Ocean State University (OSU) is hosting a few recruits on official visits this weekend. One of the recruits is bringing his parents, younger sister and younger brother with him. The younger brother is in 10th grade but is not being recruited by OSU. Can OSU provide all of his family members with meals during the official visit? Would the answer be the same if OSU was recruiting the younger brother?
Yes it is permissible to provide all four of his family members with meals. The answer would remain the same if OSU was recruiting the younger brother. Keep in mind that OSU would need to be careful in terms of lodging so that the younger brother did not trigger the official visit legislation. NCAA Educational Column- 2/12/14- Football Official Visits — Meals and Lodging of Prospect-Aged Siblings (I) – states that during an official visit in football, an institution is permitted to provide meals for up to four family members accompanying a prospective student-athlete on an official visit. Further, it is permissible for a prospect-aged sibling of the prospective student-athlete to be among the four family members who receives meals, even if he or she is being recruited by the institution. Provided no recruitment of the prospect-aged sibling occurs during the visit, receiving the meals will not trigger an official visit for the sibling. However, providing lodging for a prospect-aged sibling is subject to a different standard. If a prospect-aged sibling that is being recruited by the institution stays as an additional person in the same room as the prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s parents, spouse or legal guardians, then an official visit would trigger for the prospect-aged sibling, regardless of whether any additional costs result from the additional occupant or whether recruitment of the sibling occurs during the visit.
[References: NCAA Bylaws 13.02.13.1 (recruited prospective student-athlete), 22.214.171.124 (meals on official visit), 126.96.36.199.2 (exception-meals-football) and 13.6.9 (lodging for additional persons), and a staff interpretation (12/5/2013, Item No. b)]
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