Daily Compliance Item 2/17/14- 16.7- Entertainment on Required Day Off

Classes are not in session today at Ocean State University (OSU) in observance of President’s Day.  The baseball team played a double header yesterday, so the student-athletes were unable to go home for the long weekend.  Today is the baseball team’s once per week required day off.  Is it permissible for OSU to provide the student-ahtletes with some form of reasonable entertainment today?

Yes.  NCAA Bylaw 16.7 states that an institution, conference or the NCAA may provide reasonable entertainment (but may not provide cash for such entertainment) to student-athletes in conjunction with practice or competition. [R] (Revised: 1/19/13 effective 8/1/13)

The 8/2/13 NCAA Working Group on Collegiate Model- Rules Q&A- RWG 16-6- states:

Question:  May entertainment be provided during the required day off during the playing season?

Answer:  Yes.

Daily Compliance Item 2/14/14- Current Event

August possible for new structure

ESPN.com

A seven-member steering committee with the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors is working to provide wealthier conferences with “a range” of autonomy — namely the freedom to provide athletes the full cost of scholarships — and hopes to have a new structure in place by August, said the board’s chair, Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch.

“We’re not talking about full autonomy,” Hatch told ESPN.com. “We’re talking about a range of issues.”

Hatch said he is confident change is imminent.

“It definitely will” change, he said. “Membership can vote it down, but this has been a huge process. … The board last fall had a whole day of hearings. We’ve talked to coaches, students, athletic directors, big schools, small schools, the Knight Commission, faculty-athletic representatives, and I think we can craft a compromise that makes the board more nimble, more strategic, in some ways more like a confederation that allows big schools certain ways to expend some of their new revenue on behalf of student-athletes.”

Hatch said another prominent focus has been making athletic directors more directly and heavily involved in the NCAA’s rule-making. Over time, many of those responsibilities have been delegated to university presidents and chancellors. Hatch said that the 18-member board, which meets four times a year, will recommend that it be smaller and more strategic, and that there be a council comprised mainly of athletic directors “that does the nuts and bolts of business in the NCAA.”

“There’s been kind of a retreat of fundamental involvement by the athletic directors, who are the people on our campuses who make all of this work,” Hatch said.

“We’ve been engaged heavily with them in this process and they have been very responsive. To give them a more integral role in NCAA governance is critical.”

“They welcome it,” he said. “We’re doing that very much in dialogue with them.”

Hatch said that under the new structure, the bigger conferences would have more flexibility, but just how much more is what the committee is in the process of determining. They wouldn’t, for example, be allowed to change academic standards, or allow more scholarships for a given sport.

“There’s a range of things that would not be under autonomy,” he said. “Trying to distinguish what is and what isn’t is our current challenge. We hope the board can approve this by the summer.”

This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Daily Compliance Item 2/13/14- 13.6.7.7- Meals on FB Official Visit

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), 13.6.7.7 (meals on official visit), 13.6.7.7.2 (exception-meals-football) and 13.6.9 (lodging for additional persons), and a staff interpretation (12/5/2013, Item No. b)]

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 2/12/14- 12.5.2.1- Promotion of Birthday Party

Charley Cross Country is a student-athlete at Ocean State University.  Charley allowed the use of her name and photograph to promote a social event via a social networking site. Specifically, a friend who works for a local promotional firm contacted Charley  asking if she would be interested in having a birthday party at a local nightclub. Charley agreed to the party. Without Charley’s knowledge, her friend designed a digital poster to promote the party using Charley’s name and photo that included the name of promotional firm and commercial establishment where the party would be held.  Charley ‘s friend sent the poster to Charley via a social networking site.  Charley did not sign a contract with either the commercial establishment, nor did she receive any compensation or remuneration for use of her name and picture. Charley stated she did not realize that sending the poster to others via her social networking site would be considered an advertisement for the promotional firm and commercial establishment.  Charley was only hoping to promote her own birthday party. Charley attended the party and paid a cover charge, but did not receive any benefits.

Is this a violation?

Yes.  NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2.1 states that after becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual:

(a) Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind; or

(b) Receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such product or service.

This is an actual fact pattern for a secondary violation posted on LSDBi.  In this case, the student-athlete was instructed to remove the poster from  his social networking site and a cease-and-desist letter was sent to promotional firm which included education about using student-athlete names and pictures.   Lastly, the violation was  discussed at the next coaches meeting.

