Daily Compliance Item- 11.12.15- 13.12.2, 13.12.2.2.3- Employment at Men’s Basketball Camp

Swish is a basketball prospect being recruited by Ocean State University (OSU). Swish plays on a travel team and the coach has been good friends with OSU’s head coach for the past 10 years. The travel coach even worked OSU’s camps 5 years ago. OSU would like to hire Swish’s coach to work a few camps again this summer. Since the OSU and travel team coaches have a long standing relationship, is it permissible for the travel team coach to work OSU’s camps?

No. NCAA Educational Column- 6/14/12- Men’s Basketball — Camp Employment and Camp Logistics Issues (I)provides clarification on the legislation surrounding Individuals Associated with a Prospect. Editor’s Note: Questions No. 9 and 10 of this educational column was updated November 11, 2015 to provide additional clarification in order to avoid membership confusion. The original posting date was kept for ease of reference and to maintain a date link with other Q&A transitioned educational columns for proposals adopted at the same time.

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.

Camp Employment Issues.

Pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 13.12.2.2.3, in men’s basketball, institutions are not permitted to employ (volunteer or paid) an individual associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete at the institution’s or a men’s basketball staff member’s camp or clinic. This legislation is intended to address concerns related to the funneling of money to individuals associated with prospective student-athletes through employment of such individuals at men’s basketball camps or clinics.

If a prospective student-athlete meets the definition of a recruited prospective student-athlete (see Bylaws 13.02.13 or 13.12.1.1.1.1), the institution or men’s basketball staff member is not permitted to employ any individual meeting the definition of an individual associated with that specific prospective student-athlete at the institution’s or men’s basketball staff member’s camp or clinic. The prohibition on camp employment applies only to employing individuals associated with recruited prospective student-athletes at men’s basketball camps or clinics. Therefore, it is permissible to hire an individual associated with a prospective student-athlete to work camp if that individual associated with a prospective student-athlete has no association with a prospective student-athlete that the institution is recruiting or has recruited.

The following questions and answers are designed to assist in the application of this interpretation.

Question No. 1: What is the definition of an individual associated with a prospective student-athlete?

Answer: An individual associated with a prospective student-athlete is any person who maintains (or directs others to maintain) contact with the prospective student-athlete, the prospective student-athlete’s relatives or legal guardians, or coaches at any point during the prospective student-athlete’s participation in basketball, and whose contact is directly or indirectly related to the prospective student-athlete’s athletic skills or abilities; or 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 individual associated with a prospective student-athlete retains that status during the enrollment of that prospective student-athlete at that institution.

Question No. 2: What is the definition of a recruited prospective student-athlete?

Answer: In men’s basketball, for purposes of applying Bylaw 13.12, a recruited prospective student-athlete is a prospective student-athlete who has been recruited pursuant to the definition of recruiting in Bylaw 13.02.13 or the definition of a recruited prospective student-athlete pursuant to Bylaw 13.02.13.1. In addition, Bylaw 13.12.1.1.1.1 provides that a men’s basketball prospective student-athlete is considered a recruited prospective student-athlete if any of the following conditions have occurred:

a. The prospective student-athlete’s attendance at any institutional camp or clinic has been solicited by the institution (or a representative of the institution’s athletics interests);

b. The institution has provided any recruiting materials to the prospective student-athlete;

c. An institutional coaching staff member has had any recruiting contact [including in-person or electronic contact (e.g., telephone calls, video conference, electronic correspondence)] with the prospective student-athlete (including contact initiated by the prospective student-athlete);

d. The prospective student-athlete has received a verbal offer of athletically related financial aid from the institution; or

e. The prospective student-athlete has verbally committed to attend the institution.

Question No. 3: Is it a violation if an institution employs an individual associated with a prospective student-athlete before a specific prospective student-athlete triggers recruited status?

Answer: No. If an institution employs an individual associated with a prospective student-athlete before a specific prospective student-athlete triggers recruited status, there is no camp employment violation.

Question No. 4: Is it a violation if an institution’s coaching staff decides to begin recruiting the specific prospective student-athlete during the camp in which the individual associated with a prospective student-athlete is employed?

Answer: Yes. In this situation, the staff should wait until after the camp concludes to begin recruiting the prospective student-athlete.

Question No. 5: How long does an individual retain individual associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete status?

