What is a Booster?  |  Regarding Prospective Student-Athletes  |  Regarding Enrolled Student-Athletes   |   What You Can Do

 

 

James Madison University is responsible for the acts of boosters and booster support groups

Boosters are governed by the same NCAA and institutional rules and regulations as those placed upon all institutional athletics staff members.

 

Who is a Representative of Athletic Interest?

 

You are if:

  • You are or have ever been a member of any James Madison University sport booster club, including the Duke Club;
  • You have made donations to the booster club or to the Athletic Department;
  • You have ever helped to arrange or have provided summer employment for enrolled student-athletes;
  • You have been involved in the promotion of James Madison University athletics in any way.

 

Once an individual has been identified as a "booster", he or she retains the identity Forever

Once a Booster...always a booster.  According to the NCAA, once an individual has been identified as an "athletics representative" (i.e., booster), he or she retains this identity forever, even if that person no longer contributes to the athletics program. 

 

A note to parents of enrolled student athletes

Parents of enrolled student-athletes are considered representatives of athletics interest. Therefore, they may not be involved in the recruiting process on- or off-campus.  If parents of a prospect should contact you with questions about your son's/daughter's experience at JMU, you should direct questions to JMU.  If you are a JMU alumnus, you may discuss your educational experiences at JMU, but you may not discuss athletics.  If you are a member of the Board of Visitors you may not make on- or off-campus recruiting contacts with prospects.

 

Key Rule

In Division I, representatives of an institution's athletics interest are prohibited from making in-person, on- or off-campus recruiting contacts, or written or telephonic communications with a prospect or the prospect's relatives or legal guardians.


 

A Summary of Rules and Regulations Concerning the Recruitment of Prospective Student-Athletes

 

Prospect-Defined

 

Q. Who is considered a prospect?

A. A prospect is a student 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 such an individual (or the individual's relatives or friends) any financial assistance or other benefits that the institution does not provide to prospective students generally.

 

Q. How long is a prospect considered a prospect?

A. A prospect remains a prospect even after signing a National Letter-of-Intent to attend an institution, and both the institution and the prospect continue to be governed by NCAA recruiting legislation until:

 

1) the prospect reports for regular squad practice;

 

2)the registrar or director of admissions certifies that the prospect is officially  registered and enrolled a the institution on the opening day of classes; or

 

3) the prospect attends a class or classes in any regular term.

 

Recruiting - General Principles

 

Q. Is it permissible to contact a prospective student-athlete, the prospect's parents or legal guardian(s) off-campus for the purpose of recruitment?

A. No.  Only coaches and athletic department staff members can be involved in the recruiting process.  Boosters are prohibited from making in-person, on- or off-campus recruiting contacts, or written or telephonic communications with a prospect or the prospect's relatives or legal guardian(s).

 

Evaluations and Prospective Student-Athletes

 

Q. What is the definition of evaluation?

A. Evaluation is any off-campus activity designed to assess the academic qualifications or athletics ability of a prospect, including any visit to prospect's educational institution (during which no contact occurs) or the observation of any practice or competition at any site at which the prospect participates.

 

Q. May a booster engage in evaluation activities on behalf of the institution?

A. The legislation does not preclude a booster from viewing a prospect's contest on the booster's initiative, subject to the understanding that the booster may not contact the prospect.  However, the booster is prohibited from contacting the prospect's coach, principal, or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect, as well as from visiting the prospect's educational institution to pick up film or transcripts pertaining to the evaluation of the prospect's academic or athletic ability.

 

Telephoning & Writing Prospective Student-Athletes

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to write or call prospective student-athletes or the prospect's parents or legal guardian(s)?

A. No

 

Q. May a prospective student-athlete call a booster?

A. A booster may have a telephone conversation with a prospective student-athlete only if the prospect initiates the call.  The telephone call my not be prearranged by a JMU staff member, and the booster is not permitted to have a recruiting conversation with the prospect but may not exhibit normal civility.  The booster must refer any questions about JMU's athletic program to the Athletics Department.

 

Financial Aid and Inducements

 

Q. During the recruitment of, or prior to the individual's enrollment, can a booster be involved directly or indirectly in making arrangements for a prospect, the prospect's relatives or friends to receive money, financial aid or equivalent inducements regardless if similar financial aid, benefits or arrangements are available to prospective student in general, their relatives or friends?

A. No. Other types of inducements that are prohibited include but are not limited to:

 

  1. cash or loans of money (in any amount);
  2. the promise of employment prior to, during or after completion of college;
  3. special discounts or payment arrangements on loans;
  4. employment of relatives or friends of a prospect
  5. special discount payment arrangement, or credit on a purchase (e.g., airline ticket, clothing) or services (laundry, dry cleaning, tailoring, typing costs);
  6. use of an automobile
  7. providing transportation to or from a summer job to any other site;
  8. Signing or resigning a note for a loan;
  9. gifts of money or other tangible items (e.g., clothes, jewelry, electronic/stereo equipment);
  10. guarantee of bond;
  11. purchase of items or services from a prospect or the prospect's family at inflated prices;
  12. providing a directly or indirectly transportation to enroll in class at the institution;
  13. any financial aid other than that administered by James Madison University;
  14. the promise of financial aid for post-graduation education;
  15. free or reduced cost housing arrangements;
  16. to pay or arrange for the payment of transportation costs incurred by relatives or friends of a prospective student-athlete.

