Do you support Charlotte Athletics, but are unsure if you are considered a booster or representative of athletics interest?? The questions below will better help you understand what a booster is and what they are permitted and not permitted to do regarding prospective student-athletes, student-athletes and family and friends of the two.
Many times individuals are unsure if they are considered boosters or not. Please answer the following questions which your answers will determine if you are a representative of athletics interest. There are numerous ways to become a booster and it would be impossible to list all of them here. Therefore, if you have any questions, please remember...
- Are you a member of the Charlotte 49er Club?
- Have you given money or a donation to an individual Charlotte sport or any portion of the Charlotte Athletics Department at any time in the past?
- Are you a corporate sponsor of the Athletic Department?
- Have you volunteered your time to the Athletic Department or any individual sport?
If you answered "YES" to any of these questions, you are a representative of athletics interest, also known as a booster or donor.
Rules Regarding Prospective Student-Athletes (PSA):
NCAA rules PERMIT an Athletics Representative to:
- Notify our coaches about prospects in your area that may be strong additions to our teams;
- Attend high school or two-year college athletic contests or other events where PSAs may compete, however, you may not have contact with the PSAs or their relatives for the purpose of providing information on Charlotte;
- Continue relationships with a PSA, his/her parents or relatives, provided the relationship pre-dates the PSA entering ninth grade and the relationship did not develop as a result of the PSA's athletics participation, but you may not recruit them to participate in Charlotte Athletics;
- Continue involvement with local youth sports that may include PSAs, provided you do not solicit any prospect's participation in Charlotte Athletics.
NCAA rules specifically PROHIBIT an Athletics Representative from:
- contacting a PSA or their family in person on or off our campus. This includes calling, writing, emailing or text messaging;
- making arrangements for PSAs or their relatives or friends to receive money or financial aid of any kind;
- providing transportation for a PSA or the prospect's relatives or friends to visit our campus or reimbursing another party (including a PSA's coach) for providing that transportation;
- providing free tickets or tickets at a reduced cost for PSAs or their relatives or friends to attend an athletic event;
- entertaining high school, prep school or community college coaches;
- attending a PSA's sports event for the purpose of providing an evaluation requested by the Charlotte coaching staff.
Rules regarding current student-athletes:
NCAA rules PERMIT Athletics Representatives to:
- invite student-athletes into their home for an occasional or special occasion meal on an infrequent basis. However, you may not provide meals to student-athletes in restaurant facilities or provide free meals to parents at any time and contact must be made with the Compliance Office prior to the meal;
- provide summer employment for enrolled student-athletes at the going rate for similar positions;
- provide housing for enrolled student-athletes, provided student-athletes pay market rate, as determined by the Compliance Services Office.
NCAA rules PROHIBIT an Athletics Representative from:
- providing cash or loans in any amount, or signing or co-signing for a loan for a student-athlete or parents;
- providing gifts of any kind, including birthday cards and holiday gifts, clothing and entertainment, or cars to student-athletes;
- providing special discounts for goods and services (e.g., car repairs, legal services, meals) to student-athletes or their families;
- providing free housing or reduced-rent housing to student-athletes or their families;
- purchasing complimentary admissions from a student-athlete (i.e., paying for the use of the athlete's game-day pass);
- providing an honorarium to a student-athlete for a speaking engagement;
- allowing free telephone or cellular phone usage by a student-athlete;
- providing room, board, transportation or any other special arrangement for a student-athlete's family or friends.
Common Questions and Answers for Representatives for Athletic Interest
Q: What is a Booster/Representative of Athletics Interest?
A: An individual who is known (or has been known by Charlotte 49ers) to:
- Participate in or was a member of an organization promoting Charlotte 49ers athletics program;
- Make financial contributions to Charlotte 49ers athletics program or booster club;
- Assist in the recruitment of prospects;
- Provide benefits to student-athletes, or
- Has otherwise been involved in promoting Charlotte 49ers Athletics.
Once a person is identified as such a representative, the person retains that identity indefinitely.
Q: What is a prospect?
A: A prospect is a student who has started ninth grade classes. In addition, a student who has not yet started ninth grade classes becomes a prospect if the institution provides any benefit not available to general prospective students.
Q. Is it permissible for an athletic representative to bring an outstanding prospect to the attention of Charlotte 49ers Athletics?
A. Yes. An athletic representative may not, however, get involved in the actual evaluation 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 to the University and participation in athletics.
Q. Is it permissible for an athletics representative to accompany a Charlotte 49ers coach when he/she visits a high school campus in their area?
A. No. Even if an athletic representative provides transportation for a Charlotte 49ers coach (i.e., from the airport to the high school), the athletic representative is not a permissible recruiter and thus may not enter the high school with the coach or observe prospects.
