Clemson Compliance Corner – Official Clemson Tigers athletics website

Clemson Compliance Corner – NCAA Rules Covering Incentives To Hire And Pre-Existing Relationships

As a member of IPTAY, you are considered a representative of an institution’s sporting interests (i.e., Booster) for Clemson University. As a result, the NCAA has strict guidelines regarding boosters and their relationship with prospective student-athletes (i.e. typically 9e – 12e graders and other unofficial visitors, prep school students and junior college student-athletes). According to NCAA rules, boosters should generally not provide any type of benefit or service to prospective student-athletes. The following are examples of these types of benefits and services (non-exhaustive list) and apply to prospective student-athletes, family members and friends:

  • Employment Agreement for Family Members of a Potential Student-Athlete
  • Donation of clothing or equipment
  • Co-signing of loans
  • Provide loans to family members or friends of a potential student-athlete
  • Cash or similar items
  • Any tangible item, including merchandise
  • Free or discounted services, rentals or purchases of any kind
  • Free or reduced accommodation
  • Use of institution athletic equipment (e.g., For a high school All-Star game)
  • Sponsorship or arrangement for an awards banquet for high school, prep school or two-year college athletes
  • Expenses for academic services (e.g., tutoring, test preparation) to help meet the conditions for initial eligibility or transfer eligibility or improving the academic profile of a potential student-athlete in conjunction with a request for exemption

However, the NCAA rules give boosters some flexibility if they have a pre-existing relationship with a potential student-athlete. To meet the NCAA standard for a pre-existing relationship, at a minimum, the following conditions must be met:

  • The relationship predates a potential student-athlete’s participation in athletics
  • The relationship predates the recruit’s status as a potential student-athlete (i.e., Typically 9e – 12e graders and other unofficial visitors, prep school students and junior college student-athletes)
  • Relationship predates potential student-athlete status achieved due to ability or reputation in athletics

If the pre-existing relationship test is successful, there may be some flexibility given to the IPTAY member. However, there is a huge risk in this area that could affect the eligibility of future student-athletes if they enroll in Clemson, so it is imperative that we all do nothing to go against the rules of the NCAA in this area.

Please keep asking before you act and feel free to contact Clemson University Athletic Compliance Services at cuacs@clemson.edu. Thank you for your continued support for Clemson Athletics!


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About Johnnie Gross

Johnnie Gross

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