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College Sports, Division I

New NCAA Division I Interpretation: Coach Traveling with Prospective Student-Athlete’s Parents to Campus on an Official Visit

On August 24, 2012, the academic  and membership affairs staff issued an interpretation concerning a coach from a member institution traveling with the parents of a prospective student-athlete on an official visit. Specifically, the staff confirmed that “if a prospective student-athlete flies to an institution for an official visit and the prospective student-athlete’s parents drive to the institution’s campus to accompany the prospective student-athlete on the official visit, it is permissible for a member institution’s coach to ride with the prospective student-athlete’s parents from their home to the institution and back to their home, provided the contact with the prospective student-athlete’s parents occurs during a contact period (recruiting period in men’s basketball) and is counted as one of the in-person off-campus contacts that may occur with the prospective student-athlete.”

Furthermore, in men’s basketball, an institution may reimburse the PSA’s parents or legal guardians (expenses for up to two people) for the actual round-trip costs to accompany the prospective student-athlete on his official visit.

This interpretation referenced  NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.02.4 (contact), 13.02.5.3 (recruiting period — men’s basketball), 13.1.5 (contacts), 13.5.2.2.1 (prospective student-athlete’s relatives or friends), 13.5.2.6 (transportation of prospective student-athlete’s relatives, friends or legal guardians) and 13.5.2.6.1 (exception — transportation expenses for a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians — men’s basketball), and staff interpretation (01/28/87, Item Ref: 4-a-(3), which has been archived].

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 athletics staff members.

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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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