Athletic Compliance Office Tip of the Month
February 2013
National Letter of Intent
Q: Is a coach allowed to comment on one of their social media pages about the chances of a prospect signing?
A:
No, a coach may only confirm its recruitment of a prospect but may not comment on a prospect's abilities or chances of signing with an institution.

Q: On Signing Day can a coach write on a prospect's Facebook Wall congratulating them on signing with their institution?
A:
No, a coach may only write on a prospect's Facebook Wall or @Reply on Twitter the day after the prospect has signed a NLI.

Q: What is the difference between a prospect's verbal or oral commitment to attend Bucknell and the prospect's signing of a NLI?
A:
A verbal or oral commitment is when a prospect announces his or her intentions to attend a certain institution. This commitment is non-binding, oral agreement between a prospect and an institution, and is not recognized by the NLI program. A prospect may verbally commit to one institution and subsequently sign a legally binding contractual NLI with another institution.

Q: Can a coach be present when a prospect signs an NLI off-campus?
A:
No. A coach cannot be present when you sign a National Letter of Intent off campus. Pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 13.1.6.7.1, any in-person, off-campus contact made with a prospect for the purpose of signing a National Letter of Intent or attendance at activities related to the signing of the National Letter of Intent is prohibited.


December 2012
Q: Can a student-athlete get paid for teaching the skills of his or her sport to an individual?
A:
Yes, a student-athlete may receive compensation for teaching or coaching sport skills or techniques in his or her sport on a fee-for-lesson basis. It is important that they notify the Compliance Office of this arrangement and complete paperwork prior to rendering their services.

Q: Could my son use the facilities at Bucknell for this type of instruction?
A:
No, institutional facilities cannot be used during fee-for-lesson instruction.

Q: Can my son make flyers with his name on it to let people know about these lessons?
A:
The student-athlete cannot use his or her name, picture or appearance to promote or advertise the availability of fee-for-lesson sessions.


October 2012
Q: How many days off must be given during the playing season?
A:
During the playing season all countable athletically related activities shall be prohibited during one calendar day per week.

Q: My child plays a fall sport and practiced for 15 straight days before school started. Shouldn't they have had a day off at some point?
A:
An institution is not required to provide student athletes with one day off per week during preseason practice that occurs prior to the first day of classes or the first scheduled contest, whichever is earlier.

Q: If a team plays away on Saturday night, stays over, then wakes up Sunday and drives back to campus does that count as a day off?
A:
A travel day related to athletics participation may be considered as a day off, provided no countable athletic related activities occur during that day.


September 2012
Q: What is a contact?
A:
Any face-to-face encounter between a prospective student athlete or the prospective student athlete's parents, relatives, or guardians and an institutional staff member or athletics representative during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting.

Q: When may a coach have an off campus recruiting contact with a prospective student athlete?
A:
Off campus recruiting contacts may be made after July 1 following the completion of his or her junior year in high school or the opening day of classes of his or her senior year in high school, whichever is earlier.

Q: Who can make recruiting contacts with prospective student athletes?
A:
All recruiting contacts shall be made only by authorized institutional staff members that have been certified as to knowledge of applicable recruiting rules.


April 2012
Q: When can an athlete participate in CARA during Final Exams?
A:
If a team is in season while final exams are taking place an athlete can participate in CARA at any time provided they remain within the daily and weekly hour limitations.

Q: When does a team that is out of season have to stop CARA?
A:
For a team that is outside its playing season all countable athletic related activities are prohibited one week prior to the beginning of the final examination period and cannot resume until the conclusion of each student athlete's final exams.


March 2012
Q: What are the different types of violations?
A:
There are two types of violations and they are major violations and secondary violations.

Q: What is the difference between major and secondary violations?
A:
A secondary violation is a violation that is isolated or inadvertent in nature, provides or is intended to provide only a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage and does not include any significant impermissible benefit. All violations other than secondary violations are major violations, specifically including those that provide an extensive recruiting or competitive advantage. Multiple secondary violations may collectively be considered as a major violation.


