The Ocean State University (OSU) men’s soccer team won the Ocean Eleven’s Conference Tournament last year. A few of the student-athletes wanted to upgrade the quality of their championship rings, so they each paid an extra $150 to get nicer ones.
Is this permissible?
No. NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199 states that the value of an award may not exceed specified value limits, and a student-athlete may not contribute to its purchase in order to meet those limits.
This is an actual fact pattern of a secondary rules violation. The institution was required to request reinstatement for the involved student-athletes’ eligibility.