On September 21, 2012, the Interpretations Subcommittee of the NCAA Division II Legislation Committee issued an interpretation concerning donations made for a prospective or currently enrolled student-athlete to an outside team or organization. Specifically, the committee confirmed that “donations made by individuals other than a prospective or currently enrolled student-athlete’s relatives or legal guardians (e.g., neighbors, businesses) to an outside team or organization in the name of or on behalf of the prospective or currently enrolled student-athlete are precluded, inasmuch as these donations would be considered “earmarked” for the prospective or currently enrolled student-athlete.” The committee also noted that “it is permissible for such individuals to make a donation to the general fund of the outside team or organization, provided it is not credited to a particular prospective or currently enrolled student-athlete.”
This interpretation referenced NCAA Division II Bylaws 184.108.40.206.4.3 (expenses from outside team or organization) and 220.127.116.11.4.5 (expenses from sponsor other than parents/legal guardians or nonprofessional sponsor of event); and staff interpretation (9/21/90, Item No. d).
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 and coaches.