On September 19, 2011, the NCAA released an educational column discussing the provision of athletics publications to prospective student-athletes (PSAs). The column clarified that “an institution may produce a printed media guide; however, an institution shall not provide a printed media guide or any printed athletics publication not listed in NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199 to a prospective student-athlete, his or her parents or legal guardians, the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution or any individual involved in the coaching of a prospective student-athlete.” Institution’s may, however, provide a media guide to a PSA via electronic mail or as a hyperlink on its website.
The following highlights some of the major points Division I institutions should take from this column:
- An institution may not create a printed portfolio of information (e.g., pictures) to be used in the recruiting process.
- Institutions may have only one official media guide per sport; that being the publication that is provided to the media and related to the institution’s sports program.
- A printed media guide is limited to only one color of print inside the cover, a size not in excess of 8 ½ by 11 inches and a length of 208 pages. Any supplemental information (e.g., historical information, records) related to the media guide may be posted on the institution’s website, printed in black and white and provided to the media. These restrictions are not applicable if an institution only produces an electronic media guide.
- An electronic version of an institution’s printed media guide must be an exact reproduction of the printed media guide.
- It is not permissible to print an electronic version of a media guide and provide it to a PSA regardless of whether it is created for recruiting purposes.
- It is not permissible for a PSA to receive a printed media guide from the third-party free of charge.
- It is permissible for a PSA to purchase a printed media guide from the institution provided it is available to the general public and the cost of the media guide is the same as it would be to the general public.
This educational column references NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.4.1 (recruiting materials); 188.8.131.52 (printed recruiting materials); 184.108.40.206.2 (athletics publication); 220.127.116.11.2.1 (media guide restrictions); 18.104.22.168 (electronic transmissions); 22.214.171.124 (other recruiting materials) and staff interpretation (7/6/10 Item No. 1) which has been archived.