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Skyhawk Club & other athletic boosters who Represent UTM Athletics. How to properly represent UTM Athletics in accordance with the NCAA Bylaws. The NCAA Handbook. UTM is home to 15 collegiate sports teams, 13 of which compete within the NCAA.

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skyhawk club other athletic boosters who represent utm athletics

Skyhawk Club & other athletic boosters who Represent UTM Athletics

How to properly represent UTM Athletics in accordance with the NCAA Bylaws

the ncaa handbook
The NCAA Handbook
  • UTM is home to 15 collegiate sports teams, 13 of which compete within the NCAA.
  • The NCAA is a governing body set up to ensure all collegiate athletes receive fair, respectable treatment while enrolled and playing at the collegiate level.
  • As a member of the NCAA, it is UTM’s responsibility to abide by the rules and regulations set forth within the NCAA handbook.
  • Furthermore, UTM holds the duty to make certain that those who support our athletic teams as fans, supporters, or Skyhawk Club members are also in compliance with the NCAA handbook.
how you can help
How You Can Help

As an NCAA member institution, the University of Tennessee-Martin is responsible for the actions of its coaches, student-athletes, staff, boosters, alumni, fans and friends. The NCAA mandates that boosters conduct themselves according to strict guidelines pertaining to their involvement in the Skyhawk Athletics program.

The following information is designed to assist you in understanding these guidelines, so that the eligibility of a student-athlete or prospective student-athlete, your affiliation with the University of Tennessee-Martin or the integrity of the athletics program is not jeopardized.

who is a utm representative
Who is a UTM Representative?
  • A "representative of the institution's athletics interests" is an individual, independent agency, corporate entity or other organization who is known by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to:
    • (a) Have participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization promoting the institution's intercollegiate athletics program;
    • (b) Have made financial contributions to the athletics department or to an athletics booster organization of that institution;
    • (c) Be assisting or to have been requested (by the athletics department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes;
    • (d) Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or
    • (e) Have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution's athletics program.

Article 13.02.14

who is a prospective student athlete prospect

High School Prospect

  • A prospective student-athlete (prospect) is defined by the NCAA as any person who has begun classes for the ninth (9th) grade. In addition, a student who has not yet started classes for the ninth grade becomes a prospect if an institution provides that individual (or the individual's relatives or friends) any financial assistance or other benefits that the institution does not provide to prospective student-athletes generally.

Post High School Prospect

  • The rules regarding prospective student-athletes also apply to student-athletes at junior colleges, preparatory schools, and two and four-year universities who are considering transferring to the University of Tennessee-Martin to compete in athletics. A prospect remains a prospect until she/he reports for the first day of classes for a regular term or participates in regular practice or competition prior to the beginning of any term.
boosters and prospective student athletes

The following information is a summary of the types of interaction that boosters can/cannot have with prospects.

  • Recruiting as a general rule, NCAA regulations prohibit boosters from contacting prospects by mail, telephone, or in-person (on-or off-campus) for the purpose of encouraging the prospect to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Only UTM coaches and athletics department staff members are permitted to be involved in the recruiting process

Article 13.01.4

boosters and prospective student athletes1

Specifically, boosters should NOT:

  • Telephone, write or make in-person contact with a prospect (or a member of the prospect's family) for the purpose of encouraging his/her participation in intercollegiate athletics at UTM;
  • Make arrangements, directly or indirectly, for a prospect, the prospect's relatives or friends to receive money, financial aid of any kind, gifts, special discounts for goods or services or the use of an automobile;
  • Provide transportation to prospects, including transportation to visit campus or to attend athletics events;
  • Contact a prospect's coach, principal or guidance counselor for the purpose of evaluating the prospect (including picking up films or transcripts);
  • Provide free or reduced-cost tickets to any UTM athletics events (home or away) to prospects, their friends or relatives;
  • Pay or offer to pay a prospect's registration fees for summer sports camps; or
  • Entertain a high school, prep school or two-year college coach in any way.
boosters and prospective student athletes2

Boosters MAY:

  • Attend high school, prep school and two-year college athletics events that they would normally;
  • Speak to a prospective student-athlete via telephone ONLY if the prospect initiates the conversation and the call is not for recruiting purposes. Any questions regarding the University of Tennessee-Martin’s athletics program must be referred to a member of the athletics department staff;
  • Continue existing friendships with the families of prospects without encouraging the prospect to participate in intercollegiate athletics at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
  • Prospects may be invited to booster club/alumni events only if the invitation is not based on their status as an athlete.
  • If an athletics department staff member is invited to speak at a booster club/alumni event, please let her/him know if prospects will be in attendance. There are certain time periods when coaches are prohibited from having off-campus contact with a prospect.
boosters currently enrolled student athletes

