June 2, 2010
FUNNELING OF MONEY TO ADVANCE RECRUITING
NCAA rules prohibit an institutional staff member from providing or arranging for the provision of money, employment or benefits to:
· Prospects, their relatives or friends.
· Teams of prospects.
· Coaches of prospects.
· Persons who direct any type of physical activity of a prospect.
· Persons who are involved in the recruitment of a prospect.
These prohibitions extend to boosters or anyone encouraged or directed by an institutional staff member to provide money or benefits to the individuals listed above. A person who in any way assists in the recruitment of a prospect to a particular institution will be deemed to be a booster regardless of actual contact with institutional staff members or the prospect, and the institution shall be held responsible for that booster's actions. For example, if a booster provides financial support to a summer club team of which a prized recruit is a member, that donation may be viewed as an attempt to assist in the recruitment of that prospect.
Some coaching staffs spend a great deal of time and energy trying to find loopholes under the NCAA rules for the funneling of money to persons who could potentially positively affect the institution's recruitment of a prospect. These coaches (and their boosters) routinely hide behind the following asserted justifications in providing money or benefits:
· Scouting service subscriptions;
· Camp employment or speaking fees;
· Consultant fees;
· Donations to charitable foundations.
The intent of the legislation prohibiting the provision of money, employment or benefits to prospects (or those tied to prospects) is to keep the recruiting process free from undue influence. Institutional staff members are prohibited from using money, employment or benefits in any way to secure the enrollment of a prospect.
Please be advised that regardless of whether a so-called loophole could be asserted, the NCAA enforcement staff will review the factual circumstances to determine whether the provision of the money, employment or benefits could be construed to advance a recruiting purpose, and if such a conclusion can be reasonably drawn, the enforcement staff will seek to process the incident as a violation of NCAA rules. Before providing any money, employment or benefit directly or indirectly to a prospect or any person associated with a prospect, a recommended best practice for men's basketball coaches is to contact your compliance personnel and fully review the circumstances involved in the situation. The failure to alert your compliance staff to this issue will be viewed as suspect by the enforcement staff.