Daily Compliance Item- 11/26/13- 16.12.1- Lodging Expenses for an International Student-Athlete

Ocean State University (OSU) men’s basketball student-athletes have the following schedule during the upcoming Christmas vacation period:

Required to remain on campus for practice until December 15th.

Permitted to go home from December 15th – December 22nd.

Return to campus December 23rd for holiday tournament

There are two international student-athletes on the team that are unable to go home during the break, and the dorms will be closed during that time.  Can OSU provide expenses for the international student-athletes to stay in a hotel from December 15th – 22nd while the team is not required to remain on campus?

Yes.  An 11/21/2000 previously approved incidental expense waiver allowed an an institution to provide expenses for meals and lodging for international student-athletes from December 15 to December 22.  There were no members of the men’s basketball team who resided within driving distance of the university and who could host the student-athlete during that time period.

Daily Compliance Item- 11/25/13- 14.4.3.1.2- Credit Hours for Transfers

Kukka Burra is a field hockey student-athlete at Bay State College.  Kukka will be transferring to Ocean State University in January, making her a 4-4 transfer.  She attended Bay State College for a total of 3 full-time semesters.  How many hours will Kukka need to have completed when she enrolls at Ocean State University in January?

  1. 6 hours
  2. 24 hours
  3. 30 hours
  4. There are no credit hour requirements for transfers

The answer is 3NCAA Bylaw 14.4.3.1.2 states that to be eligible for competition, a transfer student-athlete must meet the following credit-hour requirements based on attendance at the previous institution(s) for the specified time and may use any hours of academic credit earned at any collegiate institution: (Adopted: 10/31/02 effective 8/1/03 for those student-athletes first entering a collegiate institution full time on or after 8/1/03, Revised: 5/12/05)

(a) Equivalent of one semester/one quarter:  six-semester or six-quarter hours of academic credit;

(b) Equivalent of one academic year (e.g., two semesters/ three quarters):  24-semester or 36-quarter hours of academic credit;

(c) Equivalent of three semesters/four quarters:  30-semester or 42-quarter hours of academic credit; or

(d) Equivalent of four semesters/six quarters and thereafter:  six-semester or six-quarter hours of academic credit during the previous term of full-time enrollment, if applicable (see Bylaw 14.4.3.1.2.1).

This legislation is specific to Division I.  For Division II, NCAA Bylaw 14.4.3.1 states that eligibility for competition shall be based on the following requirements:  (Revised: 1/10/92)

(a) Satisfactory completion of six-semester or six-quarter hours of academic credit the preceding regular academic term in which the student-athlete has been enrolled full time at any collegiate institution; and  (Adopted: 1/12/04 effective immediately following the institution’s 2005 fall term; thus, applicable to hours earned during the 2005 fall term)

(b) For a midyear transfer student-athlete, for a student-athlete following the student-athlete’s first academic year in residence or after the student-athlete has used one season of eligibility in any sport at the certifying institution, the certification shall be determined by the student-athlete’s academic record in existence at the beginning of the fall term or at the beginning of any other regular term of that academic year, based on:

(1) Satisfactory completion before each fall term of a cumulative total of academic semester or quarter hours equivalent to an average of at least 12-semester or quarter hours during each of the previous academic terms in academic years in which the student-athlete has been enrolled in a term or terms; or

(2) Satisfactory completion of 24-semester or 36-quarter hours of academic credit since the beginning of the previous fall term or since the beginning of the certifying institution’s preceding regular two semesters or three quarters.

Daily Compliance Item- 11/22/13- Current Event

NCAA sues video game maker, licensing firm

USATODAY.com

The NCAA has sued video game manufacturer Electronic Arts and the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing firm, Collegiate Licensing Co., in connection with those companies’ intent to settle their parts of lawsuits concerning the use of college athletes’ names and likenesses.

The suit, filed in a Georgia state court on Nov. 4, alleges that EA and CLC breached various contractual obligations to the NCAA that have become factors in matters led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and former Arizona State and Nebraska football player Sam Keller.

