Kick Board is a senior prospective student-athlete that is interested in participating on Ocean State University’s (OSU) swim team next year. Last weekend, Kick visited the OSU campus for an official visit. While he was in town for the visit, he also competed in a national competition at a local swim club. The coaches provided Kick a campus tour on the morning of the competition and then drove him to the pool.
Are there any issues with the above scenario?
Yes. While it was okay for OSU to provide an official visit to Kick during the same weekend he had a competition, it was not permissible for OSU to transport him to and from the competition or have contact with Kick on the day of the competition. NCAA Staff Interpretation- 12/19/14- Prospective Student-Athlete Participating in Competition During an Official Visit (I)- states that a prospective student-athlete may participate in competition that is not conducted by the institution during his or her official visit. Further, an institution may provide travel expenses to and from campus for the official visit, provided the competition occurs within the 48-hour period of the official visit and the institution does not pay additional expenses associated with the competition (e.g., transportation to or from the competition, meals during the competition, registration fee). The staff noted that, in sports other than basketball, contact may not be made with the prospective student-athlete prior to any athletics competition in which the he or she is a participant during the day or days of competition. In basketball, in-person contact may not be made with a prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s relatives or legal guardians during the day of the prospective student-athlete’s competition (e.g., before and after the competition).
[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 22.214.171.124 (practice or competition site), 126.96.36.199 (visit while competing in open event), 13.6.4 (length of official visit), 188.8.131.52 (48-hour period defined), and 13.11.1 (prohibited activities); staff interpretations (12/21/88, Item No. j) which has been archived, (1/25/95, Item No. c); and (5/9/07, Item No. 1)]