Who are Representatives of Athletic Interests?
All alumni, friends, and employees of Towson are categorized as “representatives of athletics interests,” also known as “boosters”. Once an individual has been identified as a representative (booster) of the university’s athletics program, he or she retains this status forever.
A representative of Towson’s athletic interests is an individual or organization who is known by Towson’s executive or athletics administration to:
• Have participated in or to be a member of an organization promoting Towson’s intercollegiate athletics program.
• Have made financial contributions to Towson’s athletics department or to an athletic booster organization.
• Be assisting or to have been requested (by Towson’s athletics department staff) 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.
• Have been involved otherwise in promoting Towson’s athletics program.
Who is considered a Student-Athlete?
The NCAA defines a student-athlete as one whose enrollment was solicited by a member of the athletics staff or other representative of TU athletics interest with a view toward the student’s ultimate participation in the TU intercollegiate athletics program. Any other student becomes a student-athlete only when the student reports for a TU athletic team.
Who is considered a Prospective Student-Athlete?
A prospective student-athlete (PSA) is a student who has started classes for the ninth grade. In addition, a student who has not started classes for the ninth grade becomes a prospective student-athlete if the institution provides such an individual (or the individual's relatives or friends) any financial assistance or other benefits that the institution does not provide to prospective students generally.
Recruitment of Prospective Student-Athletes
Only Towson University coaches who have successfully completed the NCAA Recruiting Certification Test on an annual basis may be involved in the recruitment process. Representatives of athletics interest may not make any recruiting contacts. This includes; letters, e-mails, telephone calls, or face-to-face contact with a prospect or the prospect’s parents.
How can Boosters assist the Athletic Department?
• Forward information about prospective student-athletes to the appropriate coaching staff.
• Have a telephone conversation with a prospect only if the prospect initiates the call. Institutional staff members may not prearrange such a call and you are not permitted to have a recruiting conversation, but may exhibit normal civility. You must refer any questions about Towson’s athletics program to an athletics department staff member or coach.
• View a prospect’s athletic contest at your own initiative provided you do not contact the prospect or his/her parents. In addition, you may not contact the prospect’s coach, principal or guidance counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect.
• Continue established relationships with friends and neighbors of prospects. Contacts with sons or daughters of these families are permitted as long they are not made for recruiting purposes or encouraged by Towson coaches.
• Employ current student-athletes. The student-athlete must be paid for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate for similar services in the community and your own business. Further, the student-athlete must receive written approval from the athletics department prior to commencing employment.
YOU MAY NOT:
• Provide awards to student-athletes for their athletics performance without approval from the Towson University Athletics Department. All awards must be approved by Towson.
• Provide an honorarium to a student-athlete for a speaking engagement. Only necessary travel expenses can be given when speaking to educational or charitable groups. All speaking engagements must be approved in advance by the Towson Athletics Department.
• Provide room, board or transportation costs for family or friends of an enrolled student-athlete to visit campus or attend home or away athletics contests.
• Entertain student-athletes or their family and friends.
Exception: The NCAA does permit representatives of athletics interests to provide student-athletes (not including their family and friends) with an occasional meal provided the meal is at your home and not at a restaurant, though the meal may be catered. You may provide transportation for this meal. All occasional meals must be pre-approved by Towson’s Compliance Office.
• Use the name, picture or appearance of an enrolled student-athlete to advertise, recommend or promote sales or use of a commercial product or service of any kind. Any use of the name, picture or appearance of a student-athlete must receive authorization from the Compliance Office.
• Sell photographs or autographs of student-athletes on sites such as eBay, regardless of whether or not the student-athlete received any monetary gain from you.
• Provide any payment of expenses or loan of an automobile for a student-athlete to return home or to any other location.
• Provide awards or gifts to a student-athlete for any reason. All awards must first be approved by the Compliance Office and meet all NCAA regulations.
• Allow a student-athlete, his/her relatives or friends to use your telephone to make free calls.
• Allow a student-athlete, his/her relatives or friends to use your facsimile machine for making or receiving transmissions.
Consequences for NCAA Violations
Institutions are required by NCAA legislation to notify representatives of consequences regarding rules violations. Athletics representatives found in violation of NCAA rules are subject to losing benefits and privileges, including season tickets. Violations may also result in a student-athlete being required to repay impermissible benefits or even render them ineligible for competition.
Towson University appreciates your support. Compliance with NCAA rules is an ever-changing process and your attention to the information provided on this web page will help to ensure that the eligibility of our student-athletes is not jeopardized.