For instance, the NCAA alleges that EA did not maintain liability insurance that was sufficient to cover “pending third-party claims, including for attorneys’ fees that the NCAA has already incurred in defending against those claims.”

The NCAA alleges that CLC failed to adequately supervise EA in this contractual obligation and that CLC failed to provide the NCAA “with access to documents and records that the NCAA is entitled to inspect.”

The NCAA is seeking to bar EA and CLC from going through with their proposed settlement.

It also seeks to have EA be required to cover the NCAA for any future judgement of liability relating to EA’s NCAA-themed video games; the NCAA’s “reasonable” legal fees incurred in defending against claims the association faces related to those games; and the NCAA’s costs and legal fees related to bringing this new suit against EA and CLC.

“CLC is caught in the middle of a dispute between NCAA and EA which should not involve us,” Andrew Giangola, a spokesman for CLC. “CLC has valued relationships with both the NCAA and EA and while we hope they can soon resolve their dispute, we see no reason for CLC to be involved.”

John Reseburg, a spokesman for EA, said the company had no comment on the suit.

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the association also had no comment.

Earlier this year, EA was not involved in just the O’Bannon and Keller cases, which also included CLC. It also faced presumptive federal class-action suits by former Rutgers football player Ryan Hart and former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston.

In late September, EA and CLC worked out a proposed $40 million settlement of the claims made in the O’Bannon, Hart and Alston cases – a deal that left the NCAA as the sole defendant in the O’Bannon and Keller cases.

In the suit filed in Georgia (CLC is headquartered in Atlanta), the NCAA alleges that EA and CLC reached the settlement “without notice to the NCAA” and that “despite the NCAA’s repeated requests,” they have refused to provide information to the NCAA regarding the settlement. According to the NCAA, CLC is required to do so under the terms of its licensing contract with the NCAA, and EA is required to indemnify the NCAA.

Because of that, the NCAA states that it “has been harmed, continues to be harmed, and will suffer future harm, from EA’s and CLC’s unlawful actions, including irreparable harm” if EA and CLC receive approval of a settlement under these circumstances.

The NCAA says it has spent “millions of dollars in attorney’s fees and costs” defending itself against the suits related to EA’s NCAA-themed video games.

It also says that with the proposed settlement, “EA has demonstrated that it will not perform its contractual duty” to cover the NCAA against clams related to the video games.

Meanwhile, the NCAA states, it “continues to defend itself in (the O’Bannon and Keller) litigation and still faces potential liability to plaintiffs and the putative classes they purport to represent.”

Thus, it wants EA to remain subject to that liability.

Daily Compliance Item- 11/21/13- 13.14.3- Subscription to a Scouting Service

Which of the following is true with regard to a scouting/recruiting service?

A.  Institution has subscribed to a scouting/recruiting service when a staff members registers to access information only available to paid subscribers.

B.  Institution has subscribed to a scouting/recruiting service when a staff member registers to access information only available to a select group of individuals– regardless if there is a cost.

C.  Institution has subscribed to a scouting/recruiting service when a staff member registers to access information even if the same information is available to the general public at no cost.

D.  Both A & B are true.

 

 

The answer is DNCAA Staff Interpretation- 11/14/13- Subscribing to a Recruiting or Scouting Service (I) – states that  an institution is considered to have subscribed to a recruiting or scouting service when a staff member registers to access information provided by the service only to paid subscribers or registers to access information available only to a select group of individuals (e.g., coaches), regardless of whether a charge is associated with accessing the information. However, an institution is not considered to have subscribed to a recruiting or scouting service if a staff member registers to access information about prospective student-athletes from a service that provides the same information to the general public at no cost.

 

References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.14.3 (recruiting or scouting services); 13.14.3.1 (basketball and football); 13.14.3.2 (sports other than basketball and football); 13.14.3.3 (subscription limited to approved services – basketball and football); and staff interpretation (04/01/11, Item No. a)]

Daily Compliance Item- 11/20/13- 13.1.7- Evaluations at Open Gyms

The Women’s Basketball Coaches at Ocean State University (OSU) would like to attend an open gym at a local high school next week. This school conducts an open gym every Thursday afternoon.

