In order to protect you and the University in any interaction you might have with current or prospective student-athletes, we are providing you with an explanation of some permissible and prohibited interactions. We hope you find this information to be of benefit, and we look forward to your support of our student-athletes.
The Booster Rules and You
Due to your involvement with the team, or other relationships you may have, the NCAA may find you to be an "Athletics Representative," or to use the common term, a "booster." As a result, the University of Alabama might be responsible for your conduct, since NCAA rules require that each institution is responsible for the actions of its Boosters.
Extra Benefits are not Allowed
The basic rule for all supporters or fans of a particular college is that they may not give anything of value to a student-athlete or recruit. In NCAA terms, institutional "representatives" may not provide "extra benefits" or benefits of any kind to a student-athlete or recruit merely because of the student's status as an athlete. Moreover, even if the supporter or fan is not an official "booster," the receipt of a gift or benefit from that person by a student-athlete or recruit may negatively impact his/her NCAA eligibility.
Prohibited items include the obvious, such as money or cars. However, some things are perhaps less obvious, but are also against the rules, such as:
- Special jobs,
- Loans or co-signers,
- Gifts or gift cards (even on special occasions such as birthdays or graduation),
- Special housing or rent,
- Access to a private country club or golf course,
- Meals or entertainment (even if that seems a polite thing to do),
- Professional services for free or at a reduced rate,
- Transportation (even a ride to campus),
- Promises of future employment after college,
- Purchasing student-athletes' complimentary admissions, or
- Tickets or discounts on tickets (even if those tickets were free to you in the first place).
While there are some limited exceptions to the above list, generally boosters may not provide (or arrange for someone else to provide) any of the above benefits to student-athletes or recruits at any time without the acceptance of such benefits negatively impacting the student's NCAA eligibility.
Families, Friends, and High School Coaches Count
As noted above, the prohibition of providing extra benefits to student-athletes applies similarly to recruits. The rules also prohibit such extra benefits from being provided to:
- Any student in 9th grade or above, since the NCAA considers all students in this category to be "prospective student-athletes" and thus subject to NCAA regulations.
- Families of student-athletes or recruits.
- High school, AAU, Club, 7 vs. 7, or any other coaches of student-athletes or recruits, and
- Friends of recruits.
In short, NCAA rules regulating recruiting generally require that all recruitment be left to the institution's coaches. At Alabama, we subscribe to that simple philosophy and strongly encourage all of our fans and supporters to do the same.
Boosters Can Participate in the Local Community
Boosters may certainly continue to attend high school events or youth events in the community. However, they cannot do so for the purpose of contacting potential recruits and providing recruiting information to collegiate coaches. In addition, boosters cannot use any item provided by or signed by institutional coaches, student-athletes or staff in support of a high school's fundraising efforts. Likewise, such items may not be used in fundraisers benefiting recruit's AAU, 7 vs. 7, or other non-scholastic teams.
Official University Functions
As part of this program, there are steps you can take to remain above even the appearance of impropriety. For example, trustees, boosters and fans cannot supplement the pay of university coaches or staff members. Other steps may be less obvious, but are just as important. For instance, trustees, boosters and fans should refrain from contact with student-athletes outside of university functions. While such contact with student-athletes is not impermissible per se, it can often lead to enhanced scrutiny of our athletics program and possibly even an NCAA investigation.
We will be happy to provide additional NCAA compliance information and materials upon request. In addition, we would enjoy speaking with you about any concerns or questions you may have and encourage you to contact us via phone or email at any time. Our official motto is Ask Before You Act. We are sincere in this request. Please direct all questions to the athletic compliance office and/or the Office of Counsel.