Answer: An individual associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete retains that status until the specific recruited prospective student-athlete is no longer eligible to represent the institution, until he enrolls at another NCAA institution or until he has exhausted eligibility at the employing institution.

Question No. 6: Is there a “pre-existing relationship” exception to the prohibition against employment of an individual associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete at a camp?

Answer: No. There is no pre-existing relationship exception to this prohibition. Regardless of whether an individual associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete has worked camps in the past, if the individual is associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete, it is impermissible to employ that individual to work a camp or clinic.

Question No. 7: May individuals associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete who are high school and nonscholastic coaches be employed at institutional team camps?

Answer: No. Such a coach may not be employed by the institution at the camp or receive any financial benefit (e.g., free lodging, transportation, etc.) from the institution. However, high school (scholastic) and nonscholastic coaches who are individuals associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete may still accompany and coach their teams at team camps.

Question No. 8: May a current student-athlete with a younger brother who is of prospective student-athlete age and is being recruited by the institution be employed at his institution’s camp?

Answer: A currently enrolled student-athlete who has a sibling of prospective student-athlete age and who is being recruited by the institution may be employed at his institution’s camp only if all men’s basketball student-athletes are given the opportunity to work the camp. If only a limited number of student-athletes are offered employment, and the institution is recruiting the younger brother, then the current student-athlete may not be employed.

Question No. 9: May a former student-athlete work an institutional camp if the former student-athlete is an individual associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete?

Answer: No. However, if the institution is not recruiting the prospective-student-athlete, the IAWP may be employed at the institution’s men’s basketball camps.

Question No. 10: May a former student-athlete work an institutional men’s basketball camp if the former student-athlete has a son or younger brother who is of prospective student-athlete age being recruited by the institution?

Answer: In general, a familial relationship between an individual and a prospective student-athlete does not automatically result in the individual being considered an IAWP. Therefore, if the former student-athlete does not meet the definition of an IAWP for his or her son or younger brother, the institution may employ the former student-athlete at the institution’s men’s basketball camps, provided the employment and/or compensation is not considered an impermissible inducement.

However, the institution would be precluded from hiring the former student-athlete to work camp if the former student-athlete maintains (or directs others to maintain) contact with the prospective student-athlete (e.g., son or younger brother), the prospective-student-athlete’s relatives or coaches at any point during the prospective student-athlete’s participation in basketball and his or her contact is directly or indirectly related to the prospective student-athlete’s athletic skills and abilities or recruitment by or enrollment in an NCAA institution (IAWP analysis).

Example: The institution wishes to hire a former student-athlete to work an institutional camp for the first time. His younger brother is a prospective student-athlete who is not being recruited by the institution. Does the former student-athlete meet the definition of IAWRP and is he precluded from participating with the camps?

Based on the information provided, the brothers’ relationship is not predicated on athletics. Therefore, as long as the institution is comfortable that the hiring of the older brother is not related to the recruitment of the younger brother, then the arrangement is permissible.

If, however, the institution is recruiting the prospective student-athlete and the former student-athlete is the younger brother’s coach and serves as his primary counselor in the recruiting process, the analysis changes.

In this situation, the older brother’s role as the younger brother’s coach and recruiting process counselor means their relationship is heavily predicated on athletics. Further, prior to recruiting the younger brother, the institution had never hired the former student-athlete to work at one of its camps or clinics. Consequently, the institution must verify that the hiring of the former student-athlete is not related to the recruitment of the brother. Absent such verification, it is not permissible for the institution to hire the former student-athlete to work the camp.

Question No. 11: What institutional penalties can result from employing an individual associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete at an institutional or men’s basketball staff member’s camp or clinic?

Answer: The Board 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 in such cases.

Question No. 12: If an institution impermissibly employs an individual associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete, what impact does the violation have on the prospective student-athlete’s eligibility?

Answer: In the event of a violation, the institution is required to declare all involved prospective student-athletes ineligible at that institution and provide written notification and explanation to all such prospective student-athletes that the actions of the institution affected their eligibility.

Camp Operations Issues.

