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College Sports, Division I

New Division I Interpretation: Coach Speaking at a Banquet for Prospective Student-Athletes in which Fundraising Activities Occur in Sports Other Than Men’s Basketball

On August 24, 2012, the academic  and membership affairs staff issued an interpretation concerning a coach speaking at a banquet for a PSA in which fundraising activities occur in sports other than men’s basketball. Specifically, the staff confirmed that “in sports other than men’s basketball, a coach may speak at a banquet for prospective student-athletes in which fundraising activities also occur only if fundraising activities are not the primary purpose for conducting the banquet or meeting.”

Additionally, the staff confirmed that, in sports other than men’s basketball, if the fundraising activities are the primary purpose of the banquet or meeting, institutional staff members may attend the fundraiser subject to the following conditions:

  • The staff member cannot play a role in fundraising activities;
  • The attendance of the staff members at the event could not be publicized in advance;
  • No contact with PSAs or parents of PSAs would be permitted outside the permissible contact period, and
  • Conversations between staff members and the high school’s coaching staff members, parents, PSAs and other individuals could not include recruiting information or contain a recruiting presentation.

This interpretation referenced  NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.1.8 (banquets, meetings and NCAA promotional activities); 13.15 (precollege expenses); 13.15.1 (prohibited expenses); 13.15.1.10 (donation to nonprofit – men’s basketball) and official interpretation (01/25/1991) which has been archived].

In light of this interpretation, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions’ athletics compliance offices include the interpretation in the next scheduled rules-education session for athletics department staff members and coaches.

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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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