February 2012
Q: Is it possible for a coach to participate in a press conference organized by a prospect to announce his/her signing of a National Letter of Intent (NLI)?
A:
No. Although it is permissible for a prospect to independently arrange a press conference to announce his/her signing, there may be no arrangement or involvement by the institution or representatives of its athletics interest (boosters).

Q: What is the difference between a prospect's verbal or oral commitment to attend Bucknell and the prospect's signing of a NLI?
A:
A verbal or oral commitment is when a prospect announces his or her intentions to attend a certain institution. This commitment is non-binding, oral agreement between a prospect and an institution, and is not recognized by the NLI program. A prospect may verbally commit to one institution and subsequently sign a legally binding contractual NLI with another institution.

Q: Can a coach be present when a prospect signs an NLI off-campus?
A:
No. A coach cannot be present when you sign a National Letter of Intent off campus. Pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 13.1.6.7.1, any in-person, off-campus contact made with a prospect for the purpose of signing a National Letter of Intent or attendance at activities related to the signing of the National Letter of Intent is prohibited.


November 2011
Q: Is it possible for prospective student-athletes visiting either officially or unofficially to receive complimentary tickets?
A: Yes. Both during an official or unofficial visit a prospect may receive a maximum of three complimentary admissions to a home athletics event issued through a pass list.

Q: Who are the prospects able to use their 3 complimentary tickets for?
A:
Only the prospect and their parents or legal guardians may receive the complimentary admissions. Other family members (grandparents, siblings) are not permitted a complimentary admission and must pay cost value for the ticket.

Q: Do current Bucknell student-athletes receive complimentary tickets?
A:
Yes. Bucknell can provide student-athletes with up to four complimentary tickets in the sport which they participate regardless of whether the student-athlete actually competes in the contest.

Q: Can a student-athlete sell their complimentary tickets if they do not plan on having a family member use them?
A:
No. A student-athlete may not receive payment from any source for his or her complimentary admissions and may not exchange or assign them for any item of value.

Q: Can student-athlete purchase tickets for an intercollegiate athletics event and sell the tickets at a price greater than face value?
A:
No. A student-athlete may not purchase tickets for an intercollegiate athletics event from the institution and then sell the tickets at a price greater than face value.


October 2011
Q: How many hours a week are student-athletes allowed to be involved with countable athletically related activities (CARA) such as practice, meetings, etc.?
A: A team's playing season is split into 2 parts. One part is when they are `in-season' and the other part is when they are `out-of-season'. When a team is `in-season' they are permitted to be involved in 20 hours of CARA with one mandatory day off per week. When a team is `out-of-season', they can be involved in 8 hours of CARA with two mandatory days off per week.


September 2011
Q: What is an official visit?
A: It is when a visit to Bucknell's campus (either in part or in whole) is paid for by Bucknell.

Q: How many official visits are prospects allowed to take?
A: A prospect may only receive 5 official visits their senior year. An institution is only permitted to finance one official visit per prospect.

Q: When is the earliest a prospect can visit Bucknell's campus on an official visit?
A: A prospect may not be provided an expense paid visit earlier than the opening day of classes of the prospect's senior year in high school.

Q: What documents does Bucknell need from the prospect to approve an official visit?
A: A prospect must provide Bucknell with a transcript from grades 9-11, a list of senior courses, test score results for either the ACT or SAT, and the prospect's 10-digit Eligibility Center ID number that is given after registration with the Eligibility Center.

Q: How long are official visits?
A: An official visit to Bucknell is not permitted to exceed 48 hours.


April 2011
Q: Can a coach issue a summer conditioning workout to both current and prospective student-athletes?

A: Yes, a coach may issue a summer conditioning workout to both current and prospective student-athletes provided the following is met:
Current Student-Athletes:
• The workout must be voluntary.
• The student-athlete should not report back to the coach or any other member of the athletic department results of the workouts.
• The student-athlete should not be awarded for participating in the workout or punished if they chose not to complete the voluntary workout.

Prospective Student-Athletes:
• A summer workout can only be set to a prospect after they have signed an NLI or written offer of admission.
• The workout must be voluntary.
• The student-athlete should not report back to the coach or any other member of the athletic department results of the workouts.
• The student-athlete should not be awarded for participating in the workout or punished if they chose not to complete the voluntary workout.


