The Air Force Academy Athletic Department takes great pride in abiding by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Mountain West Conference rules and guidelines that govern Division I competition. For the benefit of the many alumni, fans and booster club members who are so active in supporting and assisting the Falcons throughout the year, we would like to remind everyone of a few definitions and rules that apply to all athletic representatives and boosters.
It is the responsibility of the Air Force Academy to control its intercollegiate athletic program in compliance with the rules and regulations of the NCAA.
The Air Force Academy's responsibility for the conduct of its program includes responsibility for the actions of its staff members and for the actions of any other individual, booster or organization engaged in activities promoting the athletic interests of the institution.
The Air Force Academy must monitor its program to assure compliance and to identify and report to the NCAA instances in which compliance has not been achieved. An institution found to have violated NCAA rules is subject to disciplinary and corrective actions as determined by the NCAA.
You are considered to be an Air Force Academy athletic representative if you:
- Are a present or past member of an Air Force Academy booster club or agency that promotes the Falcons' intercollegiate athletic program;
- Have made financial contributions to the athletic department or to an athletic booster organization of the Air Force Academy;
- Are, or have been, providing benefits (e.g., meals) to enrolled student-athletes, their family members or friends;
- Are, or have been, involved in any manner of promoting the Air Force Academy intercollegiate athletic program.
A prospective student-athlete is a student who has started classes for the ninth grade or above, including students in prep schools and junior colleges as well as students who have officially withdrawn from a four-year institution and plan to transfer to another institution. In addition, a student who has not started classes for the ninth grade becomes a prospective student-athlete if the institution or a booster provides the individual or the individual's relatives or friends with any financial assistance or benefits that the institution does not provide to prospective students in general. A good rule of thumb is to treat ALL STUDENTS as prospects.
A student-athlete is a student whose enrollment was solicited by a member of the athletic staff or other representative of athletic interests with a view toward the student's ultimate participation in the intercollegiate athletic program.
A contact is any face-to-face encounter between a prospect or the prospect's parent or legal guardian, and an institutional staff member or athletic representative during which any dialogue occurs.
Recruiting is any solicitation of a prospect (or a prospect's family member (or guardian) by an institutional staff member or by an athletic representative of the institution, for the purpose of securing the prospect's enrollment and ultimate participation in the institution's intercollegiate athletic program.
- Boosters are not allowed to contact a prospect in an attempt to recruit the prospect to the Air Force Academy. Types of prohibited contacts include but are not limited to:
- On- or off-campus face-to-face conversation with the prospect or the prospect's relatives;
- Any form of written correspondence; and/or
- Telephone calls to a prospect, the prospect's relatives or prospect's coach.
- Boosters are not allowed to invite a prospect or the prospect's relatives to any booster function or alumni event. Remember that CONTACT BETWEEN A BOOSTER AND A PROSPECT IS NOT PERMISSIBLE.
- Boosters are not allowed to provide a prospect or the prospect's relatives with free or reduced rate transportation, meals, lodging, gifts, entertainment or expenses for any type of service.
- If you are a booster, you may send information (e.g., news articles, game programs, etc.) concerning a prospective student-athlete to the appropriate coaching staff. Your assistance in this area is helpful and appreciated. The coaching staff will then make contact with the prospect or prospect's coach.
- If you are a booster, you may attend high school, prep school, and junior-community college athletic events provided you do not contact prospective student-athletes and/or their family members. In addition, you may not contact a prospect's coach, counselor or other administrator in an attempt to recruit the prospect. If these individuals happen to approach you and raise questions about the Air Force Academy athletic program, please refer them to the appropriate Falcon coaching staff member.
- If you are a booster, you may continue pre-established friendships with prospects, their parents and relatives provided that the contact you have with these individuals is not arranged by an Air Force coaching staff member and the contact is not an attempt to recruit the prospect.
- If you are a booster, you may attend a high school or community athletic activity or public event (e.g., banquet, fund-raising event or dinner) at which prospects are in attendance. However, NO contact or attempt should be made to recruit a prospect.
What is an Extra Benefit?
An "extra" benefit" is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution's athletic interests to provide a current student-athlete, a prospective student-athlete or any student-athlete's relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.
An Air Force Academy athletic representative may not arrange nor provide an "extra benefit" to a prospect or to an enrolled student-athlete. In addition, family members and friends of any student-athlete may not receive "extra benefits." Examples of "extra benefits" include, but are not limited to:
- Signing or co-signing for a loan;
- Providing cash;
- Giving gifts of any kind, including birthday and holiday gifts;
- Providing free or reduced-cost services such as long distance telephone use, car repairs, haircuts, or laundry service;
- Providing transportation or the use of a vehicle;
- Providing pay for a student-athlete's pass list or complimentary admissions tickets;
- Providing complimentary or free tickets to an athletic, institutional or community event;
- Providing academic course supplies, typing services or duplicating costs;
- Providing employment to a student-athlete's relatives or friends as an inducement to enroll at the Air Force Academy;
- Providing cost-free entertainment (e.g., movies, dancing, boating, etc.);
- Promising financial aid for postgraduate education;
- Providing sport camp registration fees;
- Providing an honorarium or expenses to a student-athlete for speaking at a booster club function or other event without prior approval from the NCAA Compliance staff.
- Boosters may invite a student-athlete to their home (not to a restaurant) for a meal on an "occasional" basis in celebration of a special event (e.g. holiday, birthday). A booster may also provide reasonable transportation to their home for the meal as well as cater the meal into the home.
- Booster clubs may finance an awards banquet one time per year, to commemorate the athletic accomplishments of student-athletes.
- Boosters can avoid potential violations by contacting the NCAA Compliance staff and utilizing the "ask before acting" policy prior to providing any benefits or services to a student-athlete or team.