Daily Compliance Item- 10/16/12- National Letter of Intent Signing Day Press Conference

The head women’s golf coach at Ocean State University (OSU) attended a local high school’s  “Senior Day” event involving Club House, a prospective student athlete.  The OSU coach participated in a public announcement of Club’s signing a national letter of intent with OSU.  Is this permissible?

No. NCAA Bylaw states that press conferences to announce a signing may be arranged independently by the prospective student-athlete (or the prospective student-athlete’s family), provided there is no arrangement or involvement whatsoever by the institution or representatives of its athletics interests.


This is a fact pattern from an actual secondary infractions case posted on LSDBi.

Daily Compliance Item- 10/4/12- Joint College / HS Program

Nick L. Safety, a senior in HS, is interested in participating on the football team at Ocean State University next year.  During this academic year, Nick is enrolled in three courses at a college in his hometown.  He is taking these courses through an established program offered at his HS.  Nick will receive both HS graduation and college credit for these two courses.

By taking the college courses, does Nick start his five-year eligibility clock?

No, as long as he does not participate in intercollegiate athletics while enrolled in the joint program.  NCAA Bylaw states that a student-athlete’s eligibility under the five-year rule does not begin while a student is enrolled in a collegiate institution in a joint high school/college academic program for high school students in which the courses count as both high school graduation credit and college credit, provided the student has not officially graduated from high school and does not participate in intercollegiate athletics while enrolled in the joint program. (Revised: 11/1/01 effective 8/1/02)

Daily Compliance Item- 10/3/12-, Awards for Community Service Participation

The women’s tennis team at Ocean State University (OSU) participated in a function over the weekend in support of the American Cancer Society.  One of the local businesses that sponsored the activity would like to provide the student-athletes with a small token of appreciation for their time and efforts.  Is it permissible for the OSU student-athletes to receive an award for participating in this community service activity?

Yes with conditions.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 2/28/90-Student-athlete receiving award for participation in charitable fundraiser– states that in regard to student-athletes who participate in a charitable fundraiser to raise funds for a charitable organization, which was sponsored by the member institution or by the charitable organization, noting that local merchants wish to provide awards to the participants; determined that such an arrangement would not be precluded provided the award item is of nominal value and the award is properly personalized for the event (e.g., t-shirt).

Daily Compliance Item- 10/2/12- 2 for 1 Meals

There is an Italian restaurant near Ocean State University’s (OSU) campus that sells two pizzas for the price of one to all OSU students on Monday and Wednesday nights.  Is it permissible for the student-athletes to accept this offer?

Yes.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 10/25/89-Two-for-one-meal deal– states that in regard to a restaurant that wishes to provide to all students (including student-athletes) who live on campus two meals for the price of one; confirmed that such an arrangement would not be precluded, noting that it is not a violation of NCAA legislation if it is demonstrated that a benefit is available to subsets of the institution’s student enrollment.

Daily Compliance Item- 9/28/12- Current Events

Ed O’Bannon lawsuit dives into mysteries of

NCAA’s publicity form for athletes

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Every year, college athletes receive a stack of papers to sign. They’re part of what’s called the “Student-Athlete Statement,” which consists of multiple forms seeking signatures on everything from testing for drugs to testing for ACT/SAT scores.
One form in this package stands out lately and says this: “You authorize the NCAA [or a third party acting on behalf of the NCAA (e.g., host institution, conference, local organizing committee)] to use your name or picture to generally promote NCAA championships or other NCAA events, activities or programs.”
That statement is a key part of the Ed O’Bannon class-action lawsuit against the NCAA, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company over the use of college athletes’ names, images and likenesses even after they leave campus.
How long can the NCAA hold those publicity rights? What rights do athletes retain by signing the form? And do athletes even need to sign that form in the first place to be eligible? Those questions surfaced in recent depositions and documents filed in the 3-year-old court case, which could be certified as a class action by next March.
NCAA President Mark Emmert testified last March he doesn’t think signing the form is a requirement for an athlete to participate in an NCAA-sanctioned event.
“I don’t know of an incident where that’s been an issue,” Emmert said. “I believe it’s the case that there is not a formal requirement, but I’m not completely sure of that.”
David Berst, an NCAA Division I vice president, testified the form is voluntary and that he has never been told some schools tell athletes they’re ineligible for a scholarship if they don’t sign.
“I’d be pleased to ensure that it’s clearly understood that you have a choice,” Berst said. “I frankly can’t imagine that any student-athlete would not want to be helping and be the one who might be depicted as promoting the next game. But if they don’t want to be, no, I’m fine with that. It makes sense to me.”
An Ithaca College survey of 213 Division I compliance officers found that 20 percent have witnessed athletes who did not want to sign part or all of the Student-Athlete Statement. When the survey asked if the document giving the NCAA promotional rights is necessary for an athlete’s eligibility, 80 percent of compliance officers said it is not.
“Many said that it really doesn’t have anything to do with eligibility apart from the fact that (compliance officers say) in order to be eligible athletes must sign that form,” then-Ithaca College sport management professor Ellen Staurowsky told The Birmingham News in 2011. “That’s a very interesting way of explaining things.”
“Not inconceivable” to pay ex-athletes

