NCAA and SEC Bylaws

By UT Athletic Compliance Staff
February 12, 2003

A Guide for Athletic Representives

The University of Tennessee is responsible for the actions of the student-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni, friends, and boosters/donors. Together and in compliance with NCAA and SEC legislation we can ensure The University of Tennessee will remain at the forefront of integrity and sportsmanship.

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with three important rules. If you have any questions regarding the information presented or any other question, please contact the compliance office at (865) 974-3871 or

For a two page print-out of the UT Guide Click Here--> UT GUIDE For Athletic Representives

What is a Representative of Athletic Interests (boosters/donors)?

NCAA rules indicate that all alumni, friends, and employees of the University are categorized as "representatives of athletics interests." The NCAA stipulates that once an individual has been identified as a representative or "booster/donor" of the University's athletics programs, he or she retains this status forever even if the individual is no longer associated with the athletics program.

Furthermore, the NCAA states that it is possible to be a representative of athletics interest at more than one university at the same time.

A representative of athletics interest is anyone who has ever:

  • made any type of contribution to the athletics department or to the booster club
  • joined the institution's booster club or any sport specific support group
  • provided or helped arrange employment for a student-athletic
  • provided benefits to enrolled student-athletics or their families
  • assisted in any manner in the recruitment of prospective student-athletics
  • promoted the institution's athletics program in any manner.

RULE # 1 Do Not Recruit

Are representatives of athletics interests (boosters/donors) allowed to recruit?

NO, athletic representatives are prohibited from making in-person, on or off campus recruiting contacts, or written or telephonic communications (includes, but not limited to: e-mail, instant messaging, pagers, and faxes) with a prospective student-athletics' relatives or legal guardians.

Who is permitted to recruit?

Only those coaching staff members who have passed the coaches certification exam are permitted to recruit prospective student-athletics.

Who is a Prospective Student-Athlete?

NCAA rules stipulate that a prospective student-athletic is a person who has started classes for the ninth (9th) grade, regardless of his/her athletics ability and/or participation.

  • A prospective student-athletic remains a prospect even after he or she has signed a National Letter of Intent or accepts an offer of financial aid to attend an institution.
  • The prospect remains a prospect until he/she reports for the first day of classes for a regular term (fall or spring).

Is a student who is enrolled at another 4-year institution, junior college, and/or prep school considered a prospective-student athlete?


RULE # 2 Do Not Provide Extra Benefits

What is an "Extra Benefit?"

The NCAA defines an extra benefit as any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution's athletics interests ("boosters/donors") to provide a student-athlete (or a student-athlete's relative or friend) a benefit that is not generally available to other UT students, relatives and/or friends.

What may I do for a currently enrolled student-athlete at Tennessee?

  • You may invite an enrolled student-athlete or the entire team to your home for an occasional meal. Occasional is defined as once or twice a semester.
  • If you have employment opportunities, please contact the job coordinator.
  • If you know of a prospect, please forward information to the appropriate coaching staff member.

RULE # 3 Ask, Before You Act

What are the consequences of NCAA violations?

  • A currently enrolled student-athlete being declared ineligible to participate
  • The eligibility of a prospective student-athlete(s) being jeopardized.
  • Violations of NCAA regulations and sanctions placed on the University and the athletics programs.

What are the consequences to athletic representatives (boosters/donors) for NCAA violations?

The University of Tennessee is required by the NCAA to notify boosters of consequences regarding rules violations. Boosters found in violation of NCAA rules are subject to losing benefits and privileges including, but not limited to, disassociation from The University of Tennessee and/or loss of ticket privileges.

For a more in-depth detail information on NCAA and SEC Bylaws, check these Official Web Sites

NCAA Official Web Site SEC Official Web Site

Athletic Compliance Staff
Malcolm McInnis
Associate AD-Compliance

Kevin Avery, Compliance Officer

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