Are You an Athletics Representative (Booster)?

A “representative of the institution’s athletics interest” is an individual who is known (or who should be known) by a member of the institution’s executive or athletics administration to:

  • have participated in or is a member of an agency or organization promoting the institution’s intercollegiate athletic program
  • have made financial contributions to the athletic department or to an athletic booster organization of that institution (e.g., Bearcat Club)
  • be assisting or to have been requested (by the athletic department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospects
  • be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families (for example, helping to arrange summer and/or vacation employment for student-athletes)
  • having been otherwise involved in promoting the institution’s athletic program.

Once an individual is identified as such a representative, the person retains that identity indefinitely.

Who is a Recruitable Prospective Student-Athlete?

  • A prospective student-athlete (prospect) is a student who has started classes for the ninth grade.
  • A contactable prospect:  Any in-person, off campus recruiting contact shall not be made with a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or legal guardian(s) until the prospect has completed his/her junior year of high school
  • Four Year College Prospect:  Contact in any manner by an athletic staff member or any other representative of the institution’s athletics interest cannot be made with the student-athlete of another four-year college institution, directly or indirectly, without first obtaining written permission to do so, regardless of who makes the initial contact.
    • Exception:  A member institution may contact a student-athlete who has withdrawn officially from a four-year collegiate institution.

Five Important Rules

  • Only coaches and athletic department staff members are permitted to be involved in the recruiting process.  Alumni, friends, and other “representatives of athletic interest” who are not employed by the university are not permitted to contact a prospective student-athlete (or members of the prospect’s family) by letter, telephone, or in person (on or off campus) for the purpose of soliciting their participation in the athletic program.  Willamette faculty members are permitted to engage in in-person contact with prospects, but only on campus.
  • A prospective student athlete remains a prospect until the start of classes at the institution or the beginning of official team practice immediately prior to the start of classes after their initial enrollment at the institution.
  • Don’t do ANYTHING for prospective or enrolled student-athletes without specific authorization from the Willamette University Director of Athletics.
  • If a student-athlete accepts any benefits based on his or her special consideration as an athlete or because of athletic skill, the student-athlete will lose all eligibility for intercollegiate athletic participation.
  • NCAA rules applicable to enrolled student-athletes are in effect not only during the academic year, but also during the summer months.  Enrolled student-athletes are bound by NCAA rules until the end of the academic year in which their athletics eligibility is completed.  An even then, some actions, including providing a benefit to such an individual, may cause an NCAA violation.