In his deposition, Berst was asked a series of hypothetical questions about whether the University of Kentucky could share any revenue derived from an athlete’s name, image or likeness after the player’s eligibility ends.
Berst said the promise of future pay would violate NCAA rules. “And that frankly is the nonstarter I’ve been talking about with our membership,” he said. “Our presidents simply won’t go there.”
Then came another hypothetical: What if Kentucky spontaneously issues $100,000 each to its starting five basketball players who won the 2012 NCAA title and now play in the NBA given that their names and images will be used on commercial products in the future? Berst said it’s “not inconceivable” that scenario could be permitted if there was no promise of sharing that money and no current athletes’ eligibility is impacted.
“I think Kentucky can end up paying whatever student-athletes are due for use of their likenesses when they’re no longer student-athletes by virtue of whatever those business kinds of arrangements are that are understood and reasonable by all of the lawyers,” Berst said. “It can’t be something special or extra or I’m going to take care of you more so than some other student-athlete attending another institution.”
The last hypothetical question: Could Kentucky apply a rule that when athletes end their eligibility, the school will give them all of their video footage to commercialize any way they wish?
“I would say the regulatory system of the NCAA, the rules of the NCAA, don’t address that kind of an issue,” Berst said.
Emmert and Berst testified the media-rights provision went into place about a decade ago for the purpose of promoting NCAA championships. Emmert said athletes who sign release the rights to use their image to promote championship games “for whatever period of time they’re used to promote championship games.”
“It’s really circuitous, isn’t it?” a lawyer for the plaintiffs asked. “How long? Infinite?”
“For promoting a championship game, yes, for that sole purpose, yes,” Emmert said.
Lately, the NCAA and the ex-players are locked in a battle of semantics over what points to admit. One of those points is over U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruling that “student-athletes retain rights to their images, likenesses and names, and can license them once they are no longer student-athletes.”
The ex-players admit in court documents that Wilken’s order suggests athletes retain “certain rights.” The NCAA argues the response is “nonsensical and evasive” and wants the ex-players to admit this point “to the fullest extent possible.”
The ex-players say they have always acknowledged athletes retain some rights, but not all rights. “For example,” a lawyer for the plaintiffs wrote, “a former student-athlete can sign autographs, but he cannot sell footage of his game-winning shot at the NCAA tournament, because the NCAA takes the position that it is the owner of that footage.”
Former Alabama football player Tyrone Prothro, who is a plaintiff in the suit, told The News in 2011 that athletes give little consideration to the documents they’re instructed to sign.
“There are other things to worry about than signing a bunch of papers during two-a-days,” Prothro said. “Now, I realize I signed over pretty much my rights to everything that I accomplished.”
PLEASE NOTE:  This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Daily Compliance Item- 2/23/12-

The Ocean State University women’s basketball team won its conference tournament this year.  The Conference office will be providing each member of the team with a championship gift.  There are two student-athletes on the team that did not attend the tournament because they have been academically ineligible all year.

Can the Conference office provide a gift to these two student-athletes?

No.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 12/12/94- National or Conference Championship Awards to Ineligible Student-Athletes– states that it is not permissible for an institution or conference (or organization approved by either) to provide awards in recognition of conference or national championships to student-athletes who were not eligible to represent the institution in intercollegiate competition during the applicable sport season. [References: (conference and national championships) and staff minute 12/07/88, item c]