Q: How does it pertain to prospective student-athletes?

A: Every prospective student-athlete who wishes to participate in a Varsity sport at a Division I or Division II school must register and be certified prior to participation in intercollegiate competition. In order to register the prospective student-athlete can go to the Eligibility Center's website at www.eligibilitycenter.org and follow the prompts. It will also be the prospect's responsibility to submit high school transcripts (with graduation dates), as well as test scores directly from the testing agency to the Eligibility Center (using code 9999). The prospective student-athlete must also log onto the website after April 1 and certify the amateurism questions they answered are still valid. After all these steps have been completed, the Eligibility Center will review their record and make a final determination regarding their eligibility status. March 2011
Q: What is the NCAA Eligibility Center ?

A: The NCAA Eligibility Center (formerly known as the Clearinghouse) is the group within the NCAA whose main responsibility is to determine initial eligibility for incoming first year student-athletes. By evaluating transcripts and test scores as well as amateur backgrounds for student-athletes, the Eligibility Center determines whether a student-athlete is `cleared' to participate in intercollegiate competition.

Q: How does it pertain to prospective student-athletes?

A: Every prospective student-athlete who wishes to participate in a Varsity sport at a Division I or Division II school must register and be certified prior to participation in intercollegiate competition. In order to register the prospective student-athlete can go to the Eligibility Center's website at www.eligibilitycenter.org and follow the prompts. It will also be the prospect's responsibility to submit high school transcripts (with graduation dates), as well as test scores directly from the testing agency to the Eligibility Center (using code 9999). The prospective student-athlete must also log onto the website after April 1 and certify the amateurism questions they answered are still valid. After all these steps have been completed, the Eligibility Center will review their record and make a final determination regarding their eligibility status.


February 2011
Q: Is a current student-athlete allowed to start their own business?

A: A student-athlete may establish their own business provided the student-athlete's name, photograph, appearance or athletics reputation are not used to promote the business.

Q: Can they get paid for giving lessons in their sports?

A: A student-athlete may receive compensation for teaching or coaching sport skills or techniques in his or her own sport on a fee-for-lesson basis, provided:
a) Institutional facilities are not used.
b) Playing lessons shall not be permitted.
c) The institution obtains and keeps on file documentation of the recipient of the lesson(s) and the fee for the lesson(s) provided during any time of the year.
d) The compensation is paid by the lesson recipient (or the recipient's family) and not another individual entity.
e) Instruction to each individual is comparable to the instruction that would be provided during a private lesson when the instruction involves more than one individual at a time.
f) The student-athlete does not use his or her name, picture or appearance to promote or advertise the availability of fee-for-lessons.


January 2011
Q: In order for a student-athlete to maintain their eligibility, what academic requirements must be met?

A: In order for a student-athlete at Bucknell to maintain eligibility the following must be met:
1) Complete 24 credits prior to second year of enrollment.
2) 18 semester credits must be earned during the academic year (excluding summer).
3) 6 academic credits must be earned in the previous regular academic term of full-time enrollment.
4) Declare a major no later than the beginning of the 5th semester (or 3rd year) of enrollment and, thereafter, complete the required credits in courses applicable to the declared major.
5) Complete 40%, 60%, 80% of the degree requirements before the beginning of the third, fourth and fifth years of enrollment, respectively.
6) Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) that is 90% of minimum GPA required to graduate (at least 1.8) during sophomore year, 95% of the min. GPA (1.9) during junior year, and 100% of the min. GPA (2.0) senior year.
*Note: One Bucknell credit = 4 NCAA credits.


November 2010
Q: Is it possible for a coach to participate in a press conference organized by a prospect to announce his/her signing of a National Letter of Intent (NLI)?

A: No. Although it is permissible for a prospect to independently arrange a press conference to announce his/her signing, there may be no arrangement or involvement by the institution or representatives of its athletics interest (boosters).

Q: What is the difference between a prospect's verbal or oral commitment to attend Bucknell and the prospect's signing of a NLI?

