Frequently Asked Questions



Feb. 2, 2009


Frequently Asked Questions

Alumni & Friends of the University of Alabama

What is a booster?

A booster can be an alumni, a faculty member, a member of Tide Pride, or virtually anyone who has ever been involved in promoting University of Alabama athletics. Once a person is considered a booster, he or she will be considered a booster for life.

NCAA bylaw 13.02.13 defines a booster as a representative of an institution's athletics interests. That may be an individual, a corporate entity, or another organiation who is known (or should have been known) by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to (a) have participated in or been a member of an organization promoting the instiution's athletic program; (b) have made financial contributions to the athletic department or to a booster organization; (c) have assisted in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes; (d) have assisted in providng benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; and/or (e) have been otherwise involved in promoting the instiution's athletic program.

How can I get a football, photograph, or other item autographed?

Autographs for personal use may be obtained during times specified by each individual sport's offices.  Generally, fan days and exhibition games are excellent times to obtain autographs from student-athletes and coaching staffs alike.  Head coaches may also schedule specific times of the year when they are willing to autograph items for personal use.

Autographs for charities and other philanthropic causes may be obtained year round by mailing of faxing an Institutional Memorabilia request form to the Athletic Compliance office. Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader  After initial compliance approval, the request will be forwarded on to the appropriate sport.  Ultimate approval of the request is subject to the time demands and availability of the coaches of that sport. Autographs of current student-athletes are not possible due to NCAA concerns.

Please keep in mind that all autographs of current student-athletes MUST be for personal use.  NCAA rules specifically prohibit current and prospective student-athletes from autographing items for profit. As a result, many items signed by current student-athletes for sale in stores or online are not authentic. Please respect UA autograph policies and the amateur status of Crimson Tide student-athletes and keep all autographs for personal use only. 


I have an autograph from a current UA student-athlete. Can I sell it on Ebay?


No. NCAA rules specifically prohibit current and prospective student-athletes from autographing items for profit. As a result, many items signed by current student-athletes for sale in stores or online are not authentic. Please respect UA autograph policies and the amateur status of Crimson Tide student-athletes and keep all autographs for personal use only.


What is an impermisslbe extra benefit?

An extra benefit can be big or small.  It can be free or reduced services (such as lawyer's fees or dry cleaning), free or discounted rent, a better interest rate on a loan, or a free dinner. It can also be a ride home from practice, a drink at a bar, or a discount at a clothing store. A basic rule of thumb: if it isn't available to UA students as a whole, it's an extra benefit.

NCAA bylaw 16. 02.3 defines extra benefits as any special arrangement by an instutional employee or a representative of the institution's athletic interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete's relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.  Receipt of a benefit is not a violation if it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the instution's students or to a particular segment of the student body determined on a bais unrelated to athletic ability.

A prospective student-athlete lives in my community. Can I interact with him?

Nothing in NCAA rules prohibit prospective student-athletes from interacting normally with people in their communities. However, very strict rules are in place to prevent unfair recruiting practices.  If an individual has a close, long-standing relationship with a prospect unrelated to his athletic ability, that relationship is generally allowed to continue.  However, it is impermissible for any person connected in any way with the University to develop a relationship with that prospect, or to treat him any differently, because of his or her athletic ability. In fact, even where a prospect is friend's with an your high school aged child, it may be impermissible for your family to take that prospect out to dinner, on vacation, or otherwise provide what may be considered an extra benefit.

If a prospective student-athlete lives in your community, please contact compliance at 205-348-3615 before continuing or developing a relationship with him or her.

Can a current student-athlete come and speak to my organization?

It may be permissible for student-athletes to speak to charitable organizations. Please contact Jill Lancaster in Life Skills at


What courses must a prospective student athlete complete to qualify? Is a minimum ACT or SAT required?

The NCAA Eligibility Center requires a prospective student athlete to complete 16 core courses. Four English courses, 3 Math courses Algebra I or higher, 2 science courses, and two social science courses are the foundation of the required coursework. Each student is also required to take one additional course in either math, English, or science and four additional courses in any core course, philosophy, foreign language, or religion. The grades earned in these courses are then compiled for a "core course GPA," which is placed on a sliding scale corresponding to standardized test scores. For example, if a student has a 3.55 or above, he or she must score a combined 400 on the Verbal and Math portions of the SAT or a combined score of a 37 on all the sections of the ACT test. If a student has a 2.0, the minimum acceptable GPA, he or she must score a combined 1010 on the SAT or a combined 86 on the ACT.

In addition to these requirements, each student-athlete must also be admitted the the University of Alabama. The University requires 4 units of English, 4 Social Sciences (including World History), 3 Maths (including Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry/Trigonometry), 3 Sciences, 1 Foreign Language, and 5 additional academic courses. The University also considers standardized test scores, demonstrated leadership ability, and other factors in their decision.    

What do athletic scholarships pay for?

Athletic scholarships may be full scholarships or partial scholarships, depending on the sport and the discretion of the coaching staff. Some sports, like football and gymnastics, are head count sports where each student-athlete is on a full athletic scholarship that pays for tuition, fees, books, room & board. Some sports, such as baseball and soccer, are equivalency sports, meaning that a coaching staff is limited to a specified number of scholarships (such as 11.7 in baseball) to divide among the roster. Therefore, different student-athletes recieve different scholarship amounts varying from a book scholarship to a full scholarship.

All Crimson Tide athletes also have access to academic services at Bryant Hall, athletic trainers, and other services provided by the University. If you would like to make a donation towards athletic scholarships, please visit Development's A+ Program at