 

Daily Compliance Item 2/11/14- 13.4.1.4- Automated Emails

The Ocean State University (OSU) women’s tennis coaches would like to follow their recruits on twitter.  Most of the young ladies have their accounts set to receive an automated email when they have a new follower.  If any of these recruits are not yet of age to receive emails, can the OSU coaches follow them on twitter?

Yes with conditions.  NCAA Educational Column- 2/10/14-  Electronic Transmissions, Social Media Platforms and Recruiting (I) – states that  NCAA Division I member institutions are reminded that an athletics department staff member’s personal website or social media profile [or personal page on any site (e.g., Twitter, tumblr, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn)] may include information related to the institution’s athletics program, subject to the same restrictions applicable to an institution’s athletics website. Accordingly, a personal site may contain information not created for a recruiting purpose (e.g., game scores, season updates, facility updates, information regarding the coaching staff or current or former student-athletes). However, it is not permissible to include information about or directed toward a specific prospective student-athlete or to post video or audio materials directed toward prospective student-athletes generally unless such content is produced by the institution’s official admissions or student-services office and available to all students or is not created for a recruiting purpose (e.g., interviews with current student-athletes or game highlights targeted to a general audience).

Institutions should note that the legislation governing publicity, correspondence and electronic transmissions is also applicable to an athletics department staff member’s personal website. For example, a member institution or athletics department staff member may not comment publicly about a prospective student-athlete, other than to confirm recruitment, before the prospective student-athlete has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) or an institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid, or prior to receipt of the student-athlete’s financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission. The institution is also precluded from commenting in any manner as to the likelihood that a prospective student-athlete will sign with that institution and may not publicize (or arrange for the publicity of) a prospective student-athlete’s visit to campus, including any camp or clinic held on the institution’s campus, before the prospective student-athlete has signed a NLI, the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or prior to receipt of his or her financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission. Further, an athletics department staff member may not promote or endorse a prospective student-athlete’s team or coach, or an athletics facility that is primarily used by prospective student-athletes.

Finally, institutions should note, in sports other than basketball and men’s ice hockey, all forms of electronically transmitted correspondence to a prospective student-athlete, other than electronic mail (traditional email, and other communication through electronic services and applications comparable to traditional email in which a message is sent directly to another individual) and facsimile, are prohibited until after the prospective student-athlete signs a NLI or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or after the institution has received a financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission. Examples of prohibited electronic correspondence include, but are not limited to text messages, instant messages, SnapChat and comments on a prospective student-athlete’s wall or page.

In basketball and men’s ice hockey, any type of electronically transmitted correspondence (e.g., e-mail, facsimile, instant message, text message, SnapChat, etc.) may be sent to a prospective-student athlete, provided the correspondence is sent directly to the prospective student-athlete (or his or her parents or legal guardians) and is private between the sender and recipient. Once a prospective student-athlete signs a NLI or an institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or after the institution receives a financial deposit from the prospective student-athlete in response to the institution’s offer of admission, the institution may communicate publicly with that prospective student-athlete.

The following questions and answers are designed to assist the Division I membership with the application of the legislation governing use of social media.

Question No 1: Is it permissible to send correspondence to a prospective student-athlete using email equivalent functions that are available on social media platforms?

Answer: Yes. Email is not limited to traditional email services provided by an institution, website or Internet service provider. Permissible email communication extends to communication through electronic services and applications comparable to traditional email in which a message is sent directly to another individual. Accordingly, it is permissible for an athletics department staff member to send electronically transmitted correspondence to a prospective student-athlete using a service that permits a private message to be sent between only the sender and recipient in a manner comparable to traditional email (e.g., Twitter “direct message,” Facebook messenger, Instagram Direct, etc.). Any pictures or audio/video clips included in such messaging cannot be created for a recruiting purpose or must fit within a specific category of institutionally produced audio/video materials expressly permitted under the recruiting materials legislation that may be provided via e-mail attachment or hyperlink. Electronically transmitted correspondence through other services or applications that may be directed to a specific individual but are accessible to other users of the service or application (e.g., Twitter “@replies” or “mentions,” Facebook wall-to-wall feature) are not considered an email equivalent. Finally, institutions should note that whether a permissible form of electronic communication occurred is based on the mode of communication used, not on how a service stores or catalogs the communication after the communication ends.