A: A verbal or oral commitment is when a prospect announces his or her intentions to attend a certain institution. This commitment is non-binding, oral agreement between a prospect and an institution, and is not recognized by the NLI program. A prospect may verbally commit to one institution and subsequently sign a legally binding contractual NLI with another institution.

Q: Can a coach be present when a prospect signs an NLI off-campus?

A: No. A coach cannot be present when you sign a National Letter of Intent off campus. Pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 13.1.6.7.1, any in-person, off-campus contact made with a prospect for the purpose of signing a National Letter of Intent or attendance at activities related to the signing of the National Letter of Intent is prohibited.


October 2010
Q: A bunch of us parents would like to get together to create and order specialized sweatshirts to wear while watching our student-athletes compete. Is this permissible?

A: No. Any products sold with the Bucknell University trademark on it, either for sale or not for resale, must be from an officially licensed vendor (with the exception of uniform manufacturers). It is possible for a vendor to become licensed, and only licensed vendors shall have access to Bucknell trademarks. Individuals cannot become licensed unless they are a recognized business. Prior to manufacturing, Bucknell University views all artwork which is submitted by the licensee. This is to ensure proper use of the marks. It should also be noted that Bucknell University has an exclusive contract with adidas and as a result all team and fan apparel should be adidas brand.


September 2010
Q: Can I employ a prospective or current student-athlete?

A: It is permissible for a prospective student-athlete, regardless of recruited or athletics award winner status, to be employed by a representative of Bucknell's athletics interests (booster).

It would not be considered an improper recruiting inducement, provided the institution does not arrange the employment, the opportunity for employment is available on an equal basis to all applicants who qualify for the position, and the prospect or current student-athlete is paid only for work performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate in our locale for similar services.

Boosters are not permitted to provide any of the following to a prospective or current student-athlete:
- An employment arrangement for the prospect or current student-athlete's relatives;
- Gift of clothing or equipment;
- Cosigning of loans;
- Providing loans to a prospect's relatives or friends;
- Cash or like items;
- Any tangible items, including merchandise;
- Free or reduced-cost services, rentals or purchases of any type;
- Free or reduced-cost housing


April 2010
Q: What activities may current student-athletes participate in during the summer months when school is not in session?

A: According to the NCAA a current student-athlete may be a member of an outside team in any noncollegiate, amateur competition during any official vacation period published in the institution's catalog. The number of student-athletes from any one institution shall not exceed specific applicable limits (please ask your coach or the compliance office on these sport specific limits).

There is an exception to this rule for soccer, women's volleyball, field hockey and men's water polo. In those specific sports a student-athlete may compete outside of the institution's declared playing and practice season as a member of an outside team in any noncollegiate, amateur competition, provided: (a) Such participation occurs no earlier than May 1; (b) In soccer, women's volleyball and field hockey, the number of student-athletes from any one institution does not exceed the applicable limits set forth by the NCAA (c) The competition is approved by the institution's director of athletics; (d) No class time is missed for practice activities or for competition; and (e) In women's volleyball, all practice and competition is confined to doubles tournaments in outdoor volleyball, either on sand or grass.

It is also permissible for a student-athlete to participate in outside competition as an individual during the academic year in the student-athlete's sport, as long as the student-athlete represents only himself or herself in the competition and does not engage in such competition as a member of or receive expenses from an outside team.


March 2010
Q: I am head of the PTA for Smith High School. I am a big supporter of Bucknell Athletics and I know a lot of parents and students are as well. I think it would be a great idea if Bucknell could donate items such as autographed balls, jerseys, or hats to assist our athletics' program fundraiser coming up in April. Would this be permissible?

A: According to a bylaw the NCAA has in effect, an institution may not provide items (e.g., autographed balls/jerseys) to assist high schools in raising money for athletics or other programs.

Q: What if we asked Bucknell to donate items to help in fundraising for a new science lab we are in desperate need of?

A: This would be permissible provided there is no athletics department involvement, the equipment is not used to benefit only the high school's athletic program and the institution is located within a 30-mile radius of Bucknell's campus.


