Boosters, Friends, and Fans

American University is responsible for the actions of its student-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni, friends, and booster/donors. As a NCAA member institution, AU is committed to the integrity of its athletic programs and adherence of all regulations governed by the NCAA and the University. Please take time to read this website and familiarize yourself with all rules and regulations. We understand there are always questions that will arise as a result of specific situations. If you feel unclear about how to operate within the NCAA guidelines, please contact the Compliance Office at (202) 885-3039.

Important Terms & Definitions 

Who is a Representative of Athletic Interests (Booster/Donor)?
NCAA rules indicate that all alumni, friends, and employees of the University are categorized as "representatives of athletics interests". The NCAA stipulates that once an individual has been identified as a representative or "booster/donor" of the University's athletics programs, he or she retains this status forever even if the individual is no longer associated with the athletics program. Furthermore, the NCAA states that it is possible to be a representative of athletics interest at more than one university at the same time.

A representative of athletics interests is anyone who has ever:
• made any type of contribution to the athletics department or to a booster club
• joined the institution's booster club or any sport specific support group
• provided or helped arrange employment for a student-athlete
• provided benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families
• assisted in any manner in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes
• promoted the institution's athletics program in any manner.
• purchased season tickets from the University.

As a representative of athletics interests (booster/donor), you may not:
• contact a prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an effort to evaluate a prospect
• visit the prospect's institution to pick up film or transcripts pertaining to the evaluation of the prospect's •academic eligibility or athletic ability
• contact a prospect, his/her parents, legal guardians or spouse on or off campus
• contact a prospect by telephone or by letter
• make special arrangements for entertainment for recruiting purposes
• provide extra benefits to a prospect, student -athlete at AU or another institution or to the parents, family and/or guardians of the prospects or student athlete's.

Who is a Prospective Student-Athlete?
• NCAA rules stipulate that a prospective student-athlete is a person who has started classes for the ninth (9th) grade, regardless of his/her athletics ability and /or participation.
• A prospective student-athlete remains a prospect even after he or she has signed a National Letter of Intent or accepts an offer of financial aid to attend an institution.
• The prospect remains a prospect until he/she reports for the first day of classes for a regular term (fall or spring) or the first official day of practice (whichever comes first).

Don't forget about the Transfer Student!
As a representative of athletics interest you are not permitted to contact any student-athlete or the family member/guardian of a student-athlete who is or has enrolled at another institution for the purposes of recruiting and/or to determine the possibility of transferring to AU. The same rules apply to these students as they do for prospective student-athletes.

What is an "Extra Benefit"?
The NCAA defines an extra benefit as any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution's athletics interest ("booster/donor") to provide a student-athlete (or a student-athlete's relative or friend) a benefit that is not generally available to other AU students and their relative and/or friends.
Therefore, please be aware of the following:
• A student-athlete cannot accept anything from an employee of AU or athletic booster/donor (e.g., use of a car, hair cut, clothing, gifts, money, tickets for any kind of entertainment, payment of long distance telephone calls).
• A student-athlete cannot accept free or reduced cost room and/or board from any AU employee or booster/donor of AU's athletic programs. This includes in on or off campus, in the student-athlete's home city or any other location. This would preclude a student-athlete from "house sitting" without paying rental costs at a comparable rate for similar housing in that locale.
• A student-athlete may not accept free or reduced cost storage room for personal belongings for the summer months from any AU employee or booster/donor of AU's athletic programs.
• A student-athlete cannot accept free or reduced merchandise or services from any merchant unless that free or reduced cost item is also available to the general public.
• A student-athlete cannot eat at a restaurant as the guest of an athletic booster/donor or an employee of AU.
• On infrequent, special occasions (e.g., a birthday, Thanksgiving, etc.), a student-athlete may accept an invitation to the home of an employee of AU or an athletic booster/donor for a meal.
• A student-athlete cannot use a Department of Athletics copy machine, fax machine or make long distance phone calls using departmental equipment or the long distance access code of an employee of AU or athletic booster/donor.
• Members of the Department of Athletics staff or an athletic booster/donor are not permitted to type reports, papers, letters, etc., for a student-athlete.
• A student-athlete cannot receive a special discount, payment arrangement or credit on a purchase (e.g., airline ticket, clothing), or service (e.g., laundry, dry cleaning) from an employee of AU or an athletic booster/donor.
• An AU employee or a booster/donor cannot provide a student-athlete with a loan of money, a guarantee of bond, the use of an automobile or the signing or co-signing of a note to arrange a loan, or pay or provide other compensation for work not performed or at unreasonable levels for work performed.
• An AU employee may provide a student-athlete only reasonable and occasional local (i.e., within a 30 mile radius of the AU campus) transportation. However, an AU employee may not utilize a University vehicle for purposes of assisting a student-athlete's move from one residence to another.

