On May 29, 2012, the Division III Interpretations and Legislation Committee issued an interpretation concerning a coach speaking at a banquet or meeting off-campus that includes prospective student-athletes. Specifically, the Committee confirmed “a coach may speak at a banquet or meeting at an off campus site to a group that includes prospective student-athletes who have not completed their junior year in high school provided: (a) the event is initiated and conducted by an entity other than the coach’s institution; (b) the coach does not make a recruiting presentation in conjunction with the appearance; (c) the coach does not have any direct contact with any prospective student-athlete (or a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians) in attendance; and (d) the primary purpose of the event is unrelated to fundraising for prospective student-athletes.”
This interpretation referenced NCAA Division III Bylaws 13.02.3 (contact), 13.1 (contacts and evaluations), 188.8.131.52 (high school prospective student-athletes), 184.108.40.206 (prospective student-athlete’s educational institution) and 220.127.116.11 (practice or competition site) and staff interpretation (1/25/91, Item No. a).
In light of this interpretation, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions’ athletics compliance include the interpretation in the next scheduled rules-education session for the athletics staff and coaches.