NCAA Rules All Ivy Alumni and Friends of Athletics Should Know

[The Ivy League]

Ivy League Alumni are proud of the standards of excellence in academics and athletics that are a tradition of each institution. Of equal value is the fact that student-athletes are full members of the student body, with no special priveleges like athletic scholoarships. In the Ivy League, conducting out programs with integrity is very important. Please read the following information to learn how you can help carry on this tradition.

College Athletics the Right Way...

Carrying on the Ivy tradition of excellence is hard work, and competition among the best institutions is intense. Searching for a competitive edge is part of the challenge, and we know that you want to help your favorite institution and be part of a winning team.

Meeting those challenges means playing by the rules. The NCAA has rules for coaches, players, and you! As part of the team, you must know the rules of the game.

NCAA Rule: Who is giverned by the rules?
You are considered a representative of your institution's athletic interests just by being an alumnus, friend, or donor.

Interpretation: This means that any contact you have with current or prospective student-athletes at your institution can affect the eligibility of your institution's individual student-athletes and teams to compete in NCAA and Ivy competition.

All Recruiting of Prospective Student-Athletes Must be Done by Institutional Staff Members

NCAA Rule: Who is a "Prospect"?
A "Prospect" is any student who has started classes for the ninth grade.

Interpretation: This means that recruiting any student who has started classes for the ninth grade is subject to NCAA rules.

NCAA Rule: Contacting Prospects
Representatives of an institution's athletic interests are prohibited from having any contact with prospective student-athletes.

Interpretation: You may not have contact with a prospect or his or her parents, on or off campus, in person, by telephone or in writing.

One Limited Exception: Student-athletes do not have to be treated differently than other applicants in the admissions process. If you are a member of your institution's Alumni Schools Committee and are assigned to interview students who are also athletes you may contact the student for these purposes, but for these purposes only! Alumni Schools Committee members may not have contact with prospects whom they are not assigned to interview.

Another Limited Exception: If a family friend or neighbor is a "prospect" then you may continue to maintain this relationship, however you may never have a recruiting conversation.

Prospective and Enrolled Student-Athletes May Not be Given Extra Benefits

NCAA Rule: What is an Extra Benefit?
An extra benefit includes the provision of any transportation, meals, housing, clothes, service, entertainment, or other benefit not available to all students who are not athletes.

Interpretation: This means that under no circumstances may you provide an individual prospect or enrolled student-athlete with any of these benefits. Teams which are visiting your area for ccompetition may be provided with meals while on a team trip. You may never take an individual or small group of athletes or prospects to a restaurant for a meal.

Prospects' trips to campus must be financed by the athletic department under very specirfic guidelines, and invitations for such trips may only be made by coaches. Contact the Athletic Director if you would like to contribute to a fund which is used for this purpose.

One Limited Exception: Enrolled student-athletes who are unable to travel home for holidays may be invited for a meal in your home, but not in a restaurant. You may not provide transportation for their trip to your home, however, and this may be done only infrequently and on special occasions. Make sure you have the Athletic Director's permission before extending an invitation.

How You Can Help

  • Join a Friends Group/Sport Association
    These Groups provide support for teams through funding for special team trips, recruiting, and hosting receptions for teams at home and away contests. This is the best way to help your team of choice, and you'll be kept up to date on their progress throughout the year.
  • Identify Outstanding Student-Athletes
    If you know of outstanding student-athletes in your area, send information such as newspaper clippings to the coach of your favorite institution, or give the coach a call, and let them take it from there. (Remember, you must not contact prospects directly, or contact high school coaches or guidance counselors to get information on prospects, but there is no rule against attending their contests.)
  • Offer Assistance to the Coaching Staff
    You may provide lodging, meals, and transportation to coaches when they come to your community to contact and evaluate prospects.
  • Provide Summer Jobs and Internships
    If you know of positions in your business or community which might be filled by a student-athlete then contact the Athletic Director for names of those who might be qualified. (Remember that the pay for these jobs must be at the going rate for that position.)

About the Ivy League...

The formal agreement which founded the Ivy League as an athletic conference was signed by the presidents of the eight institutions in February 1954. The basic intent of the original agreement was to improve and foster intercollegiate athletics while keeping the emphasis on such competition in harmony with the educational purpose of the institutions.

While football is where it started, the Ivy League now crowns champions in 32 sports and continues to sponsor intercollegiate programs of national prominence for women and men.

Ivy teams have enjoyed tremendous success in NCAA championships, winning recent national championships in several men's and women's sports, including crew, ice hockey, fencing, lacrosse, and squash. Ivy champions in baseball, basketball, field hockey, soccer, softball, and volleyball have entries in the NCAA tournament, and teams in basketball, field hockey, and soccer have reached the final four.

Further Information

For further information on NCAA rules, especially those relating to contact between alumni and student-athletes or prospective student-athletes, please contact the athletic department of your institution, or:
Carolyn Campbell
Senior Associate Director
Council of Ivy Group Presidents
120 Alexander Street
Princeton, NJ 08544
(609) 258-6426