 

Are the OSU coaches permitted to attend the open gym?

 

Yes with conditions.  NCAA Educational Column- 4/12/13- Proposal No. 2013-1 Recruiting –Women’s Basketball Recruiting Model (I) – states that the following questions and answers are intended to assist the membership with interpretating the legislation as it relates to recruiting in th sport of women’s basketball.

Question No. 1: Do evaluation activities during the spring evaluation periods count toward the 112 recruiting-person days restriction and the limit of seven recruiting opportunities per prospective student-athlete?

Answer: Yes. Evaluations during the spring evaluation periods must be included in the 112 recruiting-person days and count toward the limit of seven recruiting opportunities per prospective student-athlete. Note that if an event is conducted on consecutive days in a tournament format, an institution would only be charged with a single recruiting opportunity per prospective student-athlete.

 

Question No. 2: Is it permissible for an institution to make a telephone call to a prospective student-athlete who has reported on call for competition or competition-related activities?

Answer: No. It is not permissible to make a telephone call to a prospective student-athlete who has reported on call for competition or competition-related activities until she has been released by the appropriate institutional authority in accordance with the parameters of NCAA Bylaw 13.1.6.2.

 

Question No. 3: Is it permissible for an institution to send an email or other form of electronic correspondence (e.g., text message) to a prospective student-athlete who has reported on call for competition or competition-related activities?

Answer: It is not permissible to send electronic correspondence to a prospective student-athlete while she is on call for competition at the competition site (e.g., arena, stadium). However, it is permissible to send general correspondence (including electronic correspondence) to a prospective student-athlete while she is on call and not at the competition site, or while she is at any location, once released by the appropriate authority.

 

Question No. 4: Is it permissible for an institution to make a telephone call, send an email, or send another form of electronic correspondence (e.g., text message) to a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians while the prospective student-athlete is on call for competition or competition-related activities? What if the prospective student-athlete is participating in an event during a July evaluation period?

Answer: It is permissible to make a telephone call, send an email, or send another form of electronic correspondence (e.g., text message) to a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians while the prospective student-athlete is on call for competition or competition-related activities anytime other than a July evaluation period. During a July evaluation period, all communication with a prospective student-athlete, the prospective student-athlete’s relatives or legal guardians, the prospective student-athlete’s coach or any individual associated with the prospective student-athlete as a result of the prospective student-athlete’s participation in basketball, directly or indirectly, is prohibited.

 

Question No. 5: During the additional spring evaluation period, is it permissible for coaches to attend events other than nonscholastic events (e.g., regular scholastic activities involving prospective student-athletes enrolled only at the institution at which such activities occur)? Is it permissible for a coach to visit a high school to talk to a high school coach or pick up a transcript?

Answer: No. Evaluations of live athletics activities during the additional spring evaluation period are specifically limited to nonscholastic events. No other off-campus evaluation activities may occur during the additional spring evaluation period.

 

Question No. 6: During the academic year recruiting period, is it permissible for coaches to evaluate at an “open gym”?

Answer: It is permissible for coaches to evaluate if the “open gym” (or pick-up game or similar activity) has been approved by the appropriate authority at the scholastic institution as a regular scholastic activity; it involves only students enrolled at the institution where the activity is occurring; and it is not organized for the purpose of permitting institutional coaches to observe the prospective student-athletes participating in the activity.

 

Question No. 7: During the July dead periods, may an institution conduct institutional camps and clinics?

Answer: As specified in Bylaw 13.12.1.5, institutions may not conduct institutional camps and clinics (those that include prospective student-athletes) during dead periods.

 

Question No. 8: If a prospective student-athlete making an official visit is a member of a nontraditional family (e.g., divorce, separation), is it permissible to provide travel expenses to more than two individuals?

