|Ocean State University Orcas Women’s Basketball team has advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Since the tournament is being hosted in a neighboring state, the demand for tickets is high. OSU has permitted each player to get 6 complimentary admissions, but Charity Stripe is still looking for 4 additional tickets to get her family and friends to the game tomorrow.
A few of Charity’s teammates are not utilizing all of their complimentary admissions, but that still leaves Charity one short for her friend. The Director of Operations was hospitalized recently and won’t be able to travel with the team, so she told Charity that she could use one of her tickets for her friend.
Is it permissible for Charity to use the DOBO’s ticket for her friend (who also happens to be a recent commit to the Orcas) for the game?
No. It would be an extra benefit for a coach/administrator to give a ticket to a student-athlete to be used as complimentary admission for a student-athlete’s guest. Student-athletes may only provide up to the maximum allowed per game. NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52.1 states that an institution may provide each student-athlete who participates in or is a member of a team participating in a postseason event (e.g., conference championship, NCAA championship, National Invitation Tournament, bowl game) with six complimentary admissions to all intercollegiate athletics events at the site at which the student (or team) participates.
Additionally, NCAA Staff Interpretation- 6/14/96- Complimentary Admissions to NCAA Championships– states that it is not permissible, under any circumstances, for a student-athlete to provide a prospect with a complimentary admission to an NCAA championship or other postseason contest in which the student-athlete is a participant.
[References: 184.108.40.206.2 (NCAA championships or other postseason contests), 220.127.116.11 (NCAA champsionships or other postseason contests), 18.104.22.168 (complimentary admissions and ticket benefits — Division I regulations), 22.214.171.124 (complimentary admissions and ticket benefits — Division II regulations) and 126.96.36.199 (complimentary admissions and ticket benefits — Division III regulations)]