February 2010
Q: What can a coach or institutional staff member do during a "dead period"?

A: A dead period is a time in a NCAA recruiting cycle where it is impermissible for a Bucknell coach, athletics department and institutional staff member to have in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations either on or off Bucknell's campus.

It is also impermissible for a prospective student-athlete to have an official or unofficial visit to Bucknell's campus, or get complimentary admissions for home athletics events. A Bucknell coach may not serve as a speaker at or attend a meeting or banquet at which prospective student-athletes are in attendance.

It is permissible however for a Bucknell coach to write or email prospective student-athletes as well as send faxes. They may also telephone prospective student-athletes as long as they follow the applicable NCAA bylaws regarding telephone contacts.


January 2010
Q: According to the NCAA, what is an extra benefit?

A: An extra benefit is defined as any special arrangement by a Bucknell employee or booster to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete's relatives or friends with a benefit not expressly authorized by the NCAA.

Examples of benefits include, but are not limited to the following:
∙ Special discounts, payment arrangements or credit on a purchase or service.
∙ Cash or like items (e.g., gift certificates)
∙ An automobile or use of an automobile
∙ Free or reduced cost services, rentals or purchases of any type.
∙ Loan of money, signing or cosigning of loans or guarantee of bond.
∙ Tangible items (e.g., clothing, jewelry, electronics)
∙ Free or reduced cost entertainment services from commercial agencies (e.g., movie tickets, dinners, use of car, reduced admission to community events)
∙ Free or reduced cost housing.


November 2009
Q: I really like the social networking sites that are now available. It makes it really easy to keep in touch with people that are important in my life such as friends and family. While on Facebook the other day, I happen to notice a few student-athletes who are being recruited by Bucknell in [enter your sport here] also have profiles. Can I leave them a message or send them a "friend request" so I can post a comment on their wall telling them what a great experience I had at Bucknell, and encourage them to attend Bucknell as well?

A: Although social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are great resources when it comes to staying in contact with people, boosters are prohibited from contacting prospects or their relatives. Prohibited written communication for boosters also includes general correspondence, e-mail, fax, instant message, text, chat rooms, or contacting them on MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. In this instance, it would be impermissible for you to either send them a message or friend request them with the intention of commenting on their public "wall".


October 2009
Q: While watching the local news I noticed that a local prospective student-athlete is looking at Bucknell University as one of their top Universities for academics as well as to play [enter your sport here]. I was thinking about giving them a call to tell them what a great place Bucknell University is and how much they would love playing for the coach there, as well as to answer any specific questions this prospect may have. Is this ok?

A: No. Boosters are not allowed to make in-person, on- or off-campus recruiting contacts, or written or telephonic communications with a prospect or their relatives or legal guardians. You may however, send a coach a newspaper clipping or alert them to the fact that this student-athlete may be thinking about attending Bucknell so they may contact the prospect if they wish.

"When trying to help out the program as much as you can, please remember to leave recruiting in the coaches' hands!"


September 2009
Q: A Bucknell team is going to play an away game in our hometown. We would love to show our hospitality and either treat them to a meal (either at our home or at a restaurant) or have the team stay at our home while they are traveling. Would this be allowed?

A: Yes. Boosters are allowed to occasionally treat a team to a meal at their home. They are also permitted to pay for a meal at a restaurant; however, in order to be able to account for team expenses and document that no "extra benefits" were involved, Bucknell Athletics requires this arrangement to be made ahead of time by a donation to the Bison Club for the specific sport that would like to help. When it is time for the meal to be purchased at the restaurant, the coach is then permitted to pay for the entire traveling party, but is not permitted to purchase the meal for any other people in attendance.

As far as having the team stay at your home, this too would be permissible provided there is a coach staying with the team as well (from a risk management perspective) and the student-athletes are allowed the same accommodations as they would have in a hotel. That is to say, they are not allowed to watch pay-per-view movies without paying for them, they may not use the family car for any reason, and they are not allowed to snack in the kitchen. If any of these things occurred, it would constitute an extra benefit for the student-athlete.