Who Is a Booster?
Representatives of Michigan Athletics Interests

The following basic information concerning NCAA rules that apply to a "Representative of University of Michigan Athletics" is intended to assist you in your efforts to ensure that the Michigan tradition of fair play, academic excellence and athletic success continues.

Academically, Michigan has consistently been ranked among the top five public universities in the nation. Athletically, Michigan teams have won 52 national championships and 111 more conference titles than any other Big Ten Institution. Michigan has also placed in the top 10 of the NCAA Directors' Cup 12 times since its inception 14 years ago.

To preserve the Michigan tradition, we must always seek the highest standard of ethical conduct. With your assistance and cooperation in adhering to the NCAA regulations, we believe these goals can be accomplished. The Department of Athletics thanks you for your continued support and loyalty to Michigan and its athletics program.

  1. NCAA Regulations

    The University of Michigan is responsible for insuring that its various constituencies (e.g., University staff and faculty, coaches, student-athletes, alumni and friends) abide by NCAA rules and regulations. Under NCAA rules, all alumni, friends and employees of the University are categorized as "representatives of the University of Michigan's athletics interests."
  2. Representatives of Michigan's Athletics Interests

    Who is a representative of the University of Michigan's athletics interests (i.e., a "Wolverine athletics booster")

    NCAA Bylaw 13.02.11 defines "booster". In part, this regulation states:

    "A booster (i.e., 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 who should have known) by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to:

    • Have participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization promoting 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 staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospects;
    • 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.
    The NCAA stipulates that once an individual has been identified as a "representative" of the University of Michigan's athletics programs he or she retains this status forever. This is true even if the individual no longer contributes to the athletics program.
  3. Q & A: Recruiting Issues Regarding Michigan's Athletics Representatives

    Q: Do NCAA rules address the role of "boosters" in the recruiting process

    A: Yes. NCAA recruiting regulations are based on the premise that individuals not employed by the university shall not be factor in the athletics recruitment of prospective student-athletes. Specifically, "boosters" may not:

    • Call, write or e-mail a prospective student-athlete or the prospect's parents, legal guardians, relatives, coaches, or counselors for purposes of athletics recruitment;
    • Have on or off campus contact with a prospect for purposes of athletics recruitment. Note: for purposes of this legislation, contact is defined as any face-to-face encounter, during which any dialogue is excess of a greeting occurs. Additionally, any encounter that is prearranged or that takes place on the University of Michigan campus shall be considered a contact regardless of the conversation that takes place;
    • Provide a prospect or the prospect's family with gifts, loans, free or reduced cost services or any other benefit/special arrangement as incentive for the prospect to enroll at the University of Michigan;
    • Attend a prospect's competition for evaluation purposes at the request of a University of Michigan coaching staff member.
    Q: What do NCAA rules permit a "booster" to do

    A: Under NCAA rules, "boosters" are permitted to:

    • Attend athletics events involving prospective student-athletes as they normally would, as long as no recruitment on behalf of the institution takes place;
    • Contact a signed prospect about a summer job. In such circumstances, the prospect must be paid the going rate and may not begin work until he or she has graduated from high school.
    Q: Once an individual has been identified as a "booster", how long does he or she retain this identity

    A: Forever. The NCAA stipulates that once you have become an "athletics representative" you always retain that identity, even if you no longer contribute to the athletics program.

    Q: Is the University of Michigan responsible for the acts of boosters and booster support groups

    A: Yes. Boosters are governed by the same NCAA and institutional rules and regulations as those placed upon all institutional athletics staff members.

    Q: During the recruitment of a prospective student-athlete, or prior to an individual's enrollment at Michigan, can a booster be involved directly or indirectly in making arrangements for a prospect, the prospect's relatives or friends to receive money, financial aid or equivalent inducements regardless if similar aid, benefits or arrangements are available to prospective Michigan students, their relatives and friends in general

    A: No.

    Q: What are considered types of inducements that are prohibited by the NCAA

    A: Other types of NCAA-prohibited inducements include, but are not limited to, the following: cash or loans; promise of employment after completion of college education; special discounts or payment arrangements on loans; employment of relatives or friends of a prospective student-athlete; involvement in arrangement for free or reduced charges for professional or personal services, purchases, or charges; use of an automobile; providing transportation to or from a summer job or to any site; signing or co-signing a note for a loan; the loan or gift of money or other tangible items (e.g., clothes, cars, jewelry, electronic/stereo equipment); guarantees of bond; purchase of items or services from a prospect or the prospect's family at inflated prices; providing directly or indirectly transportation to enroll in class or the University of Michigan; any financial aid other than that administered by the institution.

    Q: Is it permissible for a booster to transport, pay or arrange for the payment of transportation costs incurred by relatives or friends of a prospective student-athlete to visit campus

    A: No.

    Q: Can boosters entertain prospective student-athletes and/or relatives and friends of prospective student-athletes at any site either on- or off-campus

    A: No.

  4. Whom to Call with NCAA Questions

    It is extremely important for both you and the University of Michigan that you know and abide by all NCAA regulations. If you have any questions regarding NCAA rules, please contact an athletics administrator or the Compliance Services Office (734-615-7341) before doing something that may jeopardize a student-athlete's eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Remember to "Ask Before You Act!"