Answer: No. It is only permissible to provide travel expenses in conjunction with an official visit to two individuals who are the prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians.

 

Question No. 9: May an institution pay the costs for a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians to receive meals and lodging while in transit to an official visit without starting the 48-hour official visit period?

Answer: Yes.

 

Question No. 10: May a coaching staff member have in-person contact with a prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s relatives or legal guardians during a day of the prospective student-athlete’s competition, provided the prospective student-athlete has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) or has submitted a financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission?

Answer: Yes. The restrictions of Bylaw 13.1, including restrictions on in-person contact with the prospective student-athlete and/or her relatives or legal guardians on a day of competition, no longer apply, provided the prospective student-athlete has signed an NLI or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or the institution has received the prospective student-athlete’s financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission. However, the restrictions of Bylaw 13.1 continue to apply as they relate to other prospective student-athletes. Therefore, even if a prospective student-athlete who has signed an NLI is participating, it is not permissible for a coaching staff member to attend an event that occurs outside of a recruiting or evaluation period. In addition, it is not permissible for a coaching staff member, while having contact with a prospective student-athlete who has signed an NLI, to place himself or herself in a position in which contact is possible with other prospective student-athletes and/or relatives or legal guardians.

 

Question No. 11: When may telephone calls be made to a prospective student-athlete who attends an institution that operates on a nontraditional academic calendar (e.g., Southern Hemisphere)?

Answer: September 1 of her junior year in high school.

 

Question No. 12: During the July evaluation periods, may an institution provide a prospective student-athlete with an expense paid visit?

Answer: As specified in Bylaw 13.6.2.2.2, institutions may not provide a prospective student-athlete with an expense paid visit during the July evaluation periods.

 

Question No. 13: Does the restriction on in-person contact on the date of competition apply only to a prospective student-athlete’s basketball competitions or all sports in which the prospective student-athlete competes?

Answer: The restriction on in-person contact applies to all contests in which a prospective student-athlete participates, not just basketball contests.

 

Editor’s Note: This column was updated November 18, 2013, to add two additional questions (Question Nos. 6 and 13) and to clarify another question (Question No. 10). The previous publication date was kept to maintain date link with additional education columns associated with the women’s basketball recruiting model.

 

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.

Daily Compliance Item- 11/19/13- 13.1.6.2- Communication During a PSA’s Competition

The Ocean State University Assistant Men’s Basketball coaches are going to attend a game tonight to watch Point Guard, one of their NLI signees, play.  Prior to the game, the coaches want to say hello to Point and wish him luck in the game.

 

Is it permissible for the coaches to have contact with Point on the day of his game?

 

Yes with conditions.  NCAA Educational Colum- 11/18/13-  NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Recruiting Model (I) – includes questions and answers that can assist  the membership in applying NCAA Division I legislation as it relates to the men’s basketball recruiting model.

 

Question No. 1: Do evaluation activities during the April evaluation periods count toward the 130 recruiting-person days restriction and the limit of seven recruiting opportunities per prospective student-athlete?

Answer: Yes. Evaluations during April must be included in the 130 recruiting-person days and count toward the limit of seven recruiting opportunities per prospective student-athlete. Note that if an event is conducted on consecutive days in a tournament format, an institution would only be charged with a single recruiting opportunity per prospective student-athlete.

 

Question No. 2: During recruiting periods, is it permissible for an institution’s coach to sit with a prospective student-athlete’s parents during the prospective student-athlete’s contest or to have in-person contact with the prospective student-athlete after the contest once he has been released?

Answer: No. It is not permissible to have in-person contact with a prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s relatives or legal guardians during the day of the prospective student-athlete’s competition, including time before and after the competition.

 

Question No. 3: Is it permissible for an institution to make a telephone call to a prospective student-athlete who has reported on call for competition or competition-related activities?

