As a supporter of the University of South Carolina, you have a lot of pride in your school. You are proud of University of South Carolina's high academic standards and athletics success, our commitment to values and the overall quality of the University of South Carolina experience.
To help ensure compliance with NCAA and SEC rules, please take the time to read the information on this Web site. The eligibility of South Carolina's student-athletes and reputation of the Athletics Department and University depend on your cooperation.
Some examples of representative of athletics interests are: fans, undergraduate students, graduate students, all university faculty, staff and other employees and alumni.
Per NCAA regulations, only coaches and athletics department staff members are permitted to be directly involved in the recruiting process. Boosters are not permitted to contact a prospect or his/her family by telephone, letter or in person (on- or off-campus) for the purpose of encouraging participation in the Gamecock athletics program. These regulations apply to Gamecock Club Members, alumni, season-ticket holders (past or present) and anyone who has ever donated money to the USC athletics program.
If you find yourself in a conversation with a prospect or his/her relative(s) and the topic turns to the Gamecock athletics program, politely explain that NCAA regulations don't permit you to discuss this with them and direct their questions to the Gamecock coach in that sport or another athletics department staff member.
A student-athlete loses his/her amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the student-athlete (or his/her parent or legal guardian):
- uses his/her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport;
- accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate participation;
- negotiates, signs, or enters into any oral or written agreement with an agent;
- competes on any professional athletics team or receives any compensation from a professional sports team; or receives, directly or indirectly, a salary, reimbursement of expenses or any other form of financial assistance from a professional sports organization based upon athletics skill or participation.
Representative of Athletics Interest (Booster)
A "representative of the institution's athletics interests" is an individual, independent agency, corporate entity (e.g., apparel or equipment manufacturer) or other organization who is known (or should have been known) by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to:
- have participated in or be a member of an agency or organization that promotes the institution's intercollegiate athletics program;
- have made financial contributions to the athletics department or to an athletics booster organization of that institution;
- be assisting or to have been requested (by the athletics department) to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes;
- be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or
- have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution's athletics program.
Some examples of a representative of athletics interests (i.e., booster) are: fans, undergraduate students, graduate students, all university faculty and staff, and alumni. (This is not an exhaustive list). ONCE A BOOSTER ALWAYS A BOOSTER!
An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution's athletics interests (booster) to provide a student-athlete, or his/her relatives or friends, a benefit not authorized by the NCAA. The benefits a student-athlete may not receive include, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
- special discounts;
- payment arrangements or credit on a purchase (e.g., airline ticket, clothes) or service (e.g., laundry);
- free or reduced-cost professional services not available on the same basis to the general public or student body;
- use of a telephone or credit card for personal reasons without charge or at a reduced rate;
- entertainment services (e.g., movie tickets, meals, use of a car) from commercial agencies (e.g., theaters, restaurants, car dealers) without charge, or at a reduced rate, free or reduced-cost admission to professional athletics contests from professional sport organization, unless such services are available to the student body in general;
- guarantee of bond;
- signing or cosigning a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan;
- preferential treatment, benefits or services based on athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a future professional;
- free or reduced-cost athletics equipment, supplies or clothing directly from a manufacturer or commercial enterprise;
- payment or other compensation for work not performed or at unreasonable levels of the work performed;
- employment arrangements for student-athlete's or prospect's relatives or friends;
- payment of registration fees or other expenses to attend a USC sport camp or clinic;
- use of personal property (e.g., car, summer house, computer);
- holiday or birthday presents;
- promise of employment after college graduation;
- payment or arrangement for payment of transportation costs incurred by a student-athlete or prospect's relatives or friends; or any other item or service given because an individual is a student-athlete.
Any solicitation of a prospective student-athlete or a prospective student-athlete's relatives or legal guardians, by an institutional staff member or by a representative of the institution's athletics interests for the purpose of securing the prospect's enrollment and participation in the institution's athletics program.
Recruited Prospective Student-Athlete
Actions that cause a prospective student-athlete to become recruited include, but are not limited to:
- providing a prospective student-athlete with an official visit (i.e., a visit to an institution's campus financed in whole or in part by the institution);
- having an arranged, in-person, off-campus encounter with the prospective student-athlete and/or the prospective student-athlete's parents/legal guardians or relatives;
- initiating or arranging telephone contact with the prospective student-athlete, the prospective student-athlete's relatives or legal guardian (s) on more than one occasion for the purpose of recruitment; or
- issuing a National Letter of Intent to the prospective student-athlete.
A prospective student-athlete (i.e., prospect) is an individual who has started classes for the ninth grade. In addition, a student who has not started classes for the ninth grade becomes a prospect if the institution provides any financial assistance or other benefits that the institution does not provide to prospects generally. A prospect remains a prospect until one of the following occurs (whichever is earlier):
- The individual registers and enrolls in a minimum full-time program of studies and attends classes in any term of a four-year collegiate institution's regular academic year; or
- The individual participates in a regular squad practice or competition at a four-year collegiate institution that occurs before the beginning of any term; or
- The individual officially registers and enrolls and attends classes during the summer prior to initial enrollment and receives institutional athletics aid.
Any face-to-face encounter between a prospect or the prospect's parents, relatives or legal guardian(s) and an institutional staff member or an athletics representative during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting. A meeting that is prearranged or takes place at the prospect's school, competition site, or practice site is considered a contact regardless of the conversation that takes place.
Any off-campus activity designed to assess the academic qualifications or athletics ability of a prospective student-athlete, including any visit to a prospect's school (during which no contact occurs) or observing a practice or competition at any site.
A period of time when it is permissible for authorized athletics department staff members to make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations.
A period of time when it is permissible for authorized athletics department staff members to be involved in off-campus activities designed to assess the academic qualifications and playing ability of prospective student-athletes. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts shall be made with the prospective student-athlete during an evaluation period.
A period of time when it is permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the member institution's campus. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts or evaluations may be made during the quiet period.
A period of time when it is not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off the member institution's campus or to permit official or unofficial visits by prospective student-athletes to the institution's campus. It remains permissible, however, for an institutional staff member to write or telephone prospects during a dead period.
A visit to the member institution's campus financed in whole or in part by the member institution.
A visit to an institution's campus made at the prospect's own expense. An institution may provide complimentary admission to an on-campus athletics event in which the institution's team competes and transportation to view off-campus practice or competition sites within a 30-mile radius of the institution's campus when accompanied by a staff member.