Role of Boosters
While the Racer Football Alumni Association is not part of Murray State University or affiliated in any manner with the Murray State University Athletic Department, the Racer Football Alumni Association requires all members, participants and donors to understand and strictly comply with the NCAA and the role defined by the NCAA for financial supporters or “boosters”. As such please take a moment to familiarize yourself with these important items concerning NCAA rules regarding the boosters and always remember to ask before you act.
Boosters play a role in providing student-athletes with a positive experience through their enthusiastic efforts. They can support teams and athletics departments through donations of time and financial resources which help student-athletes succeed on and off the playing field.
Boosters, referred to by the NCAA as “representatives of the institution’s athletic interests,” include anyone who has:
- Provided a donation in order to obtain season tickets for any sport at the university.
- Participated in or has been a member of an organization promoting the university’s athletics programs.
- Made financial contributions to the athletic department or to a university booster organization.
- Arranged for or provided employment for enrolled student-athletes.
- Assisted or has been requested by university staff to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes.
- Assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student athletes or their families.
- Been involved otherwise in promoting university athletics.
Once an individual is identified as a “representative of the institution’s athletics interests,” the person retains that identity forever.
Only institutional staff members are permitted to recruit prospective student-athletes. Generally, NCAA rules prohibit anyone else from contacting (calling, writing or in-person contact) prospects or the prospect’s relatives or guardian for recruiting purposes.
Students are still considered prospects even if they have signed a National Letter of Intent or any other financial aid agreement with a university.
Boosters are not precluded from continuing established friendships with families who have prospective student-athletes. However, boosters may not encourage a prospect’s participation in university athletics or provide benefits to prospects that were not previously provided.
If a violation occurs, it may jeopardize a student-athlete’s eligibility for intercollegiate competition, jeopardize a school’s membership status with the NCAA or cause a booster to lose access to all booster benefits.
As a booster, you may not:
- Contact a prospect in-person on-campus or off campus.
- Contact a prospect by telephone, email, Internet or letter.
- Provide gifts or free or reduced-cost services to a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardian.
- Employ relatives, guardians or friends of a prospect as an inducement for the prospect’s enrollment and athletics participation at a university.
- Become directly or indirectly involved in making arrangements for a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardian to receive money or financial aid of any kind.
- Provide transportation for a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardian.
- Provide free or reduced-cost tickets for a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardian to attend an athletic event.
- Provide any material benefit (e.g., meals, cash) to the coach of a prospect, including high school, two-year college, AAU and summer team coaches.
What are examples of permissible benefits for enrolled student-athletes?
With the various NCAA rules and regulations regarding benefits to student-athletes, it may seem difficult to be a part of a university’s athletic programs. However, you can show your support as a booster in other ways. Boosters may:
- Make contributions to university programs and other gift-in-kind arrangements.
- Attend university athletic events and show student athletes you support their hard work and dedication to the university.
What is institutional control?
Institutional control of athletics is a fundamental requirement of NCAA legislation. Specifically, the NCAA constitution states that the university must:
- Control its intercollegiate athletic programs in compliance with the rules and regulations of the NCAA.
- Monitor its program to insure compliance.
- Identify and report to the NCAA instances in which compliance has not been achieved and take corrective actions.
- Insure those members of university staff, student-athletes and other individuals or groups representing the university’s athletic interests comply with NCAA rules and regulations. As a member of the NCAA, the university is responsible for the actions of its alumni, supporters and fans.
Are there any rules for the employment of enrolled student-athletes by boosters?
Student-athletes may only be compensated for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate. Compensation may not include remuneration for the value that the student-athlete may have for the employer due to the student-athlete’s athletics status. Transportation may not be provided to student athletes unless it is a benefit provided to all employees.
If there are any questions on compliance regarding boosters, please click here to contact the MSU Athletics Compliance Office and they will be happy to assist you.