Cougar Club Members and CofC Alumni
The NCAA has strictly limited the role representatives of athletics interest may take with regard to our recruits and student-athletes. College of Charleston is held responsible for any actions taken by a representative of athletics interest relating to prospects or current student-athletes. The penalties for breaking these rules, whether by accident or intentional, is severe. Any violation may jeopardize a young person's opportunity to attend and compete for College of Charleston as a student-athlete, no matter how minor it may seem. In addition, College of Charleston will be exposed to NCAA sanctions and the representative of athletics interest could be disassociated from our program.
A representative of athletics interest is any individual who has ever:
attended College of Charleston
participated in or been a member of Cougar Club;
contributed to the athletics department or Cougar Club;
assisted or have been requested by the athletics staff to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes;
assisted in providing extra benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families, or
been otherwise involved in the College of Charleston athletics program.
Once an individual is identified as a representative of the institution's athletics interest, that person remains a College of Charleston booster forever.
Contact with Prospective Student-Athletes
It is clear that much confusion exists about the NCAA and its role in regulating the activity between a booster and a prospect. A booster cannot contact or interact with a prospect or family for the purpose of persuading them to attend College of Charleston.
1. Identify outstanding potential student-athletes.
If you know of outstanding prospects in the area, send information such as newspaper clippings to the COACH in that sport.
2. Provide employment and internship opportunities for student-athletes.
If you know of positions in your business or community, that are suited for student-athletes, contact compliance services.
3. Report potential violations to compliance services.
Help College of Charleston operate a program free of booster problems. If you suspect a violation or wonder about a particular situation, please call compliance services.
4. Continue established friendships with friends and neighbors, even those with prospect-aged children.
1. Cannot contact prospects directly or contact high school coaches or guidance counselors to get information on prospects.
2. Cannot contact prospect's family or friends and promote College of Charleston's athletic program.
3. A prospect could not receive any room, board or living expenses from you at any time including the summer prior to enrollment at College of Charleston.
4. Cannot arrange financial assistance for prospects, their families and friends.
5. Cannot provide transportation to prospects, their families and friends.
Contact with Current Student-Athletes
An extra benefit is any award, gift, benefit or expense not allowed by NCAA rules. Generally, a student-athlete may not receive a benefit that is not available to other members of the student body. Examples of such benefits, which may not be provided by anyone other than student-athletes parents/ guardians, include but are not limited to: gifts or loans, clothing, stereo equipment, compact discs, food, beverages, transportation, ownership or use of automobiles, use of automatic cash machine, low interest or interest free loans, telephone credit cards and use of charge accounts.
To determine whether a benefit provided to a student-athlete would constitute a NCAA violation, the following four-question test must be answered:
1. Did your relationship or benefit provided to the student-athlete or student-athlete's parents develop as a result of the student-athletes athletics participation?
2. Did your relationship or benefit provided to the student-athlete or student-athlete's parents occur before the student-athlete became a prospect (grade nine through twelve)?
3. Did your relationship with the student-athlete or student-athlete's parents occur before the student-athlete's reputation as an athlete?
4. If you provided a benefit to a student-athlete or student-athlete's parents, was the benefit similar in nature today as it was before the student-athlete became an athlete?
If you answer "yes" to the first question and "no" to any of the other three, do not provide! If you have already provided, contact compliance services immediately.
The NCAA's goal is to limit extra benefits provided to prospects and student-athletes. If it is determined that you have an established relationship with a student-athlete, you may continue to provide occasional benefits, provided they are similar in nature as before the student-athlete became an athlete. The origin and duration of the relationship and the consistency of benefits provided by you are key factors in determining whether or not a violation occurs.
In addition, the individual who provides the benefits may not be an agent, Cougar Club member, or College of Charleston booster who assisted in the student-athletes recruitment to College of Charleston.
Please understand that if you provide extra benefits, you may render the student-athlete ineligible and the team may have to forfeit contests in which the student-athlete participated. If you have provided or have offered to provide any extra benefit, please contact compliance services immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions By Cougar Club Members
May I contact high school coaches or guidance counselors directly regarding a prospective student-athlete?
