The men’s basketball coaches at Ocean State University (OSU) are looking to sign two more prospects during the late NLI signing period in April. One of the prospects they are recruiting, Point Guard, is participating in a game tomorrow evening. The game is a scrimmage against another high school team to help Point’s team prepare for the state post season tournament. This scrimmage was approved by the state high school scholastic association, and it is permissible for members of the general public to watch.
Since the scrimmage was not on the team’s schedule and it occurs after the conclusion of the regular season, is it permissible for the OSU coaches to be there to evaluate Point?
Yes with conditions. NCAA Educational Column- 2/17/16- Regularly Scheduled Contests/Tournaments (I)– provides further clarification on commonly asked questions pertaining to the definition of “regularly scheduled” contests.
Regularly Scheduled Contests/Tournaments.
When analyzing whether a high school, preparatory school or two-year college contest/tournament is regularly scheduled for evaluation purposes, the institution should consider the following factors:
1. Whether the teams participating in the contest are considered scholastic teams;
2. Whether the contest is permissible pursuant to the applicable scholastic governing body’s rules and regulations; and
3. Whether the contest is scheduled or organized at the request of the institution’s coach.
Note that a scrimmage or exhibition constitutes a contest for the purposes of evaluating live athletics activities.
Any questions regarding whether a team is considered scholastic or whether the contest is permissible pursuant to the scholastic governing body’s rules and regulations should be directed to the secondary institution or the appropriate scholastic governing body.
Factor No. 1 — Scholastic Team Determination.
•Per the Official Interpretation [Reference: 4/16/14], (determination of a scholastic team) the institution should determine whether at least one of the teams participating in the contest is considered a scholastic team. If neither team is considered a scholastic team, then the coach may not evaluate the contest regardless of whether it is considered regularly scheduled.
•For tournaments, contests should be analyzed on a contest-by-contest basis to determine whether the coach may evaluate.
Factor No. 2 — Scholastic Governing Body Rules and Regulations.
•The institution should determine whether the contest/tournament is scheduled in accordance with the applicable scholastic governing body’s rules and regulations.
•At least one of the teams participating in the contest must be considered a scholastic team and the contest must be scheduled in accordance with that team’s governing body’s rules and regulations. Further, for tournaments, each contest should be analyzed on a contest-by-contest basis to determine whether the coach may permissibly evaluate.
Factor No. 3 — Request to Schedule or Organize.
•If the institution’s coach requests a contest or a match-up to be scheduled, then the contest is not considered regularly scheduled even if Factor Nos. 1 and 2 are satisfied. If the institution’s coach requests a contest or a match-up, then the contest would constitute an impermissible tryout since it is being conducted on behalf of the institution’s coach.
Questions and Answers.
Question No. 1: Does the contest/tournament need to appear on the team schedules?
Answer No. 1: No. It is not a requirement that the contest/tournament appear on the team schedules for the contest/tournament to be considered regularly scheduled.
Question No. 2: Is the contest/tournament considered regularly scheduled if the contest/tournament appears on the team schedules?
Answer No. 2: No. Although it is more likely the contest/tournament is considered regularly scheduled if it appears on the team schedules, the determining factor is whether the contest/tournament is scheduled pursuant to the applicable scholastic governing body’s rules and regulations.
Question No. 3: Does the contest/tournament need to be regularly scheduled for both teams competing in the contest in order for the coach to evaluate?
Answer No. 3: No. The contest only needs to be regularly scheduled for one of the participating teams in addition to that team being considered scholastic.
Question No. 4: Is a contest/tournament considered regularly scheduled if the tournament organizer modifies the tournament schedule or match-ups in order to make it permissible for coaches to evaluate?
Answer No. 4: Yes. Provided the tournament organizer does not modify the schedule at the request of the institution’s coach.
[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 126.96.36.199.5 (scholastic and nonscholastic activities –bowl subdivision football), 188.8.131.52.1 (academic year recruiting periods), 184.108.40.206.1 (academic year evaluation period), 13.11.1 (prohibited activities)]
Jennifer M. Condaras
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.