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College Sports, Division I, Education

New NCAA Division I Interpretation: Departments Outside Athletics Hosting Nonathletics High School, Preparatory School or Two-Year College Personnel

On October 20, 2011, the Legislative Council issued an interpretation concerning institutional departments outside of the athletic department hosting nonathletics high school, prep school or two-year college personnel at home athletics events. The staff determined that “an institutional department outside the athletics department (e.g., president’s office, admissions) may host nonathletics high school, preparatory school or two-year college personnel (e.g., guidance counselors, principals) in conjunction with a home intercollegiate athletics event and may provide such individuals reasonable expenses (e.g., food, refreshments, parking, room) and a nominal gift, provided the visit is not related to athletics recruiting and there is no involvement by the institution’s athletics department in the arrangements for the visit, other than providing (in accordance with established policy) free admissions to an athletics event.” This interpretation referenced NCAA Bylaws 13.8.1 (entertainment restrictions) and 13.8.2 (material benefits)].

In light of this interpretation, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions’ athletics compliance: a) provide rules education on this topic to institutional departments outside of athletics; and b) include the interpretation in the next scheduled rules-education session for the athletics staff.

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About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

Bar Admissions (North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee) Practice Area (College Sports Law)

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