On October 15, 2012, the academic and membership affairs staff issued an interpretation concerning coaches traveling with prospective student-athletes to campus on an official visit. Specifically, the staff confirmed that “if a prospective student-athlete flies to an institution for an official visit and his or her parents or legal guardians 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 or legal guardians from their home to the institution and back to their home.” Thus, the 48-hour period for the official visit would begin when the PSA’s parents or legal guardians begin transporting the coach to campus. Additionally, any dialogue in excess of an exchange of a greeting with the PSA’s parents or legal guardians prior to the trip to campus is a countable contact. Therefore, such contact may only occur during a permissible contact period (recruiting period in men’s basketball). At the conclusion of the 48-hour period, the coach shall immediately terminate contact with the PSA and his or her parents or legal guardians.
This interpretation referenced NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.02.4 (contact), 13.02.5.3 (recruiting period — men’s basketball), 13.1.5 (contacts), 188.8.131.52.3 (coach accompanying prospective student-athlete and parents and legal guardians) and staff interpretations (01/28/87, Item Ref: 4-a-(3) and 08/24/12, Item Ref: b, which have been archived).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 and coaches.