Info for Boosters, UGA Faculty,
Alumni & Local Merchants
The University of Georgia, as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is responsible for insuring that its coaches, student-athletes, faculty and staff, donors, boosters, former students, fans and friends abide by SEC and NCAA regulations.
These links are a good reference to the many NCAA rules, which apply to our boosters, former students, fans and friends of the University and local merchants. Since all applicable situations cannot be covered on this site, please feel free to call if you have any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions for Boosters
Am I Considered to be a University of Georgia Representative of Athletics Interests (Booster)?
A "booster" is an individual or business who is known (or should have been known) by the UGA Athletic Association to have participated in any of the following: participated in or been a member of an organization promoting Georgia Athletics; contributed financially to the UGA Athletic Association, the Bulldog Club, individual athletic programs or any other Georgia Athletics or sport-specific booster organization; assisted in the recruitment of prospects; provided NCAA permissible benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; is a former UGA student, or promoted the UGA Athletic Association in other ways.
Q: Is UGA responsible for the actions of its representatives (boosters) and their support groups?
A: Yes. Representatives of athletics interests are subject to NCAA regulations and UGA is subject to penalties for any violation of NCAA rules by athletic representatives or their support organization.
Q: Who is considered to be a prospective student-athlete (prospect)?
A: A prospect is a student in the ninth grade or above regardless of their athletic talent. Prospects are also students in prep schools and junior colleges.
Q: What is considered recruiting?
A: Recruiting is any solicitation of the prospect or the prospect's family (or guardian) by an institutional staff member or by a representative of the institution's athletics interests for the purpose of securing the prospect's enrollment and ultimate participation in the institution's intercollegiate athletic program.
Q: How long is a prospective student-athlete considered to be a prospect?
A: A prospective student-athlete remains a prospect even after committing to or signing a National Letter of Intent with the University of Georgia or any institution, and both the institution and the prospect continue to be governed by NCAA recruiting legislation regarding prospects until the prospects reports for regular squad practice or the prospect attends his/her first day if classes in any regular semester.
Q: Is it permissible to contact a perspective student-athlete or his/her parents or legal guardians?
A: No. An athletic representative may not contact a prospect or his/her parents in person, by telephone or in writing. Contact may not be made with a prospect or his/her parents on or off the UGA campus.
Q: Is this contact rule applicable to "established family friends" or neighbors?
A: No. However, it must be understood that such contacts cannot be made for recruiting purposes and cannot be initiated or arranged by UGA coaching staff members. In addition, the established relationship between the booster and the prospect must have occurred prior to the friend or neighbor becoming a prospect.
Q: What if a prospect calls an athletic representative?
A: An athletic representative may have a telephone conversation with a prospect ONLY if the prospect initiates the call. Such a call may not be prearranged by an institutional staff member and the athletic representative may NOT have a recruiting conversation, but may exhibit normal civility. The athletic representative must refer any questions about the University's athletic program to the UGA Athletic Association.
Q: What if a prospect knows that an athletic representative is an UGA graduate and contacts him/her to ask questions about Georgia?
A: If a prospect contacts an athletic representative, he/she may answer questions regarding various aspects of UGA as long as NO discussion tales place regarding the UGA athletic program. If a prospect asks about UGA athletics, refer him/her to the appropriate coaching staff.
Q: What if unavoidable incidental contact is made with a prospect by an athletic representative?
A: An unavoidable incidental contact with a prospect is permissible provided the contact is not prearranged by the athletic representative or an Athletic Association staff member, does not take place at the prospect's educational institution or at the sites of organized competition and practice involving the prospect, is not made for the purpose of recruitment of the prospect, and involves only normal civility.
Q: Is it permissible for an athletic representative to telephone a prospect once the prospect has committed to or signed a National Letter of Intent and congratulate them?
A: No. Even if the purpose of the call is only to congratulate the prospect, he/she is still a prospect and the same contact rules apply after committing or signing that applied before. Do not contact a prospect without first checking with the Compliance Office, unless the prospect is a relative.
Q: During recruitment, or prior to an individual's enrollment, can an athletic representative be involved directly or indirectly in making arrangements for a prospect, the prospect's relative, or friends to receive money, financial aid, or equivalent inducements?
A: No. Furthermore, it would not be permissible to make such arrangements for current student-athletes at UGA.
Q: What are considered other types of inducements that are prohibited for prospects, their relatives or friends?
A: Other types of inducements that are prohibited include, but are not limited to the following: cash or loans; promise of employment after college education; special discounts or payment arrangements on loans; employment or relatives or friends of prospects; arrangement for free or reduced charges for professional or personal services, purchases or charges; use of an automobile; providing transportation to and from summer job or any other site; co-signing a loan; the loan or gift of money or other tangible items (clothes, cars, jewelry, electronic/stereo equipment); free or reduced cost housing arrangements; entertainment costs on or off campus; educational expenses (typing costs, course supplies, use of copy machine); or registration for summer sports camps.
Q: Is it permissible for an athletic representative to bring to UGA's attention outstanding prospects from the representative's local area?