In men’s basketball, pursuant to Bylaw 13.12.1.4, institutions are not permitted to offer a different participation, registration procedure, fee structure, advertisement and/or logistical experience (e.g., lodging, meals, transportation or awards/mementos) than the institutions’ other men’s/boys’ basketball camps. This legislation is intended to address concerns that institutions use camps and clinics to gain an improper recruiting advantage through “elite camps” that provide participants a vastly different camp experience at a much lower cost (e.g., receipt of equipment and apparel, exclusive accommodations and dining options for a nominal camp fee). All camps must be operated in a similar manner and all camp participants should have a similar camp experience.

Differences in camp operations will likely prompt increased scrutiny by the enforcement staff. Institutions and men’s basketball coaching staffs should be prepared to defend why a camp is operated differently. There must be an objective, logical reason for operating camps differently, and that reason cannot result in a recruiting advantage.

Question No. 1: Do all men’s basketball institutional camps have to use a similar fee structure?

Answer: Yes. Camps must have a similar fee structure (e.g., per day or per week fee). Camp fees may be charged on a per camper or per group basis. Regardless of the method used, the total expenses incurred must be covered by the fee charged to all campers participating in the camp.

Question No. 2: Do discounts to attend an institution’s sports (other than basketball) camps have to be identical to the discounts to attend an institution’s basketball camp?

Answer: All camp discounts must be provided in a similar manner, and the total expenses incurred must be covered by the fee charged to all campers participating in a camp. An institution should have an objective, logical reason for any differences in how camp discounts are applied, and that reason cannot result in a recruiting advantage.

Question No. 3: What impact does a violation have on the involved prospective student-athletes’ eligibility?

Answer: In the event of a violation, the institution is required to declare all involved prospective student-athletes ineligible at that institution and provide those prospective student-athletes written notification and explanation that the institution’s actions affected their eligibility.

Question No. 4: What factors may lead to a determination that an institutional camp is being operated in a different manner from other institutional camps?

Answer: Factors that may lead to a determination that an institutional camp is being operated in a different manner from other institutional camps include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. A significant number of recruited prospective student-athletes or elite high school teams at a particular camp session as compared to other camp sessions.

b. Use of different websites/contacts for camp registration, including varying lengths of time for open registrations.

c. Use of different methods of registration, including being able to contact a men’s basketball coaching staff member to register for a specific camp. For example, if some camps have an online registration component, all camps must have an online registration component.

d. Use of different advertising, including varying lengths of time in which camps are advertised.

e. Pop-up camps or camps scheduled with little or no notice or advertising to potential participants.

f. Use of different facilities for physical activities, lodging, meals, etc. (e.g., competition facility versus practice facility; off-campus lodging versus on-campus residence halls).

g. Use of different modes of local transportation for some campers.

h. Differences in amounts charged or expenses incurred.

i. Differences in costs of awards/mementos presented to campers. Each camp does not have to provide identical awards or mementos; however, the cost of the awards or mementos for each camp should be similar.

j. Differences in the instructional component provided to camp participants. For example, if 75 percent of in-camp time is spent on instruction and 25 percent of in-camp time is spent on competition, that ratio should be similar for all camps.

Question No. 5: If an institution conducts a team camp involving nonscholastic teams participating in some skill instruction, but also playing each other in a randomly assigned, nontournament format (no winner), will this be viewed as hosting a nonscholastic practice or competition on campus?

Answer: There is no restriction on the types of teams that may participate in a team camp (scholastic or nonscholastic); however, the ratio of time spent on instruction and competition must be similar for all institutional camps.

Question No. 6: What institutional penalties may result from operating a camp in a manner different from other institutional camps?

Answer: The Board 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 in such cases.

[References: NCAA Bylaws 13.02.12 (prospective student-athlete), 13.02.13.1 (recruited prospective student-athlete), 13.02.17 (individual associated with a prospective student-athlete — men’s basketball), 13.2.1 (general regulation), 13.12.1.1 (definition), 13.12.1.1.1 (definition of prospective student-athlete — men’s basketball), 13.12.1.1.1.1 (definition of recruited prospective student-athlete — men’s basketball), 13.12.1.4 (additional restrictions — men’s basketball), 13.12.2 (employment at camp or clinic), 13.12.2.2-(b) (high school, preparatory-school, two-year college coaches or other individuals involved with prospective student athletes) and 13.12.2.2.3 (individual associated with a recruited prospective student-athlete) and an educational column (2/8/10)]

Jennifer M. Condaras
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The BIG EAST Conference, JumpForward, or the Collegiate Sports Group of Bond, Schoeneck, and King. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s