The women’s tennis team at Ocean State University (OSU) participated in a function over the weekend in support of the American Cancer Society. One of the local businesses that sponsored the activity would like to provide the student-athletes with a small token of appreciation for their time and efforts. Is it permissible for the OSU student-athletes to receive an award for participating in this community service activity?
Yes with conditions. NCAA Staff Interpretation- 2/28/90-Student-athlete receiving award for participation in charitable fundraiser– states that in regard to student-athletes who participate in a charitable fundraiser to raise funds for a charitable organization, which was sponsored by the member institution or by the charitable organization, noting that local merchants wish to provide awards to the participants; determined that such an arrangement would not be precluded provided the award item is of nominal value and the award is properly personalized for the event (e.g., t-shirt).