Question No. 2: In sports other than basketball and men’s ice hockey, may institutional staff members use a service or software to convert an email into a text message or other prohibited form or electronically transmitted correspondence?

Answer: No. Further, to the extent an athletics department staff member is aware that a prospective student-athlete is receiving a permissible form of electronic communication in an impermissible format (e.g., receiving email as text messages), such electronic transmission is prohibited.

Question No. 3: May a coach or other institutional staff member and a prospective student-athlete connect via social media (e.g., “friend” each other on Facebook, “follow” each other on Twitter) prior to the first permissible date to provide recruiting materials?

Answer: Yes, provided the only communication to the prospective student-athlete is an electronic notification automatically generated by the social media platform (e.g., the platform notifies a prospective student-athlete that he or she has received a friend request) and the coach or other institutional staff member does not include any additional language in either the request or the reply. Once connected, all limitations governing recruiting correspondence, electronic communication and publicity remain in effect until the prospective student-athlete has signed a NLI or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or the institution has received his or her financial deposit in response to its offer of admission.

Question No. 4: May a coach or other athletics department staff members communicate publicly with or about a prospective student-athlete on a social media platform?

Answer: A coach or other athletics department staff member may not communicate publicly with a prospective student-athlete until the prospective student-athlete has signed a NLI or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or the institution has received his or her financial deposit in response to its offer of admission. Prior to that time, public communication with or about a prospective student-athlete is contrary to the publicity legislation. Further, a coach or other athletics department staff member may not publicly reference the name, nickname or other personally identifiable information (e.g., address) of a prospective student-athlete, other than to confirm recruitment of the prospective student-athlete, nor may a coach or athletics department staff member forward or republish identifiable information generated by a prospective student-athlete (e.g., “retweet”).

Question No. 5: May a current student-athlete and a prospective student-athlete connect and communicate via a social media platform at any time and publicly communicate with or about a prospective student-athlete?

Answer: Yes, provided the communication does not occur at the direction of a coach or other athletics department staff member and the communication does not relate to the prospective student-athlete’s recruitment (e.g., a student-athlete may not publicly comment on a prospective student-athlete’s verbal commitment, a student-athlete may not post any information that would publicize a prospective student-athlete’s visit to campus), including information that was initially generated by the prospective student-athlete (e.g., “retweet”).

Question No. 6: May a coach or other athletics department staff member connect and communicate publicly with a prospective student-athlete’s coach or team via a social media platform at any time?

Answer: Although it is permissible to connect and communicate with a prospective student-athlete’s coach via private communication at any time, coaches and other athletics department staff members are not permitted to make any public comment that promotes or endorses any prospective student-athlete’s coach or team, or an athletics facility that is primarily used by prospective student-athletes.

Question No. 7: May a coach send a generic good luck or congratulatory message which mentions a specific high school on social media (e.g., a tweet on Twitter or a Facebook wall post that states, “Good luck, City High School, during the 2013 soccer season!”)?

Answer: No. Such messages would constitute an endorsement of the high school.

Question No. 8: If an athletics department staff member’s son or daughter is a prospective student-athlete, is it permissible for the staff member to send a good luck or congratulatory message in which the son or daughter’s high school or team is mentioned (e.g., “Congrats to my daughter, Suzie, and the Central High volleyball team on winning the conference tournament this weekend!”)?

Answer: Yes; however, the staff member is not permitted to comment specifically on any other prospective student-athlete on the team unless the prospective student-athlete has signed a NLI or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or the institution has received his or her financial deposit in response to its offer of admission.

Question No. 9: If an athletics department staff member has a pre-existing relationship with a high school coach, is it permissible for the staff member to send a good luck or congratulatory message mentioning the coach’s name (e.g., “Congrats, Coach Smith, on your 400th career victory! Proud of you, my friend.”)?

Answer: No. This would constitute an impermissible endorsement of the mentioned coach.

Question No. 10: May an athletics department staff member post a tweet commenting on a particular facility used by prospective student-athletes (e.g. “Great ballgame at Township High School. One of the best high school baseball fields in the country!”)?

Answer: No. While it is permissible for an institutional staff member to publicly post generic information on a social networking website including locations visited (e.g., visit to a high school or town, attending a contest), comments made about a specific prospective student-athlete, coach, high school or athletics facility that is primarily used by prospective student-athletes are not permissible.