The following is a summary of the types of interaction that boosters can/cannot have with currently enrolled student-athletes.

extra benefits
Extra Benefits
  • A student-athlete shall not receive any extra benefit. Receipt by a student-athlete of an award, benefit, or expense allowance not authorized by the NCAA legislation renders the student-athlete ineligible for athletics competition

Article 16.01.1

  • University of Tennessee-Martin boosters (Skyhawk Club members or otherwise) cannot provide an "extra benefit" or special arrangement to a prospect or to an enrolled student-athlete. An "extra benefit" is any special arrangement by an institution employee or a booster to provide a student-athlete, prospect, or their relatives or friends a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.
extra benefits1
Extra Benefits

Examples include:

  • Financial aid other than that provided by the University of Tennessee-Martin, established scholarship funds or parents/guardians;
  • Providing cash or loans in any amount, or signing/cosigning for a loan.
  • Providing gifts or services of any kind (e.g., birthday cards, holiday gifts, clothing, airline tickets, transportation, reduced or free rent for housing);
  • Providing special discounts for goods or services. (e.g., car rental, legal services, haircuts);
  • Providing rewards for athletic performance;
extra benefits2
Extra Benefits

Examples continued:

  • Purchasing complimentary admissions from a student-athlete or providing any item of value in exchange for a complimentary admission;
  • Providing an honorarium to a student-athlete for a speaking engagement;
  • Purchasing meals, services, and/or entertainment at commercial establishments.
  • Promising employment after graduation or employment for friends and relatives.
  • A benefit is not considered a violation if it is one that is generally available to students determined on a basis unrelated to athletic ability.
  • An institution is required to apply the same housing policies to student-athletes as it applies to the student body in general.

Article 16.5.1

  • Athletes are awarded scholarships that cover some or all of their housing. Any extra help in paying these costs is seen as an extra benefit over the rest of the student body.
  • It is not permissible for Skyhawk Club members or boosters to finance athletes housing or any sort of living expenses.
student athlete s relatives and friends
Student-Athlete’s Relatives and Friends
  • An institution may not provide any expenses to a student-athlete’s relatives or friends

Article 16.6.1

  • This includes Skyhawk Club members providing extra benefits to relatives or friends of student-athletes that the rest of the student body is not privy to.
    • Tickets, gifts, food, hotel rooms, transportation, among other benefits are not permissible.
student athlete employment
Student Athlete Employment

Under NCAA legislation, a student-athlete may receive earnings from legitimate on or off-campus employment provided:

  • The student-athlete's wages are for work actually performed;
  • The student-athlete's compensation does not include remuneration for value, utility, publicity, fame, athletic ability, etc.
  • The student-athlete's employer completes and returns an Employment Confirmation Form to the Compliance Office.
  • Transportation to work for prospective or enrolled student-athletes that you employ is prohibited unless it is provided for all other employees.
  • Student-athletes are to be compensated at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality for similar services.
student athlete employment1
Student Athlete Employment
  • Student-athletes may not receive compensation related to their speaking at an institutional athletic booster/club function.
  • Student-athletes are not permitted to be involved in the advertisement, recommendation or promotion of sales, or use of commercial product or service of any kind.
  • Student-athletes are prohibited from selling athletics equipment related to the student-athlete's sport if his or her name, picture, or athletic reputation is used to advertise or promote the product, the job, or the employer.
  • Student-athletes are prohibited from making appearances at a business establishment for any purposes such as signing autographs. Such appearance is impermissible because it could be construed as a direct or indirect endorsement of the establishment
occasional meals
Occasional Meals
  • A student-athlete or the entire team in a sport may receive an occasional meal from a representative of athletics interests on infrequent and special occasions under the following conditions
    • (a) The meal may only be provided in an individual’s home, on campus or at a facility that is regularly used for home competition and may be catered; and
    • (b) A representative of the institution’s athletics interests (Skyhawk Club or boosters) may provide reasonable local transportation to student-athletes to attend the meal function only if the meal function is at the home of that representative.


occasional meals1
Occasional Meals
  • It is permissible to invite a student-athlete or team to your home for an "occasional" meal (special occasions would include a birthday, holiday, etc.).
  • You may provide transportation only if the meal is in your home and your home is in the Weakley County vicinity (local in nature).
  • Such events must receive prior approval from the University of Tennessee-Martin athletics department.
thank you
  • Thank you very much for your time. We hope this presentation will help you in supporting the Skyhawks in the best way possible
  • If you have any questions please feel free to contact
    • Col. Bill Kaler
    • Richard Schoeberl
    • Jenna Miller