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College Sports, Division I

NCAA Division I Secondary Case Review: Official Visit Expenses

The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm continues its educational series on NCAA legislation through a review of selected cases involving secondary rules-violations. Today’s post reviews a secondary case involving a violation of NCAA Division I Bylaw 13.6.7.1.1 (meals and lodging while in transit). The bylaw provides:

Bylaw 13.6.7.1.1 Meals and Lodging While in Transit: It is permissible for an institution to pay a prospective student-athlete’s actual costs for reasonable expenses (e.g., meals, lodging) incurred while traveling to and from campus on the official visit.

The bylaw was cited in Secondary Case Number 50576 (May 22, 2012) involving the institution’s men’s basketball program, which is summarized below:

Facts: During the fall 2010 and fall 2011 semesters, the men’s basketball coaching staff provided the parents of five prospective student-athletes (PSAs) with impermissible lodging and meals in the locale of the institution while in transit to an official visit. In addition, the PSAs’ official visits exceeded the 48-hour rule, as the transit expenses provided to the parents in each instance triggered the start of the 48-hour rule for official visits. Specifically, on September 2, 2010, the parent of PSA1 and a parent of PSA2, were provided a separate hotel room prior to the start of the official visit on September 3, 2010. The value of each room was $99.00. On September 23, 2010, the parent of PSA5 was provided a hotel room prior to the start of the official visit on September 24, 2010. The value of the hotel room was $88.00. On October 13, 2011, the parent of PSA3 was provided a hotel room prior to the start of the official visit on October 14, 2011. The value of the hotel room was $99.00. On November 3, 2011, the parent of PSA4 was provided with impermissible lodging and meal expenses prior to the start of the visit on November 4, 2011. The coaching staff erroneously believed the lodging and meals were permissible while the individuals were still in transit. The violations were discovered by the compliance coordinator, who was conducting an audit of the official visits for the men’s basketball program.

Institution Action: Letter of admonishment issued to involved staff member. Repayment required to restore eligiblity. PSAs declared ineligible for competition. Rules education session held. Offical visit request form updated to prevent reoccurrence.

Enforcement Action: No further action.

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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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