Question No. 11: May an institutional staff member post an individual photograph of a prospective student-athlete taken during a camp or clinic on the institution’s campus to the staff member’s microblog, personal website, institutional website, social networking or other social media site?

Answer: Although it is permissible for a picture of a prospective student-athlete taken while visiting the institution’s campus, including attendance at any camp or clinic held on the institution’s campus, to be used in permissible publicity and promotional materials such as press releases, media guides or camp brochures, an individual or “staged” photograph of a prospective student-athlete cannot be posted to any of the above platforms prior to the prospective student-athlete signing a NLI, an institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or receipt of his or her financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission.

[References: NCAA Bylaws 11.3.2.8 (promotion or endorsement of a prospective student-athlete’s team, coach or athletics facility), 13.4.1.4 (electronic transmissions), 13.4.1.4.1 (exception – basketball and men’s ice hockey), 13.4.1.4.2 (exception — electronic transmissions after commitment), 13.10.2.1 (comments before commitment), 13.10.2.4 (prospective student-athlete’s visit), 13.10.2.7 (photograph of prospective student-athlete) and 13.10.3 (publicity after commitment); official interpretation (3/14/07, Item No. 2); staff interpretation (09/09/13, Item No. b) and staff interpretation (12/05/13, Item No. a)]

 

Daily Compliance Item 2/10/14- 13.2.1, 13.15.2.1- Signee’s Initial Eligibility Information

The Ocean State University (OSU) academic advisors within the athletic department want to make sure all of OSU’s recent signees are on track with meeting NCAA initial eligibility standards.  They would like to review the signees’ transcripts and test scores, so they ask the guidance counselors at each of the signees’ high schools for this information.  So there is not a delay in receiving these documents, can OSU pay for express delivery charges for the high schoolsl?

Yes.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 2/7/14- Institution Providing Expenses to Related to Delivery of a Prospective Student-Athlete’s Transcript and Test Score (I) – states that  it is permissible for an institution to provide expenses (e.g., transcript fee, express delivery charges) for a prospective student-athlete’s institution to send his or her academic transcript to the institution or the NCAA Eligibility Center and to pay the fee for a prospective student-athlete’s ACT or SAT score to be sent from the testing agency to the institution, provided the prospective student-athlete has signed a National Letter of Intent or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or the institution has received his or her financial deposit in response to its offer of admission.

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.2.1 (offers and inducements — general regulation) and 13.15.2.1 (ACT and SAT scores); Official Interpretations (4/6/94, Item No. 4) and (4/13/90, Item No. 9), which has been archived; and a staff interpretation (12/20/13, item a), which has been archived.]

Daily Compliance Item 2/7/14- Current Event

Ole Miss, Utah both get letters of intent from D.J. Law

USATODAY.com

OXFORD, Miss. — Both Ole Miss and Utah are claiming it received a National Letter of Intent from Florida athlete D.J. Law.

Ole Miss first announced the signature at 8:23 a.m. today. Utah announced at 3:36 p.m. (central) that he had signed with it.

An Ole Miss spokesman said the school is looking into it. His counterpart at Utah said that she published he had signed as soon “as I was told I could.” But, she said, she thinks the school received the letter of intent earlier in the day.

Adding more weirdness to the story is this video from local TV news station Bay News 9, in which Law is clearly choosing Utah and is seen wearing a Utes hat.

In at least one frame a woman behind him is wearing an Ole Miss t-shirt.

Whatever school had its NLI verified and recorded by its conference office is the one who would likely have a claim on the player. It could also go to what the time stamps on the respective forms say (all letters of intent on National Signing Day have to indicate when exactly it was signed).

The most likely scenario at this point is that Ole Miss effectively releases Law from his scholarship, especially since he is considered a sign-and-place player that is destined to end up playing junior college football.

Law actually triple-signed: He also has inked with East Mississippi Community College. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete from Haines City, Fla. is a three-star prospect that scored 20 total touchdowns last season.

“That was another midweek decision that we had to make, whether we were going to go all-out on him, stay in it with another guy that was very similar and we made the decision to go with D.J.,” coach Hugh Freeze said. “Really fell in love with him on his trip here. He’s a kid from a very humble background, has had several hardships in his life and I’m totally convinced this kid wants to make something of himself. He’s going to have some academic challenges also because of the issues he faced as a ninth-grader. Hopefully he can overcome those and get with us this fall. We’re thrilled.”

This article was selected for educational purposes only.