The men’s basketball coaches want to donate to a local organization that provides educational programs to children, ages 5-18, of veterans. Because some of the participants are of prospect age, is it okay for the coaches to donate to the organization?
Yes as long as the funds are not earmarked for those participants that are of prospect age. NCAA Educational Column- 6/14/12 (updated 4/16/15) Recruiting — Men’s Basketball — Donations to Nonprofit Foundations (I)- provides clarification on donations.
Editor’s Note: This educational column was updated April 16, 2015, with the addition of Question No. 9 to provide additional clarification to the membership. The original posting date was kept for ease of reference.
NCAA Division I institutions should note that on April 26, 2012, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted to transfer the interpretive authority for basketball issues from the NCAA enforcement staff to academic and membership affairs, effective June 15, 2012. This educational column is intended to assist the membership with the transition of interpretive authority and provide clarity regarding interpretive issues the enforcement staff has addressed since the Board’s actions on October 29, 2009. Any questions related to the issues noted within this educational column should be directed to the academic and membership affairs staff.
Question No. 1: Is it permissible for an institution or a men’s basketball staff member to provide money to a nonprofit foundation that expends funds for the benefit of a nonscholastic team, a prospective student-athlete (PSA) or an individual associated with a prospective student-athlete (IAWP)?
Answer: No. A violation of Division I Bylaws 13.2.1 and/or 220.127.116.11 would occur if an institution or a men’s basketball staff member provides money to a nonprofit foundation that expends funds for the benefit of a nonscholastic team, a PSA or an IAWP.
Question No. 2: What is the definition of an IAWP?
Answer: Per NCAA Division I Bylaw 13.02.17, in men’s basketball, an IAWP is any person who maintains (or directs others to maintain) contact with the PSA, the PSA’s relatives or legal guardians or coaches at any point during the PSA’s participation in basketball, and whose contact is directly or indirectly related to either the PSA’s athletic skills and abilities or the PSA’s recruitment by or enrollment in an NCAA institution. This definition includes, but is not limited to, parents, legal guardians, handlers, personal trainers and coaches. An individual who meets the definition of an IAWP retains such status throughout the involved PSA’s recruitment and enrollment at any secondary and/or NCAA institution.
Question No. 3: What is the primary consideration in determining whether a donation to a nonprofit foundation is permissible?
Answer: The primary consideration is to identify the individuals or entities that receive financial benefits from the nonprofit foundation. The fact that an IAWP is tied to a nonprofit foundation does not necessarily preclude the donation.
Question No. 4: What is included in the prohibition on donations to nonprofit foundations that expend funds for the benefit of a nonscholastic team, a PSA or an IAWP?
Answer: The prohibition includes, but is not limited to, the donation of items to a nonprofit foundation, attendance at an event (e.g., coaches clinic) if a nonprofit foundation derives a financial benefit from the fact that an NCAA Division I coach is present or coaches using personal funds to make a donation to a nonprofit foundation.
Example: An institution’s men’s basketball coach has been asked to speak at a coaches clinic being conducted by a nonprofit organization that was founded by the coach of a nonscholastic men’s basketball team comprised of prospect-aged individuals. The money raised from the coaches clinic will help fund a facility that hosts prospect-aged and non-prospect-aged athletics events, as well as fund the founder’s nonscholastic team. Is it permissible for the institution’s men’s basketball coach to donate his time to speak at the coaches clinic?
Answer: No. A coach may not attend an event (e.g., coaches clinic) conducted or sponsored by a nonprofit foundation if the foundation derives a financial benefit from the Division I coach being present.
Question No. 5: What factors should be considered when reviewing a donation by a representative of the institution’s athletics interests to a nonprofit foundation?
Answer: The institution should consider whether the entity or individual is located in the community in which the representative of the institution’s athletics interests resides, whether the representative of the institution’s athletics interests is acting independently of the institution’s recruiting interests, whether the funds are distributed through established channels in place for the nonprofit foundation conducting the fundraising activity and whether the funds are earmarked directly for any specific PSA.
Question No. 6: Will any donation by a representative of the institution’s athletics interests that benefits a proscribed individual or entity outside of the representative’s local community be presumed to be a violation?
Question No. 7: Is the specific money trail followed to determine whether the donation to a nonprofit foundation benefits a nonscholastic team, a PSA or an IAWP?
Answer: No. If a men’s basketball staff member provides a donation to a nonprofit foundation and funds from that nonprofit foundation benefit a nonscholastic team, a PSA or an IAWP, a violation is deemed to occur, regardless of how the donation is used.
Question No. 8: A state’s association of basketball coaches (a nonpfrofit organization) is conducting a coaches clinic to raise funds for the state coaches association. Is it permissible for an institution’s men’s basketball coach to attend the clinic?
Answer: Yes, provided the state’s association of basketball coaches does not provide financial benefits to a nonscholastic team, a specific PSA(s) or any one specific IAWP.
Question No. 9: May an institution’s men’s basketball coach donate to a nonathletics organization that provides benefits for prospective student-athletes and nonprospective student-athletes (e.g., the children of deceased first responders and military personnel)?
Answer: Yes. The legislation is not intended to preclude an institution’s men’s basketball coach from donating to a nonathletically related entity that consists of prospects and nonprospects, provided the entity does not earmark or expend funds for the benefit of a nonscholastic basketball team or teams, a specific prospect or prospects or an IAWP.
Question No. 10: What is the annual disclosure requirement?
Answer: Men’s basketball staff members are required, on an annual basis, to affirm that no personal or institutional funds were donated to or solicited for a proscribed nonprofit foundation. This disclosure is subject to Bylaw 10.1, and the form is publicly available on the NCAA website with Division I Compliance Forms.
Question No. 11: What is the penalty if a coaching staff member makes a donation to a proscribed nonprofit foundation?
Answer: The NCAA Division I Board of Directors endorsed and strongly encouraged the use of suspensions of a head men’s basketball and/or assistant men’s basketball coach from coaching in NCAA tournament or regular season games for violations of the legislation.
Question No. 12: What is the impact on a student-athlete’s eligibility if a coaching staff member makes an impermissible donation to a nonprofit foundation?
Answer: Any resulting violation is only an institutional violation and does not affect the eligibility of the involved PSA(s). However, per Bylaw 18.104.22.168, if a violation of Bylaw 13.15.1 occurs in which a men’s basketball staff member or a representative of the institution’s athletics interests is involved in any way in the operation or planning of a boys’/men’s basketball nonscholastic event on its campus, the institution shall declare each involved PSA ineligible.
Question No. 13: What are best practices in identifying and analyzing donations to nonprofit foundations?
Answer: The institution should conduct an inquiry regarding the nonprofit foundation if an IAWP is involved (e.g., founder, board of directors, etc.) with the nonprofit foundation, the nonprofit foundation is affiliated with or supports a nonscholastic basketball team, or an IAWP asked the institution or a men’s basketball coaching staff member to make a donation to the nonprofit foundation.
[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 10.1 (unethical conduct), 13.02.17 (individual associated with a prospective student-athlete — men’s basketball), 13.2.1 (offers and inducements — general regulation), 13.15.1 (precollege expenses — prohibited expenses), 22.214.171.124 (donation to nonprofit foundation — men’s basketball), 126.96.36.199 (notification of ineligibility and consequences — men’s basketball), staff interpretation (12/18/2009, Item c) and educational columns (2/8/2010 and 10/27/2011)]