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College Sports, Division II, Education

NCAA Division II Secondary Case Review: Advertisements and Promotions Following Enrollment

The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm continues its educational series on NCAA Division II legislation through a review of selected cases involving secondary rules-violations. Today’s post reviews a secondary case involving a violation of NCAA Division III Bylaw

NCAA Division III Bylaw Advertisements and Promotions Following Enrollment

After becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation  in intercollegiate athletics, if the individual:

(a) Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture  to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product  or service of any kind; or

(b) Receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through  the individual’s use of such product or service.

The bylaw was cited in Secondary Case Number 42560 (March 10, 2010), which involved the institution’s wrestling program. The case is summarized below:

Facts: Four men’s wrestling student-athletes (SAs) participated in an impermissible promotional activity. Specifically, the men’s wrestling volunteer coach drove the SAs back to institution’s campus following competition December 21, 2009. Portions of the car trip were videotaped by one of the SAs and posted on the Web site YouTube.com later that day. The Web video featured the volunteer coach and the SAs drinking an energy drink and the effects the drink had on them during their car trip. The volunteer coach and the SAs did not receive any remuneration for the video and made the video without the direction or knowledge of the energy drink company.  The SAs contend the video was made as a source of entertainment and did not intend to endorse or promote the energy drink. Both the SAs and the volunteer coach believed they would not be in violation of applicable NCAA rules if they did not receive compensation or have any contact with the company regarding the video. After the SAs had participated in additional competition, the violation was discovered by assistant sports information director when she received an e-mail message that included information for an upcoming article with a link to the Web video that depicted SAs promoting a product.  The assistant sports information director immediately forwarded the e-mail to the compliance coordinator.

Institution Action: A letter of admonishment was issued to the volunteer coach. The applicable legislation will be reviewed at the January 2010 coaches compliance meeting and with the involved SAs. The video, which only received 43 views, was removed from the Web site.

Enforcement Action: No further action.


About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

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


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