 

 

 

Transfer Prospective Student-Athletes

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to contact a student-athlete from another four-year institution for the purpose of recruiting.

A. No.

 

 

Arrangements for Prospective Student-Athletes

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to pay, provide or arrange for the payment of room and board and transportation costs incurred by a prospect and/or relatives or friends of a prospect to visit the campus or elsewhere?

A. No.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to pay, provide or arrange for payment of transportation costs incurred by a prospect to enroll at JMU?

A. No.

 

Official Visits to the Member Institution's Campus

 

Q. What is an official visit?

A. A visit by a prospective student-athlete to a member institution's campus that is financed in whole or in part by the member institution.

 

Q. How many official visits is a prospective student-athlete permitted?

A. One per institution and not more than five total visits.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to be involved in the on-campus entertainment of a prospective student-athlete or legal guardian(s) during an official visit?

A. No.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide cash or use of an automobile to a prospect or a student-host during a prospect's official visit to campus?

A. No.

 

Q. Can a booster entertain relatives of a prospective student-athlete at any site off-campus?

A. No.

 

 

Unofficial Visits to the Member Institution's Campus

 

Q. What is an unofficial visit?

A. A visit by a prospective student-athlete to a member institution's campus made at the prospect's own expense.

 

Q. How many unofficial visits may a prospective student-athlete make to campus?

A. Unlimited.

 

Q. During an unofficial visit to campus is it permissible for a booster to entertain, buy a complimentary meal or expend any funds on the prospective student-athlete or legal guardian(s), relatives or friends?

A. No.

 

Coaches of Prospective Student-Athletes

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to reimburse the coach of a prospect for expenses incurred in transporting a prospect to visit the campus?

A. No.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to entertain high school, preparatory or junior college coaches at any location?

A. No; however, it is permissible for JMU to provide two complimentary tickets to home athletic contests.

 

 

Summer Sport Camps

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to pay in whole or part registration fees associated with summer sport camps?

A. No.

 

 

Participating with Prospective Student-Athletes

 

Q. May a booster play "pick-up" basketball games with a prospective student-athlete?

A. Yes, provided there is no attempt to recruit the prospective student-athlete and the game is not prearranged by a member of the JMU Athletics Department.

 

 

Athletic Scouts

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to pay costs incurred by an athletics scout in studying or recruiting a prospect?

A. No.

 

 

Employment of Prospective Student-Athletes

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to employ or arrange for the employment of a prospective student-athlete before the completion of the prospect's senior year in high school?

A. No; however, the NCAA permits an institution to arrange employment for a prospective student-athlete that begins after the prospect's senior year in high school subsequent to a prospective student athlete signing a National Letter-of-Intent.  Employers must check with the JMU Athletics Department prior to employing a prospect.  An institution or its representative shall not provide a prospect free transportation to and from a summer job unless it is the employer's established policy to transport all employees to and from the job site.

 

 

Friends and Relatives of Prospective Student-Athletes

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide free admissions to the institution's away from home contests to prospect, their friends or relatives?

A. No.

 

 

High School Award Banquets

 

Q. May a booster attend a public even (e.g., high school awards banquet or dinner) at which a prospective student-athlete is in attendance?

A. Yes, but any contact with a prospective student-athlete may not be prearranged by a JMU athletics staff member and no attempt may be made to recruit the prospect.



Summary of Rules and Regulations Concerning Enrolled Student-Athletes

 

Payment of Expenses and Special Arrangements

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide to a student-athlete or friend any benefit or special arrangement?

A. No.  The NCAA considers these special arrangements as an "extra benefit" and they are specifically prohibited.  Extra benefits include but are not limited to:

 

 

  1. cash or loans of money (in any amount);
  2. the promise of employment prior to, during or after completion of college;
  3. special discounts or payment arrangements on loans;
  4. employment of relatives or friends of a student-athlete;
  5. special discount payment arrangement, or credit on a purchase (e.g., airline ticket, clothing) or services (laundry, dry cleaning, tailoring, typing costs);
  6. use of an automobile;
  7. providing transportation to or from a summer job to any other site;
  8. Signing or resigning a note for a loan;
  9. gifts of money or other tangible items (e.g., clothes, jewelry, electronic/stereo equipment);
  10. guarantee of bond;
  11. purchase of items or services from a student-athlete or the athlete's family at inflated prices;
  12. any financial aid other than that administered by James Madison University;
  13. the promise of financial aid for post-graduation education;
  14. free or reduced cost housing arrangements;
  15. to pay or arrange for the payment of transportation costs incurred by relatives or friends of a student-athlete.
  16. the purchase of meals or services at commercial establishments;
  17. a benefit connected with off-campus housing (i.e., individual television sets or stereo equipment, specialized recreation; facilities, room furnishings, or appointments of extra quality or quantity);
  18. selling or giving a student-athlete tickets to an athletics, institution, or community event.
  19. the use of personal properties (e.g., boats, summer homes, cars, stereos);
  20. providing Christmas or birthday gifts.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to pay or provide the actual and necessary expenses (room, board and transportation costs) incurred by friends or relatives to visit an enrolled student-athlete?