Q. Is it permissible to contact a prospective 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. This prohibition extends both on and off the universities 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 the Charlotte 49ers 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. 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 Charlotte 49ers or another institution. In fact, both the prospect and the institution continue to be governed by NCAA recruiting regulations until the prospect reports for practice or attends his/her first day of classes in any regular term (i.e., fall or spring, not summer school).
Q: Can a representative of athletics interests be involved when a prospect is on an official or unofficial visit?
A: No. Representatives of athletics interests are precluded from all recruiting activities, including face-to-face contacts with a prospect or his/her relatives.
Q: May a student-athlete's name or picture be used to directly or indirectly advertise, recommend, or promote the sale or use of a commercial product or service?
A. No. Such activities would jeopardize the eligibility of the student-athlete. The NCAA has always maintained that student-athletes not be involved in the promotion of commercial products.
Q: May a booster attend a public event (e.g., high school award banquet or dinner) at which prospects are in attendance? What about a prospect's contest at his or her interest?
A: Yes. However, contact with a prospect or a prospect's parents/legal guardians/relatives may not occur. No attempt may be made to recruit the prospect.
Q: A classmate of my child has just signed with the Charlotte 49ers, and I would like to take him to the next local 49er Club meeting to introduce him to Charlotte 49ers supporters. Is this allowed?
A: No, it is not. Please remember that NCAA recruiting regulations still apply to a prospect, even after he or she signs a National Letter of Intent or financial aid agreement to attend the University. This means that boosters continue to be prohibited from having on- or off-campus contact with prospects until the academic year begins and the prospect is in classes.
Q: May a student-athlete make a public appearance at a business establishment for any purpose such as signing autographs, etc.?
A: No. Such appearances can be construed as a direct or indirect endorsement of the commercial establishment, thus jeopardizing the eligibility of the student-athlete.
Q: If I have extra tickets to a Charlotte 49er sporting events, can I give them to student-athletes? Can I provide them with tickets to other events in the area (sporting or otherwise)?
A: No it is not permissible for student-athletes to receive tickets from boosters to any Charlotte 49er sporting event. Student-athletes must obtain their tickets in the same manner as all other students. When it comes to professional sporting events, NCAA regulations prohibit the institution or any of its boosters from obtaining and providing tickets to student-athletes. Such a gift of tickets would be considered an unacceptable extra benefit. The only exception to this rule comes on team road trips, when the institution can provide tickets to a professional sports contest as part of reasonable entertainment for student-athletes. In general, boosters are prohibited from providing any form of entertainment expenses to student-athletes. Whether it is tickets to a movie, the cover charge at a club, or greens fees, providing such benefits to student-athletes would constitute a violation of NCAA regulations and jeopardize the student-athlete's eligibility.
Q: As a Charlotte 49er booster, may I call or write a prospect to let him or her know they would be a good fit for the Charlotte 49ers?
A: No, only the Charlotte 49ers coaches may call or write a prospect after specific dates established by the NCAA.
Q: What should I do if a prospect calls me about the Charlotte 49ers?
A: If that situation occurs, you may speak only about general information about the University, and cannot answer any questions about the athletic program. The best way to deal with a prospect who calls is to ask them to contact the coach of the sport they are interested in directly.
Q: Is it permissible for me to pick up a game film or transcript to deliver to a Charlotte 49er coach?
A: No, only Charlotte 49ers coaches may visit a prospect's high school to obtain transcripts or game films.
Q: Is it permissible for a Charlotte 49er athletics booster to provide summer employment for student-athletes?
A: Yes, it is permissible. Please remember that compensation must be paid only for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality.
Q: Can a Charlotte 49er booster arrange for a prospect to work for them after high school graduation?
A: Yes, once the prospect signs an NLI with the Charlotte 49ers and graduates from high school, the prospect may work for a Charlotte 49er booster. The prospect must receive pay for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the rate of that locality.
Q: Is it permissible for a 49er Club member to provide gifts or awards to a student-athlete for his or her performances?
A: No, awards cannot be given to student-athletes by boosters.
Q: Is it permissible for boosters of the Charlotte 49ers athletics to provide enrolled student-athletes a home cooked meal?
A: Yes, provided it is on an occasional basis and the meal is at the booster's home, not at a restaurant. All requests must be received by the Compliance Office prior to the event.
Q: Is the Charlotte 49ers athletics department responsible for the acts of its boosters, including 49er Club members, and booster support groups?
A: Yes. The athletic department is responsible for ensuring that its boosters follow NCAA regulations.
For additional information, feel free to contact us...
Fax Number: 704-687-0914
The Charlotte 49ers Athletic Compliance Office
Department of Athletics
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001