Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Impermissible financial inducements in college football recruiting.

Those following college sports know that a school representative cannot provide financial inducements to a prospective student-athlete, or the friends or relatives of such athlete. This holds even if the athlete does not eventually attend that particular school.

If the school’s representative had a pre-existing relationship with a family member of the athlete, the representative can provide a benefit to the family member so long as it is consistent with the nature and level of benefit provided to the family member before the athlete reached ninth grade.

If there is no pre-existing relationship, prohibitions on the financial aid a school representative can provide include but are not limited to:

- Employment for a prospective student-athlete’s relatives;
- Gifts of clothing or equipment;
- Co-signing of loans;
- Providing loans to a prospective student-athlete or his or her friends;
- Cash or like items;
- Any tangible items, including merchandise;
- Free or reduced-cost services, rentals or purchases of any type;
- Free or reduced-cost housing;
- Use of an institution’s athletics equipment;
- Sponsorship of or arrangement for an awards banquet; and
- Expenses for academic services.

Article 13 of the NCAA Operating Bylaws is broadly written to prohibit financial inducements not specifically mentioned. For instance, “cash or like items,” and “any tangible items” are prohibited.

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