What are the consequences of NCAA violations?
• A currently enrolled student-athlete being declared ineligible to participate.
• The eligibility of a prospective student-athlete(s) being jeopardized.
• Violations of NCAA regulations and sanctions placed on the University and its athletics programs.

What are the consequences to athletic representatives (boosters/donors) for NCAA violations?
American University is required by the NCAA to notify boosters of consequences regarding rules violations. Boosters found in violation of NCAA rules are subject to losing benefits and privileges, including but not limited to disassociation from American University and/or loss of ticket privileges.

Promotional/Charitable Activities
American University student-athletes are often asked to participate in promotional activities (e.g., speaking engagements). However, student-athlete involvement in a promotional activity is also subject to specific NCAA rules and is limited to institutional, charitable, educational and/or non-profit activities.

Permissible Activities Institutional, Charitable, Education or Nonprofit Promotions

A member institution or recognized entity thereof (e.g., fraternity, sorority or student government organization), a member conference or a non-institutional charitable, educational or nonprofit agency may use a student-athlete's name, picture or appearance to support its charitable or educational activities or to support activities considered incidental to the student-athlete's participation in intercollegiate athletics, provided the following conditions are met:

(a) The student-athlete receives written approval to participate from the director of athletics (or his or her designee who may not be a coaching staff member), subject to the limitations on participants in such activities as set forth in Bylaw 17;

(b) The specific activity or project in which the student-athlete participates does not involve co-sponsorship, advertisement or promotion by a commercial agency other than through the reproduction of the sponsoring company's officially registered regular trademark or logo on printed materials such as pictures, posters or calendars. The company's emblem, name, address and telephone number may be included with the trademark or logo. Personal names, messages and slogans (other than an officially registered trademark) are prohibited;
(c) The name or picture of a student-athlete with remaining eligibility may not appear on an institution's printed promotional item (e.g., poster, calendar) that includes a reproduction of a product with which a commercial entity is associated if the commercial entity's officially registered regular trademark or logo also appears on the item;

(d) The student-athlete does not miss class;

(e) All moneys derived from the activity or project go directly to the member institution, member conference or the charitable, educational or nonprofit agency;

(f) The student-athlete may accept actual and necessary expenses from the member institution, member conference or the charitable, educational or nonprofit agency related to participation in such activity;

(g) The student-athlete's name, picture or appearance is not utilized to promote the commercial ventures of any nonprofit agency;

(h) Any commercial items with names, likenesses or pictures of multiple student-athletes (other than highlight films or media guides per Bylaw may be sold only at the member institution at which the student-athlete is enrolled, institutionally controlled (owned and operated) outlets or outlets controlled by the charitable or educational organization (e.g., location of the charitable or educational organization, site of charitable event during the event). Items that include an individual student-athlete's name, picture or likeness (e.g., name on jersey, name or likeness on a bobble-head doll), other than informational items (e.g., media guide, schedule cards, institutional publications), may not be sold; and

(i) The student-athlete and an authorized representative of the charitable, educational or nonprofit agency sign a release statement ensuring that the student-athlete's name, image or appearance is used in a manner consistent with the requirements of this section.

If your organization would like to utilize AU student-athletes to participate in an event, please contact the Compliance Office at 202-885-3039.