The basketball coaches at Ocean State University are hosting a prospect this weekend for an official visit. The prospect only lives a few hours from campus, so one of the assistant coaches picks up the prospect and his parents to drive them to campus. The coach would like to take the parents out to dinner before driving to campus. Would such interaction have to count as a countable contact?
Yes. Any interaction between the coach and the prospect and/or parents or legal guardians in excess of an exchange of greeting must be counted as a contact. NCAA Educational Column- 4/11/13- Coach Travelling with Prospective Student-Athlete’s Parents to Campus on an Official Visit (I)- states that NCAA Division I institutions should note that pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168.3, coaching staff members may accompany a prospective student-athlete in the coach’s sport to or from an official visit if the prospective student-athlete travels only by automobile. The official visit’s 48-hour period begins when the coach begins transporting the prospective student-athlete and/or the prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians to campus.
The following questions and answers are designed to assist the Division I membership with the application of legislation regarding a coach accompanying prospective student-athlete and/or parents legislation.
Question No. 1: May a coach transport a prospective student-athlete (and/or the prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians) to campus for an official visit without being charged with a countable contact?
Answer: Once transportation begins, the interaction between a coach and a prospective student-athlete (or the prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians) does not count as a contact. However, prior to beginning the transportation, any interaction that includes dialogue in excess of an exchange of a greeting must be counted as a contact. Therefore, such contact is permissible only during a contact period or, in men’s basketball, a recruiting period.
Question No. 2: May a coach have dinner with a prospective student-athlete’s mother and father before transporting them to campus without being charged with a contact?
Answer: No. Such activity would count as a contact. Any in-person, off-campus contact must occur during a contact period or, in men’s basketball, a recruiting period.
Question No. 3: If a prospective student-athlete and his or her parents or legal guardians live in the locale of the institution (i.e., within a 30-mile radius), may a coach transport them to campus for an official visit outside of a contact period?
Answer: Yes, such an arrangement does not count as a contact; however, it does begin the 48-hour official visit time period.
Question No. 4: If a prospective student-athlete and his parents or legal guardians live in the locale of the institution (i.e., within a 30-mile radius), may a coach have dinner with them before transporting them to campus for an official visit without being charged with a contact?
Answer: Yes. However, the meal begins the 48-hour official visit time period.
[References: NCAA Bylaws 13.02.4 (contact), 13.02.5.3 (recruiting period — men’s basketball), 13.1.5 (contacts), 22.214.171.124.3 (coach accompanying prospective student-athlete and parents and legal guardians), a staff interpretation (11/22/1989, Item No. c), and official interpretations (03/13/97, Item No. 5, 10/19/2012, Item No. 5, 10/19/2012 Item No. 6, 01/10/13, Item No. 1)]
Notice about Educational Columns: Educational columns and hot topics are intended to assist the membership with the correct application of legislation and/or interpretations by providing clarifications, reminders and examples. They are based on legislation and official and staff interpretations applicable at the time of publication. Therefore, educational columns and hot topics are binding to the extent that the legislation and interpretations on which they are based remain applicable. Educational columns are posted on a regular basis to address a variety of issues and hot topics are posted as necessary in order to address timely issues.