Ocean State University’s football team is conducting its annual intra-squad scrimmage this weekend. Several high profile recruits will be in attendance, and the coaches would like them to watch the scrimmage from the sidelines. Admission to the intra-squad scrimmage is free but seating for the general public is restricted to designated sections within the lower level of the stadium.
Since there is no charge to attend the event, is it permissible for the prospects to watch the scrimmage from the sidelines?
No. NCAA Official Interpretation- 4/20/95- Special Seating to Observe On-Campus Intrasquad Scrimmages- states that an on-campus intrasquad scrimmage (e.g., spring football scrimmage, “midnight madness” basketball scrimmage) that is open to the general public is considered a campus athletics event, even if no admission is charged to attend the event. Thus, complimentary admissions provided to a prospect (or the prospect’s parents or legal guardians or spouse) for such an event during an official or unofficial visit must be in the general seating area of the facility used for conducting the event. [References: 220.127.116.11 (complimentary admissions) and 18.104.22.168 (general restrictions)]