Ocean State Football coaches have several student managers that work with the team on the field and student workers that work with the staff in the office. The job responsibilities for these students do not include interaction with prospective student-athletes.
Because they are student workers within the football program, would they be permitted to serve as student hosts when football recruits visit campus?
No. NCAA Educational Column- 8/17/12-Issues Related to Campus Recruiting Visits (I)-states that the following information is intended to assist member institutions with the application of legislation governing campus recruiting visits.
Institutions should note that pursuant to NCAA Bylaws 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.8, a student host involved in an official or unofficial visit must be either a current student-athlete or a student designated in a manner consistent with the institution’s policy for providing campus visits or tours to prospective students in general. In this regard, individuals are considered hosts if they are involved in traditional hosting duties, such as tasks that require specific interaction with the prospective student-athlete (e.g., entertaining, escorting). Individuals who are involved solely in administrative functions (e.g., stuffing envelopes, collecting unofficial visit money, handling complimentary admissions) are not considered student hosts.
Further, for purposes of this legislation, student managers and other student employees are considered to be students, as opposed to athletics department employees. Therefore, those individuals are restricted to engaging in general employment functions and are not permitted to host prospective student-athletes unless they meet the criteria noted in the aforementioned bylaws. Finally, inasmuch as student-hosting duties are considered incidental to athletics participation, and an individual must be either a student-athlete or a member of the official university host group, a student-athlete may not be paid to perform this function unless the university typically pays its official host groups for their services.
Athletics Department Involvement with Institutional Hosting Groups.
Pursuant to Bylaws 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168.8, a student host involved in an official or unofficial visit must be either a current student-athlete or a student designated in a manner consistent with the institution’s policy for providing campus visits or tours to prospective students in general. Consistent with this legislation, athletics departments are expected to remain completely uninvolved in the management and operation of these programs. Athletics departments may, however, contribute funds to the overall university host program, provided such funding does not result in the athletics departments assuming control or compromising university oversight of such programs. Further, if permitted by institutional policy, athletics departments may request specific hosts from the institution’s pool of hosts only if such opportunities are available to other institutional departments and the athletics department does not compromise the university’s control or oversight of the host program.
Transportation Costs/Meals and Lodging While in Transit for Parents or Legal Guardians — Men’s Basketball.
Pursuant to Bylaw 22.214.171.124.1, in men’s basketball, an institution may pay the actual round-trip costs for a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians (expenses for up to two people) to accompany the prospective student-athlete on his official visit. In addition, per Bylaw 126.96.36.199.1, in men’s basketball, an institution may pay the actual costs for meals and lodging for a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians (expenses for up to two people) that are incurred while traveling to and from campus to accompany the prospective student-athlete on his official visit.
Pursuant to Bylaw 13.6.6, a prospective student-athlete on an official visit shall be provided lodging and take meals as regular students normally do. Local commercial facilities may be used but at a scale comparable to that of normal student life and only within a 30-mile radius of the institution’s campus. Lodging may not include special accessories (e.g., Jacuzzis, suites) that are not available generally to all guests residing at the establishment. Consistent with the overarching theme that prospective student-athletes should be housed in a similar manner as other prospective students generally, institutions should adhere to the following guidelines: hotels selected to house prospective student-athletes should be similar to hotels in which prospective students are housed, hotels in which visiting teams are housed or lodging used by the institution for away from home contests.
Pursuant to Bylaw 13.6.6, a prospective student-athlete on an official visit shall be provided lodging and take meals as regular students normally do. Pursuant to Bylaw 188.8.131.52, meals must be comparable to those provided to student-athletes during the academic year. In this regard, meals provided during an official visit will be considered standard if they are similar in nature to campus meals, including training table meals. Additionally, institutions should note that the training table meal standard is considered the upper limit for all sports, regardless of whether training table is typically provided in a particular sport. Further, pursuant to Bylaw 184.108.40.206, a member institution may not arrange or permit excessive entertainment of a prospective student-athlete on campus or elsewhere. This restriction includes special arrangements for admittance to exclusive or elite restaurants where such opportunities are not generally available to the public.
Pursuant to Bylaw 220.127.116.11.4, an institution transporting a prospective student-athlete (and those accompanying a prospective student-athlete) around campus during the official visit must use institutional vehicles normally used to transport prospective students while visiting the campus. In addition, coaching staff members or student hosts may use personal vehicles to transport a prospective student-athlete (and those accompanying the prospective student-athlete) around campus during an official visit. As a general principle, institutions should note that vehicles used for transportation around campus should be consistent with the type of vehicle an institution uses (or would use) for regular prospective students under similar circumstances, regardless of whether the institution actually provides such transportation. Also, a coaching staff member may use his or her personal vehicle for such purposes, provided the vehicle is used on a regular basis by the coach and has not been modified for the purpose of transporting prospective student-athletes. Further, coaches may rent vehicles for transportation purposes as needed, pursuant to institutional policy, provided those vehicles are considered basic transportation and not modified in any manner for this purpose. Finally, unmodified golf carts and similar vehicles are considered basic transportation; therefore, such vehicles may be used to transport prospective student-athletes around the campus.
[References: NCAA Bylaws 18.104.22.168.4 (on-campus transportation), 22.214.171.124.1 (exception — transportation expenses for a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians – men’s basketball), 13.6.6 (accommodations on official visit), 126.96.36.199 (general restrictions), 188.8.131.52.1 (meals and lodging while in transit), 184.108.40.206 (student host), 220.127.116.11 (meals on official visit), 18.104.22.168.8 (student host) and staff interpretations (7/26/12, Item Ref. a and b)]