ARE YOU A “REPRESENTATIVE OF ATHLETICS INTERESTS”?


More commonly known as a “booster,” you are considered to be a “representative of Keene State College's athletics interests” if you meet any of the following criteria:  

  • You have participated in or been a member of an agency or organization promoting Keene State College's intercollegiate athletics program (e.g., a booster club).
  • You have made a financial contribution to the Keene State College athletics department or to an athletic booster organization of that institution.
  • You have ever assisted in recruiting a prospective student-athlete.
  • You have ever assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their family (e.g., summer job or occasional meal).
  • You have ever otherwise been involved in promoting Keene State College's athletics program in any way.
  • Boosters may be individuals, independent agencies, corporate entities, or other organizations. Once booster status is established, you are considered a booster forever.

 

INTERACTION WITH PROSPECTS

The NCAA defines a “prospective student-athlete” as any student who has either started classes for the ninth grade or who receives any financial assistance or benefits that the institution does not provide to prospective students generally.

1. Limited Contact With Prospects and/or Their Families:

  •  Any pre-arranged face-to-face contact with a prospect or a prospect’s family, must occur after the completion of the sophomore year in high school and with knowledge of the athletic department.
  • An athletics staff member or booster shall not make contact in any manner (e.g. in-person contact, telephone calls, electronic communication, etc.) with the student-athlete of another NCAA or NAIA four-year collegiate institution, directly or indirectly, without first obtaining written permission to do so, regardless of who makes the initial contact.
  • Boosters may not be provided any costs incurred in studying or recruiting prospective student-athletes. Boosters may not receive expenses to visit campus for the purpose of becoming more familiar with the institution’s academics and athletics programs and facilities in order to better represent the institution when recruiting prospective student-athletes.
  • Boosters should not send any type of written communication to a prospect or a family member of a prospect without prior approval from the athletics department.
  • Boosters are not allowed to send a text messages or use social media to contact a prospect or a family member of a prospect.
  • Boosters may participate in recruiting telephone calls, but only at the direction/knowledge of the athletic department


2. Attending Competitions:

  • Boosters may attend high school and junior college competitions provided contact with prospects or the families of prospects occurs only after the completion of the contest and only if the prospect has completed their sophomore year in high school. Boosters are permitted to notify our coaches about talented prospects in the area.


3. Pre-existing Relationships:

  • Boosters are permitted to continue pre-existing relationships with prospective student-athletes, provided the booster refrains from any form of recruitment. In order for a relationship to be considered “preexisting” for the purposes of this rule, the relationship must have begun prior to the prospect beginning the ninth grade. Should the University or its athletic programs ever arise as a topic of conversation, the booster must refer all of the prospect’s questions about Keene State College or the athletics program to the athletic department staff.


4. Employment of Prospects:

  • Boosters are permitted to employ incoming prospects, provided the prospect is paid at the going rate for similar jobs in the area and may only be compensated for work actually performed.

 

INTERACTION WITH CURRENT COLLEGIATE STUDENT-ATHLETES

A prospect becomes a student-athlete on the first day of initial collegiate enrollment at a four-year institution, triggering a different set of rules pertaining to booster interactions.

1. Employing Student-Athletes:

  • Boosters may employ a student-athlete provided the student-athlete is paid the going-rate for work actually performed. The student-athlete’s compensation may not include any remuneration for value or utility the student-athlete may have for the employer because of the publicity, reputation, fame, or personal following that he or she obtained because of athletics ability. Providing transportation to work is prohibited unless such transportation is provided to all other employees. The student-athlete may not be involved in any advertisements for the business. Please contact the Compliance Office with any questions regarding employing student-athletes.


2. Student-Athletes Attending Booster Club Functions:

  • Student-athletes are permitted to attend booster club functions, provided the activity occurs within 100 miles of campus, no awards are presented to the student-athletes, and the activity is pre-approved by the coaching staff and compliance office. Student-athletes may not be compensated for attending or speaking at such a function.


3. Occasional Home Meals:

  • Boosters are allowed to provide an “occasional home meal” to current student-athletes as long as they contact the compliance officer before the meal for approval and the meal is held at the booster’s home (although it may be catered in). It is not permissible to take a student-athlete out to eat at a restaurant.


4. Autographs:

  • It is permissible for a booster to ask a student-athlete for an autograph, provided nothing is offered in exchange for the autograph and the autograph is not displayed in the booster’s place of business.


5. Speaking Fees for Student-Athlete Appearances:

  • A student-athlete may make promotional appearances at charitable, educational, or non-profit agency events. However, the student-athlete may not receive any type of honorarium for making such appearances; he or she may be reimbursed for actual and necessary travel and meal expenses only. The charitable, educational, or non-profit agency should contact the student-athlete’s coach to make the promotional request, and the coach will seek approval from the Athletic Compliance Office.

 

PROHIBITION OF “EXTRA BENEFITS”


Boosters are not permitted to provide enrolled student-athletes and/or prospective student-athletes, or their relatives/friends or High School/Club Coaches with any “extra benefits.” The NCAA defines an “extra benefit” as any special arrangement made which is not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.

The following are some (but not all) examples of items considered to be “extra benefits” and thus may not be provided to student-athletes:

  • Providing cash or loans in any amount or signing/co-signing for a loan.
  • Giving gifts of any kind, including birthday/holiday gifts and “getwell soon” cards.
  • Offering free or reduced-cost services such as car repairs, haircuts, dental work, etc.
  • Providing the use of transportation (i.e. an automobile) as well as a ride anywhere.
  • Offering free or reduced-cost rent or housing.
  • Giving tickets to athletic or community events, even if you received the tickets for free.
  • Employing relatives or friends of a prospective student-athlete as an inducement to attend Augsburg.
  • Providing course supplies, typing, duplicating costs or tutoring.
  • Entertaining a prospect or enrolled student-athlete or their friends and families.

 

PRECOLLEGE EXPENSES

An institution or booster shall not offer, provide or arrange financial assistance, directly or indirectly, to pay (in whole or in part) the costs of the prospective student-athlete’s educational or other expenses for any period before his or her enrollment or so the prospective student-athlete may obtain a postgraduate education.

Under NCAA Bylaw 6.4.2.1, Keene State College reserves the right to withhold any benefit or privilege associated with the athletics department from individuals who are involved in an NCAA rules violation, including revocation of booster club memberships and ticket privileges.