A. No.

 

Q. It is permissible for a booster to expend funds to entertain student-athletes and friends?

A. No.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to purchase and provide enrolled student-athletes or their friends with tickets to athletic events/Artist Series or University Concerts?

A. No.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to buy an enrolled student-athlete's complimentary tickets for an athletic event?

A. No.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to permit the use of a telephone or pay for long distance calls?

A. No.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide gifts or awards to a student-athlete for his or her athletic performance?

A. No.  All awards must conform with NCAA awards legislation and must be approved by James Madison University.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide any payment of expenses or the loan of an automobile for a student-athlete to return home or any other location for any personal reason or to receive an award?

A. No.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide enrolled student-athletes with professional services (for which a fee would normally be charged) for personal reasons?

A. No. Professional services provided at less than normal or at no expense to a student-athlete are considered extra benefits.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide enrolled student-athletes with a meal at their home?

A. A student-athlete or the entire team may receive an occasional home meal from an institutional staff member or a booster under the following conditions:

 

1) the meal must be provided in an individual's home (as opposed to a restaurant) and may be catered;

 

2) meals must be restricted to infrequent and special occasions;

 

3) a booster may not provide transportation to student-athletes to attend the meal function unless the meal function is at the home of that booster.

 

 

Employment of Student-Athletes

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to employ student-athlete?

A. Yes, however, specific NCAA restrictions apply.  Employers must check with the JMU Athletics Department prior to employing a student-athlete.  They may only be paid for work actually performed and it must be commensurate with the going rate for similar services in the community and your own business.

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to employ, use the name or picture of an enrolled student-athlete to directly advertise, recommend or promote the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind?

A. No.

 

 

Honorariums

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to provide an honorarium to a student-    athlete for a speaking arrangement?

A. No.  Student-athletes may only receive necessary travel expenses when speaking to educational or charitable groups.  All speaking engagements must be approved in advance by the institution.

 

Financing Athletic Banquets

 

Q. Is it permissible for a booster to finance a banquet for an institution's athletic team?

A. Yes.  An institution's booster club may finance an intercollegiate team's transportation expenses to a recognition banquet that occurs prior to or during the season, provided:

 

all expenses are paid through the institution's athletic department;

the location of the even is not more than 100 miles from the campus;

no tangible award is provided to members of the team.

 

 


WHAT YOU CAN DO

 

  • Attend high school and community events in your area.  Should you find yourself sitting next to parents of a prospect do not initiate conversation with the relatives. If conversation is initiated with you, respond in a civil manner but do not discuss JMU athletic programs with them.  If they raise questions about the programs, remind them that the NCAA prohibits your form discussing the programs with them.  If you are approached by a prospect simply refer them to the JMU Athletics Department.

 

  • Maintain established family relationships with friends and neighbors.  You are permitted to play "pick-up" basketball or softball games, continue neighborhood picnics or backyard barbecues and engage in your normal activities with prospects and their parents who are family friends, simply avoid using this relationship to recruit them.

 

  • Attend high school events and awards banquets at which prospects are in attendance, however, avoid contacts with prospects while you are there.

 

  • Send JMU coaching staff members any newspaper clippings or other information about prospects which you think will be of interest.

 

  • Offer assistance to members of the JMU coaching staff who are recruiting in your area.  Remember that a booster may not participate in recruitment activities, but the coaching staff member will appreciate your support. 

 

  • Support the JMU athletic teams by attending home or away contests.

 

  • Contact the JMU Athletics Department if you would like to invite a team for dinner. Student-athletes are permitted to receive such a benefit, however arrangements must be made in advance with the JMU Athletics Department.

 

  • Support JMU Athletics by joining the JMU Duke Club.

 


Your Help is Appreciated

 

Compliance with NCAA regulations is of great importance to our athletics program and institution.  Your help in complying with NCAA rules is an important part of our success. JMU and all its constituencies are obligated, through membership in the NCAA, to report all improprieties.  If you have knowledge of improprieties, intentional or unintentional, please let us know.  By monitoring our own activities and self-reporting any problems, the negative impact on our athletes and the programs they represent will be minimized.

 

When you are faced with a situation and unsure how to respond we strongly urge you to contact the Compliance Office at (540) 568-6248.  Your continued interest and support of the JMU Dukes is most appreciated.

 

 

Need More Information?

Please don't hesitate to call us with your questions!

 

Athletics Director

James Madison University

MSC 2301 Godwin Hall, Room 206

Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807

(540) 568-6164

 

Duke Club

James Madison University

MSC 0402 Bridgeforth Stadium

Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807

(540) 568-6461

 

Athletics Compliance

James Madison University

MSC 2301 Godwin Hall, Room 141

Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807

 

(540) 568-6248

 

This Booster guide information was provided the Compliance Office at James Madison University to assist alumni, friends and boosters with maintaining strict adherence to NCAA rules and regulations.