Answer: No. It is not permissible to make a telephone call to a prospective student-athlete who has reported on call for competition or competition-related activities until he has been released by the appropriate institutional authority in accordance with the parameters of NCAA Bylaw 13.1.6.2.

 

Question No. 4: Is it permissible for an institution to send an email or other form of electronic correspondence (e.g., text message) to a prospective student-athlete who has reported on call for competition or competition-related activities?

Answer: It is not permissible to send electronic correspondence to a prospective student-athlete while he is on call for competition at the competition site (e.g., arena, stadium). However, it is permissible to send general correspondence (including electronic correspondence) to a prospective student-athlete while he is on call and not at the competition site, or while he is at any location, once released by the appropriate authority.

 

Question No. 5: Is it permissible for an institution to make a telephone call, send an email, or send another form of electronic correspondence (e.g., text message) to a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians while the prospective student-athlete is on call for competition or competition-related activities? What if the prospective student-athlete is participating in a certified event?

Answer: It is permissible to make a telephone call, send an email, or send another form of electronic correspondence (e.g., text message) to a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians while the prospective student-athlete is on call for competition or competition-related activities. Such communication may also occur with a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians while the prospective student-athlete is participating in a certified event. However, all communication with a prospective student-athlete’s coach or any individual associated with the prospective student-athlete as a result of the prospective student-athlete’s participation in basketball, directly or indirectly, is prohibited during the time period in which the prospective student-athlete is participating in a certified event.

 

Question No. 6: During the April evaluation periods, is it permissible for coaches to attend events other than certified events (e.g., noninstitutional organized events that are approved, sponsored or conducted by an applicable state, national or international governing body and are not organized and conducted primarily for a recruiting purpose)? Is it permissible for a coach to visit a high school to talk to a high school coach or pick up a transcript?

Answer: No. Evaluations of live athletics activities during the April evaluation periods are specifically limited to events that are certified pursuant to Bylaw 13.18. No other off-campus evaluation activities may occur during the April evaluation periods.

 

Question No. 7: During the academic year recruiting period, is it permissible for coaches to evaluate at an “open gym”?

Answer: It would be permissible for coaches to evaluate if the “open gym” (or pick-up game or similar activity) has been approved by the appropriate authority at the scholastic institution as a regular scholastic activity; it involves only students enrolled at the institution where the activity is occurring; and it is not organized for the purpose of permitting institutional coaches to observe the prospective student-athletes participating in the activity.

 

Question No. 8: During the July dead periods, may an institution conduct institutional camps and clinics?

Answer: As specified in Bylaw 13.12.1.5, institutions may not conduct institutional camps and clinics (those that include prospective student-athletes) during dead periods.

 

Question No. 9: If a prospective student-athlete making an official visit is a member of a nontraditional family (e.g., divorce, separation), is it permissible to provide travel expenses to more than two individuals?

Answer: No. It is only permissible to provide travel expenses in conjunction with an official visit to two individuals who are the prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians.

Question No. 10: May an institution pay the costs for a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians to receive meals and lodging while in transit to an official visit without starting the 48-hour official visit period?

Answer: Yes.

 

Question No. 11: May a coaching staff member have in-person contact with a prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s relatives or legal guardians during a day of the prospective student-athlete’s competition, provided the prospective student-athlete has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) or has submitted a financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission?

Answer: If a prospective student-athlete has signed a NLI or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or the institution has received the prospective student-athlete’s financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission, the restrictions of Bylaw 13.1, including restrictions on in-person contact with the prospective student-athlete and/or his relatives or legal guardians on a day of competition, no longer apply. However, the restrictions of Bylaw 13.1 continue to apply as they relate to other prospective student-athletes. Therefore, even if a prospective student-athlete who has signed a NLI is participating, it remains impermissible for a coaching staff member to attend an event that occurs outside of a recruiting or evaluation period. In addition, it is impermissible for a coaching staff member, while having contact with a prospective student-athlete who has signed a NLI, to place himself or herself in a position in which contact is possible with other prospective student-athletes and/or relative or legal guardians.

