Recruiting Regulations: Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is the University of Chicago responsible for the acts of boosters and booster support groups?
Answer: Yes. Boosters are governed by the same NCAA rules and regulations as those placed upon all University of Chicago athletics personnel. 

Question: What are the basic provisions of the recruiting regulations?
Answer: In Division III, representatives of athletics interests may make in-person on- or off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospect so long as any off-campus contact occurs AFTER the completion of the prospect's junior year in high school. (NCAA Bylaw 13.01.5.3) This is in direct contrast with the Division I so-called "booster-ban" legislation (NCAA Bylaw 13.01.5.1), which prohibits representatives of an institution's athletic interests from making in-person, on- or off-campus recruiting contacts, or written or telephone communications with a prospect or the prospect's family or legal guardians.

Question: Once an individual has been identified as a booster, how long does he or she retain that status?
Answer: Forever, even if the person discontinues supporting the athletic programs.

Question: May a booster engage in evaluation activities on behalf of the institution?
Answer: The legislation does not preclude a booster from viewing a prospect's contest on the booster's initiative, subject to the understanding that the booster may not make contact with the prospect. Any staff member or representative of athletics interests desiring to contact a prospect at the prospect's high school, preparatory school, or two-year college shall first obtain permission for such contact from the institution's executive officer. Please call Compliance Coordinator Rosalie Resch for approval before attempting to contact any prospective student-athlete.

Question: Can boosters entertain relatives and friends of a prospective student-athlete at any site off-campus?
Answer: No.

Question: Is it permissible for a booster to transport, pay or arrange for the payments of transportation costs incurred by relatives or friends of a prospective student-athlete to visit the campus or elsewhere?
Answer: No.

Question: Is it permissible for a booster to pay in whole, or in part, registration fees associated with summer sports camps?
Answer: No.

Question: Is it permissible for a booster to employ, or arrange for the employment of, a prospective student-athlete before the completion of the prospect's senior year of high school?
Answer: No. But bylaw 13.2.4.1 permits an institution to arrange employment for a prospective student-athlete that begins after the prospect's senior year in high school. If you believe that there is a young person with athletic talent who might be interested in attending the University of Chicago, DO NOT contact him or her directly. Instead, please talk to the appropriate coach.

NCAA Rules also apply to interaction between boosters and current student-athletes:

Question: Is it permissible for a booster to provide summer or term time employment to a current student-athlete?
Answer: Yes, but compensation must be paid only for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality for similar services.

Question: Is it permissible for a booster to provide gifts or awards to a student-athlete for his or her academic performance?
Answer: No, all awards must conform to the NCAA awards legislation and must be approved by the institution.

Question: Is it permissible for a booster to pay in whole, or in part, registration fees associated with summer sports camps, or provide cash or the use of an automobile to a student-athlete?
Answer: No.

Question: Is it permissible for a booster to extend funds to entertain a student-athlete and friends?
Answer: No.

Question: Is it permissible for a booster to invite a student to their home for a meal?
Answer: Yes, a student-athlete or the entire team in a sport may receive an occasional meal from a booster under the following conditions:
(a) The occasional meal may be provided at any location in the locale of the institution, and
(b) Meals must be restricted to infrequent and special occasions.

Question: Is it permissible for a booster to provide an honorarium to a student-athlete for a speaking engagement?
Answer: No. Student-athletes may receive only necessary travel expenses when speaking for educational or charitable groups. All speaking engagements must be approved in advance by the institution.