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College Sports, Education

Did You Know?: Telephone Calls by Institutional Staff Members

The NCAA published an educational column in Division I on May 2, 2011 concerning telephone calls by institutional staff members to prospective student-athletes. The NCAA reminded institutions:

•“Staff members may not telephone a prospective student-athlete (or the prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians) prior to July 1 following the prospective student-athlete’s completion of the junior year in high school or the opening day of classes of his or her senior year in high school (as designated by the high school), whichever is earlier”.

•“Staff members may not telephone a prospective student-athlete (or the prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians) more than once per week but may accept collect calls from the prospective student-athlete (see NCAA Bylaw 13.1.3.1 for sport-specific exceptions)”.

What happens if the prospect is not available or present to receive the phone call from the institutional staff member? The NCAA staff noted a “staff member who telephones a prospective student-athlete and is informed by the prospective student-athlete’s parents that he or she is unavailable would not have to count that call against the one per week, provided the conversation is not in excess of a greeting (i.e., no recruitment takes place)”. Further, the NCAA stated “once the applicable call limitation has been reached (e.g., once per week, once per month), it is not permissible for an athletics department staff member to place another call to the prospective student-athlete (or the prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians), even if additional telephone calls are not made for purposes of recruitment (e.g., responding to a telephone message left by the prospect) or no direct conversation occurs during the second call (e.g., voicemail message)”. However, the NCAA determined “the limitation would not be applicable to calls that relate solely to institutional camp and clinic logistical issues (e.g., missing registration information)”. The educational column references NCAA Bylaws 13.1.3.1 (time period for telephone calls — general rule) and 13.1.3.1.7 (application of telephone call limitations).

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About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

An attorney who provides clients with internal investigation, civil litigation, estate planning and compliance services.

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