 

Question No. 12: Does the restriction on in-person contact on the date of competition apply only to a prospective student-athlete’s basketball competitions or all sports in which the prospective student-athlete competes?

Answer: The restriction on in-person contact applies to all contests in which a prospective student-athlete participates, not just basketball contests.

 

Editor’s Note: This column was updated November 18, 2013, to add an additional question (Question No. 12).

 

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 11.7.4.3.1 (exception — basketball — July evaluation periods), 13.02.5.3 (recruiting period — men’s basketball), 13.1.5.3 (contacts — men’s basketball), 13.1.6.2 (contact restrictions — competition site), 13.1.6.2.1 (additional restriction — men’s and women’s basketball), 13.1.6.2.1.1 (exceptions — men’s basketball), 13.1.7.8 (basketball evaluations), 13.4.1 (recruiting materials), 13.4.1.2.1 (electronic transmission — exception — men’s basketball), 13.5.2.6.1 (exception — transportation expenses for a prospective student-athletes parents or legal guardians — men’s basketball), 13.6.7.1.1 (meals and lodging while in transit) and 13.17.2 (recruiting calendar — men’s basketball)]

 

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.

Daily Compliance Item- 11/18/13- 16.8- Travel Expenses for Competition

Ocean State University (OSU)  travel coordinator has begun researching travel options for the football, men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes that will be traveling to and from campus during the Christmas vacation period due to participation in competitions.  If some of the student-athletes choose to go home after the competition instead of returning to campus, can OSU pay those expeneses?

With the adoption of RWG-16-7, an institution may use its discretion to determine if actual and necessary expenses are incidental to a student-athlete’s participation in practice and competition activities, including travel expenses for a student-athlete that does not use team transportation.  NCAA Educational Column- 11/14/13-  Travel Expenses for Practice and Competition (I) – states that  NCAA Division I member institutions should note that, with the adoption of NCAA Division I Proposal No. RWG-16-7, an institution may provide actual and necessary expenses to a student-athlete to represent the institution in practice and competition, including travel expenses incidental to practice or competition. This provides member institutions flexibility when determining which travel expenses may be reasonably considered incidental to practice or competition, including expenses for student-athletes who do not travel with the team to or from competition during vacation periods (e.g., travel from the competition site to home prior to returning to campus) and travel to the institution for purposes of engaging in required practice activities after the student-athlete’s initial arrival on campus for the academic year. Institutions should note the following specific limitations when applying the legislation governing travel for practice or competition:

1. To receive competition-related expenses, the student-athlete must be eligible for the away-from-home competition, even if practice activities will also be associated with the travel.

2. An institution may provide travel expenses only if the student-athlete actually incurs such expenses.

3. Travel expenses must be based on the transportation actually used by the student-athlete.

4. An institution may not provide expenses for a prospective student-athlete’s initial arrival at the institution except for transportation from the nearest bus or train station or major airport to the campus. A continuing student-athlete may not receive expenses for his or her initial arrival at the institution for each academic year.

5. In bowl subdivision football, an institution may not provide expenses to a student-athlete who is a midyear enrollee (freshman or transfer) for participation in a postseason bowl game that occurs before or during the student-athlete’s initial term of full-time enrollment at the institution.

Finally, an institution may not provide a student-athlete cash for anticipated travel expenses unless the amount provided does not exceed the student-athlete’s actual travel costs and institutional policies and procedures applicable to all student-athletes permit providing cash for travel expenses prior to the student-athlete incurring the expense.

 

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.5.4 (transportation to enroll or to attend required orientation), 16.8 (expenses provided by the institution for practice and competition), 16.8.1 (permissible), 16.8.1.1 (incidental expenses at NCAA championships, national governing body championships in emerging sports and postseason bowl games), 16.8.2 (nonpermissible), 16.8.2.1 (expenses for participation in postseason bowl games – midyear enrollee – bowl subdivision football) and 16.11.2.2 (other prohibited benefits)]

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.