please do not bring or invite prospects and explain to parents the importance of prospects not attending.

 

Employment of Student-Athletes

All compensation from employment must be legitimate (for work actually performed) and commensurate (at a comparable rate as others are paid for the same work).  The athletics reputation of a student-athlete may never be used to market the employer’s product or service.

Commercial Endorsements

The use of a student-athlete’s (team’s) name, picture, or likeness is permitted only if the advertisement is designed to recognize an individual/team accomplishment or to extend best wishes.  In this case, only the name, address, and official logo of the business may appear in the ad.  The use of student-athletes or teams to promote a commercial product or service is otherwise prohibited.

 

Important Rules to Remember

1.                  A prospect remains a prospect even after he or she signs a Letter of Intent or financial aid agreement to attend the college.  The prospect does not lose his/her prospect status until the start of classes or the beginning of official team practice prior to the start of classes.

2.                  If a student-athlete accepts any benefits or special consideration based on his/her status as an athlete or because of athletic skill, the student-athlete will lose all eligibility for intercollegiate athletic participation.  Do not do anything for prospective or enrolled student-athletes without specific authorization from the Centenary athletics compliance office.

3.                  Representatives of athletics interests (boosters) are reminded that NCAA rules regarding enrolled student-athletes remain in effect throughout the entire year, including summer breaks.  When student-athletes complete their final season of eligibility, they must abide by the NCAA rules until the end of that academic year and/or until they are no longer receiving athletics financial aid.

 

Tips for Boosters

Q:        Can I designate my contribution for a specific sport or program in the athletic department?

A:        Yes

 

Q:        Where does a booster deposit their contribution?

A:        All money donated by a booster to the C Club must be deposited to the Centenary College Athletic Department.  The NCAA mandates that booster club finances be administered by the college and booster club finances be administered by the college and booster club funds MAY NOT be deposited or managed in a bank account outside the college.

 

Q:        What are some examples of EXTRA BENEFITS to student-athletes that are prohibited by the NCAA?
A:        Arranging, providing or co-signing a loan

            Providing a meal inside or outside your own home

            Providing clothing or transportation

            Providing a ticket to any athletics, institutional or community event

            Providing the parents, family or friends of a student-athlete with free admission to a team banquet

            Admission to a team banquet

            Giving any type of gift 

Q:        Are athletics representatives allowed to help finance a student-athlete’s education?

A:        No.  Under The Summit League and NCAA rules, receipt by a student-athlete of any type of financial assistance from any non-family or non-institutional source constitutes a rules violation that renders the student-athlete ineligible.

 

Q:        May a booster invite a number of prospective student-athletes to their home to talk about Centenary College?

A:        Except as a part of any Alumni Relations Office reception or gathering, which would include athletes and non-athletes, it would NOT be permissible.

 

Q:        May a booster invite a student-athlete, on an occasional basis, in their home for a meal?

A:        Yes.  However, the meal MUST be in your own home and can only be on an OCCASIONAL BASIS.  (no more than once per semester).

 

Q:        Is Centenary College held responsible for the actions of the boosters and support groups?

A:        Yes

 

Q:        Is it permissible for a booster to entertain a high school or junior college coach at any location?

A:        No

 

ON A POSITIVE NOTE

Do support and attend high school and community events in your area.  If a prospect or a prospect’s parents approach you about Centenary Athletics, simply refer them to the Centenary College Athletics Department.

 

Do feel free to have a student-athlete in your home.  Remember that he or she must provide the transportation and that excessive entertainment is not permitted.

 

DO INVITE a team for dinner or to meet with an alumni group when they are visiting your city.  Student-athletes are permitted to receive such benefits as a team, but not as individuals.  Make arrangements for such functions through the head coach or the athletics department.

 

SUMMARY

Recruiting is a never-ending process.  Centenary coaches, in all sports, are in some phase of recruiting the entire year.  They appreciate the support and encouragement that is provided by various boosters and friends of the Centenary College Athletics Department.  However, there are strict limits on how that support can be illustrated.

 

The rules that have been established by the NCAA govern the conduct of coaches, student-athletes and the various representatives of Centenary College athletic interest.  If violations by any of these parties occur, whether intentional or unintentional, Centenary College will be held accountable for these actions.

 

                                                            CONTACT

                                     Centenary College Athletics Department

                                                             P.O.Box 41188

                                                Shreveport, La.   71134-1188

 

If you have questions:           318-869-5087              Director of Athletics

318-869-5098                          Compliance Coordinator

318-869-5145             Fax