A: Yes. An athletic representative may not, however, get involved in the actual evaluation of the talent of a prospect. In other words, an athletic representative may not contact a prospect's coach, principal, or counselor nor visit the prospect's educational institution to pick up film or transcripts pertaining to the evaluation of the prospect's athletic or academic abilities. In addition, an athletic representative cannot contact the prospect for purposes of soliciting the prospect's enrollment at UGA and ultimate participation in athletics.
Q: Is it permissible for an athletic representative to reimburse the coach of a prospect for expenses incurred in transporting a prospect to visit campus?
Q: Is it permissible for an athletic representative to entertain high school, preparatory, or junior college coaches at nay location.
A: No. However, UGA may provide two complimentary admissions to the coaches to home athletic contests.
Q: Is it permissible for an athletic representative to provide transportation to or from campus or free admission to an athletics event on or off UGA's campus to prospects, their friends or relatives?
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BOOSTER INVOLVEMENT IN RECRUITING
The University of Georgia is responsible for insuring that its various constituencies (e.g. University staff and faculty, student-athletes, alumni and friends) abide by NCAA rules and regulations. Under those rules, all alumni and friends of the University are categorized as "representatives of The University of Georgia's athletics interests." The compliance office is responsible for insuring information pertaining to NCAA rules is available to boosters.
NCAA Bylaw 13.01.5.1 states: "In Division I, representatives of an institution's athletics interest (as defined in 13.02.12) are prohibited from making gin person, on- or off-campus recruiting contacts, or written or telephonic communications with a prospect or the prospect's relatives or legal guardians."
BASIC POINTS TO KNOW
- A representative of UGA is prohibited from making in-person on- or off-campus recruiting contact with a prospective student-athlete (PSA) and his or her parents and/or legal guardians.
LIMITED EXCEPTION: A representative may have contact with a PSA in regard to permissible pre-enrollment activities such as summer employment arrangements, provided the PSA has already signed a NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT and the institution is aware that the representative is making these contacts in regard to employment.
- A UGA representative is prohibited from writing or telephoning a PSA and his or her family members and/or legal guardians.
LIMITED EXCEPTION: A representative may have a telephone conversation with a PSA ONLY if the prospect initiates the call. The telephone call may not be pre-arranged by a UGA staff member and the representative is not permitted to have a recruiting conversation by may exhibit normal civility. The representative must refer any questions about UGA to an appropriate UGA staff member.
- A representative is prohibited from contacting a PSA's coach, principal or counselor in an attempt to recruit or evaluate the prospect.
LIMITED EXCEPTION: NCAA rules do not preclude a representative from viewing a PSA's contest on his/her own initiative, subject to the understanding that the representative may not contact the PSA or report back to UGA coaches.
EXTENDING OFFERS AND INDUCEMENTS
A staff member or representative of UGA's athletics interests may not offer or provide any benefits to a prospect or the prospect's relatives or friends other than those expressly permitted by NCAA legislation. Specifically prohibited financial aid, benefits and arrangements include, but are not limited to:
1. Arrangement of employment for a prospect's relatives;
2. Gifts of clothing or equipment;
3. Cosigning of loans;
4. Loans to relatives or friends;
5. Cash or like items;
6. Any tangible items, including merchandise;
7. Free or reduced-cost services, rentals or purchases;
8. Free or reduced-cost housing;
9. Use of institution's athletics equipment;
10. Sponsorship of, or arrangement for, an awards banquet for high school or two-year college athletes by an institution, its boosters or its alumni groups or booster clubs;
11. The presentation of award to prospects for outstanding athletics accomplishments.
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Dear Local Merchants:
As you are aware, Georgia and at least eight SEC programs have recently been under the NCAA microscope. Fresno State is currently serving probation and a popular restaurant is one of the problems because it has been found student-athletes received free or discounted meals. We are doing our best to educate local businesses and fans about NCAA rules.
It is my understanding that some of our student-athletes frequent your business, so I wanted to take the opportunity to familiarize you with some NCAA guidelines that the institution, alumni, fans and student-athletes are responsible to follow.
NCAA rules prohibit any student-athlete from receiving any "extra benefits." The NCAA considers any special discounts or arrangements given to student-athletes or their friends and family that was not available to the general student body or public to be an extra benefit, and could jeopardize the student-athlete's eligibility. If a student-athlete receives any extra benefits they must be declared ineligible and would have to repay the benefit received and possibly be suspended for competition. Following are some extra benefit guidelines:
Discounts and Credits: A student-athlete may not receive a special discount, payment arrangement or credit on purchase from an institutional employee or a Representative of UGA's athletic interests (season ticket holder, alumni, donated funds for athletic purposes) or local business if the same was not offered and advertised to the general student body or public.
Free or Reduced - Cost Services: A representative may not provide a student-athlete with services for which a fee would normally be charged without a charge or at a reduced cost. Professional services provided at less than the normal rate or at no expense to a student-athlete are considered an extra benefit unless they are available and advertised on the same basis to the general student body or public.
Preferential Treatment: A student-athlete may not receive preferential treatment, benefits or services for his or her athletics reputation or skill or payback potential as a future professional athlete. Although other schools have been hit very negatively, I believe it can be used in a positive way to educate local businesses and UGA supporters to the importance of NCAA rules. The University of Georgia's success is due to support from individuals, who continue to be cautious and knowledgeable of NCAA rules. If you have any questions regarding this information please feel free to contact us at (706) 542-9086. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.