The Ocean State University women’s basketball team is participating in a qualifying multi-team event this month in Las Vegas. While they are not playing, they would like to scout the other teams. Is this permissible?
Yes with conditions. NCAA Edcuational Column- 11/16/07- Qualifying Regular-Season Multiple-Team Events — Scouting Limitations and Participation Awards (I)- states that in basketball, off-campus, in-person scouting of opponents is prohibited, except as provided in NCAA Bylaw 22.214.171.124, which states that an institution may pay the expenses for a member of its basketball coaching staff to attend a regular-season or postseason tournament, or a double-header event in which the institution’s team is a participant. Under such circumstances, the individual may scout future opponents also participating in the same tournament or double-header event at the same site without being subject to the scouting prohibition in Bylaw 11.6.1.
NCAA Division I institutions should note that members of the coaching staff are permitted to scout a future opponent competing in the same qualifying regular-season multiple-team event at the same site as their institution’s team even if the qualifying regular-season multiple-team event is not conducted in a traditional tournament format (e.g., single-elimination format in which a winner is declared at the conclusion of the event). However, a member of the institution’s coaching staff, would not be permitted to travel to a different site that is hosting competition for the same qualifying regular-season multiple-team event in which the coach’s team is participating in order scout future opponents (even if none of the teams participating at the other site are on the institution’s schedule at the time of the event).
Lastly, it is permissible to provide special-event participation awards to student-athletes participating in a qualifying regular-season multiple-team event. Such awards must be provided by either the institution or the management of the qualifying regular-season multiple-team event and must be limited to a $350 value.
[References: NCAA Bylaws 11.6 (limitations on scouting of opponents), 126.96.36.199 (regular-season tournaments, double-header events or postseason tournaments), 188.8.131.52 (participation awards) and 184.108.40.206.1 (qualifying regular-season multiple-team event)]