No, such contact would constitute recruiting. Only College of Charleston coaches may contact high school coaches or guidance counselors regarding a prospect.
May I attend a high school game where prospects are participating? May I speak with a prospects parent while at the game?
Yes, you may attend a high school game. However, it is not permissible to have contact with a prospects parent for the purposes of recruiting the prospect.
What if I am a friend of the family, a relative or a neighbor of a prospect?
The rule does not prevent you from having normal contact with friends, relatives or neighbors. However, contact for the purpose of recruiting is not permissible.
Can a Cougar Club member be involved in any way when a prospect is on an official or unofficial visit?
NO, Cougar Club members may not be involved with a prospect while the prospect is on their visit to College of Charleston's campus.
Is it permissible for a Cougar Club member to provide summer employment for student-athletes?
Yes, it is permissible. Please remember that all employment must be arranged through the compliance department. Also, once employment begins, compensation must be paid only for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality.
Is it permissible for a booster to reimburse the coach of a prospect for expenses incurred in transporting a prospect to visit the campus?
No, coaches may not be reimbursed or provided any benefit by College of Charleston or its boosters for bringing a prospect to campus.
Is it permissible for a Cougar Club member to pay in whole or in part registration fees associated with sport camps?
No, any assistance by a College of Charleston employee or booster would constitute an extra benefit and not permissible.
Is it permissible for a Cougar Club member to provide enrolled student-athletes a home cooked meal?
Yes, provided it is on an "occasional basis" and the meal is at the home not a restaurant. All requests must be received by compliance services prior to the event.
Is College of Charleston's athletics department responsible for the acts of boosters and booster support groups?
Yes. Cougar Club members must follow the same rules and regulations as those placed upon College of Charleston coaches and administration.
Is it permissible for a Cougar Club member to provide gifts or awards to a student-athlete for his or her performances?
No, all awards must conform to NCAA awards legislation and must be approved by College of Charleston's compliance department.
As a Cougar Club member, may I call or write a prospect to let him or her know they would be a good fit for College of Charleston?
No, only College of Charleston's coaches may call or write a prospect after specific dates established by the NCAA.
What should I do if a prospect calls me about College of Charleston?
If that situation occurs, you may speak to the prospect about questions they may have about general university information. However, you may not answer any questions about athletics. Our recommendation is for you to inform the prospect to contact the sports' coach they are interested in participating.
Is it permissible for a Cougar Club member, independently or at the direction of a coach, to pick up a game film or transcript from the prospect's high school?
No, only College of Charleston coaches may visit a prospect's high school to obtain this information.
Can a Cougar Club member arrange for a prospect to work with them after high school graduation?
Yes, once the prospect signs an NLI with College of Charleston and graduates from high school, the prospect may work for a Cougar Club member. Remember, first contact College of Charleston's compliance department for approval. The prospect must receive pay for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the rate of that locality.
Can a Cougar Club member provide anything to a prospect?
Outside of providing a coaches name for the prospect to contact, NCAA rules prohibit Cougar Club members from providing any benefit to a prospect or the prospect's family or legal guardian.
Can a Cougar Club member provide transportation to a prospect to attend a home game on College of Charleston's campus?
Yes, if and only if the prospect is an established friend or neighbor. You may not transport a prospect to campus for the sole purpose of bringing the prospect to a College of Charleston game.
Can a Cougar Club member provide financial assistance to a prospect or student-athlete for educational or other expenses?
No, it is not permissible to directly or indirectly pay in whole or in part the costs of the prospects education or other expenses prior to enrollment or after he/she attends campus.
Can a Cougar Club member donate or provide funding to benefit a high school's athletic program?
1) The high school is located in the community in which the Cougar Club member resides;
2) The Cougar Club member acts independently of College of Charleston;
3) The funds are distributed through established channels by the high school; and
4) The funds are not directed for a particular prospect
Can a Cougar Club member cosign a loan or loan money to a student-athlete?
No, this is an extra benefit and would not be permissible.
Can a Cougar Club member provide discounts or credits to student-athletes?
No, student-athletes may not receive discounts or credits on a purchase or service from Cougar Club members.