On October 26, 2011, the Interpretations and Legislation Committee issued an interpretation concerning the definition of a recruiting or scouting service. The Committee confirmed that “a recruiting or scouting service includes any individual, organization, entity or segment of an entity that is primarily involved in providing information about prospective student-athletes.” The Committee further confirmed that “this definition includes, but is not limited to any service that provides information only to paid subscribers, any service that is only available to a select group of individuals (e.g., coaches), regardless of whether there is a charge associated with the service, and any service that provides information to the public free of charge; however, this definition does not include any individual, organization or entity or segment of an entity that provides information about prospective student-athletes incidental to its primary purpose and is generally available to the public (e.g. news media).” The interpretation references NCAA Division III Bylaws 126.96.36.199.1 (camp/clinic providing recruiting or scouting service), 13.14.3 (recruiting or scouting services) and a staff interpretation (4/1/11, Item No. b), which has been archived.
In light of this interpretation, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions’ athletics compliance offices: a) include the interpretation in the next scheduled rules-education session for the athletics staff ; and b) review services subscribed to by coaches or programs in order to determine compliance with NCAA legislation.