The Ocean State Men’s Basketball team will be participating in the NCAA tournament on Friday. They do not play until the evening session, so a few of the student-athletes would like to go watch some of the earlier games to see the teams they could play later on in the tournament. Is this permissible?
Yes. NCAA Staff Interpretation- 3/17/14- Institution’s Team Observing Opponent’s Competition (I) – states that it is not permissible for an institution to pay expenses for the institution’s team to scout a future opponent as entertainment in conjunction with practice or competition. However, it is permissible for an institution’s team to observe future opponents participating in the same event at the same site, even if there are expenses associated with the observation.
[References: NCAA Bylaws 11.6.1 (off-campus, in-person scouting prohibition); 16.7 (entertainment in conjunction with practice or competition); and staff interpretation (09/27/13, Item No. e, which has been archived)]