Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Close to One Year Anniversary of SMU Employment

Television shows do it all the time. For example, they wait till the100th episode and have a “Best of” episode with clips from previous shows. Cheers did it. Seinfeld did it. Simpsons have done it (in episode 138 if I remember correctly). Friends, you name it. The great thing for the actors is they get paid for that particular show and they really don’t do any work for it. So for my Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” blog, I am simply going to list some of your compliance questions that I have received since being at SMU and also provide the well-written, exceptionally articulate answers that my office responded with. Enjoy the Compliance “Best of” One Year Blog!!!

Question: May a Mr. Internet Savvy Booster visit a prospective student-athlete’s Myspace/Facebook account and leave messages encouraging them to come to SMU?

Answer: No. This would be an impermissible written communication by a booster as stated by NCAA Bylaw 13.01.4. Boosters contacting prospective student-athletes for the purpose of recruiting them to come to SMU could result in the prospects being declared ineligible to compete for SMU.


Question: May a prospective student-athlete use a scouting service or talent agent to distribute personal information (e.g. academic and athletic records, physical statistics) to colleges?

Answer: Yes, provided that any fee paid is for the compiling and distribution of the information. The eligibility of a prospective student-athlete would be in jeopardy if any fee is paid based on their being placed in a collegiate institution as a recipient of institutional financial aid.


Question: How does the new writing section of the SAT affect NCAA Clearinghouse standards and initial eligibility?

Answer: Currently, the NCAA Clearinghouse does not take into consideration the written portion of the SAT. Therefore, the qualifying score for a SAT is still found by adding the critical reading and math scores together.


Question: May a student-athlete accept a free lunch at a booster function (not a booster per se) they have been invited to attend?

Answer: Yes. NCAA Bylaw states that a student-athlete may accept transportation and meal expenses in conjunction with participation (e.g. speaking) in a luncheon meeting of a booster club or civic organization, provided the meeting occurs within a 30-mile radius of the institution's main campus and no tangible award is provided to the student-athlete.


Question: May a coach put special SMU decorations up in a prospective student-athlete's hotel room when they come on an official visit?

Answer: No. NCAA Bylaws and 13.7.3 state that an institution may not arrange miscellaneous, personalized recruiting aids (e.g., personalized jerseys, personalized audio/video scoreboard presentations) and may not permit a prospective student-athlete to engage in any game-day simulations (e.g., running onto the field with the team during pre-game introductions) during an official or unofficial visit. Personalized recruiting aids include any decorative items and special additions to any location the prospective student-athlete will visit (e.g., hotel room, locker room, coach's office, conference room, arena) regardless of whether or not the items include the prospective student-athlete's name or picture.


Question: May a SMU coach receive an honorarium to speak at a booster club meeting?

Answer: Yes. NCAA Bylaw allows a staff member to earn income in addition to their institutional salary by performing services for outside groups. However, NCAA Bylaw 11.2.2 requires all athletics department staff members (excluding clerical personnel) to receive prior written approval from the President and Director of Athletics for all athletically related income and benefits from sources outside the University. The staff member’s request for approval must be in writing and shall include the amount and source of the income or benefit. Also, Bylaw prohibits an outside source (ex. booster) from paying or regularly supplementing an athletics department staff member's annual salary and from arranging to supplement that salary for an unspecified achievement.


Question: Can a jersey with a student-athlete's name on the back be raffled off for charity?

Answer: No. A fundraising activity (e.g., auction, raffle) involving items that include the name, picture, or likeness of a student-athlete, should be treated in the same manner as a sale. In dealing with sales, the NCAA states in Bylaw (h) that any commercial items with names, likenesses or pictures of multiple student-athletes (other than highlight films or media guides per Bylaw may be sold only at the member institution at which the student-athlete is enrolled, institutionally controlled (owned and operated) outlets or outlets controlled by a charitable or educational organization (e.g., location of the charitable or educational organization, site of charitable event during the event). Items that include an individual student-athlete's name, picture or likeness (e.g., name on jersey, name or likeness on a bobble-head doll), other than informational items (e.g., media guide, schedule cards, institutional publications), may not be sold. For clarification purposes, a jersey not personalized (i.e., just a number as an example) may be purchased by an individual, and that individual is free to do whatever he/she desires with the jersey from that point forward.


Question: May a student-athlete be employed during the academic

Answer: Yes. NCAA Bylaw 12.4 allows for a student-athlete to be compensated by any employer for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate in the locality for similar services. However, the compensation cannot include any remuneration for value or utility that the student-athlete may have for the employer because of the publicity, reputation, fame or personal following that the student-athlete has obtained because of their athletics ability.


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