Vikings Fans, Boosters, and Alumni
The athletic department at Cleveland State University works hard to attract quality individuals to represent our school as student-athletes. We recognize that fans, friends of the program (Boosters), and alumni have a passion for CSU athletics. However, it is our responsibility in the Compliance Office to educate you about permissible and impermissible forms of support for CSU athletics. By following NCAA rules and regulations, we can ensure that all of our student-athletes remain eligible to keep making us proud in the classroom and on the playing fields.
Who is a Representative of CSU's Athletics Interests?
Bylaw 13.02.15 - Representative of Athletics Interests. A "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 been known) by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to: (Revised 2/16/00)
a) Have participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization promoting the institution's athletics programs (i.e. the Viking Club)
b) Have ever made financial contributions to the athletics department or to a 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
e) Have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution's athletics program
Furthermore, you will be considered a representative of CSU's athletics interests if any of the following criteria apply to you:
- You were once a member of a varsity team at CSU
- You helped to arrange employment for prospective or current student-athletes
- You are the parent(s) or legal guardians of an enrolled or former student-athlete
According to NCAA rules, once an individual has been identified as a "representative of an institution's athletics interests," the individual retains the title for life. (Bylaw 13.02.13.1)
Compliance Office Contact Information:
Danielle Cohea, Associate Athletics Director, Compliance
Cleveland State University Athletics
2121 Euclid Ave., PE Bldg Room 337
Cleveland, OH 44115
Phone: (216) 523-7491
Fax: (216) 687-4845
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Ave. - PE Bldg Room 338
Cleveland, OH 44115
Cleveland State University is ultimately responsible for the actions of its athletics representatives in regard to NCAA rules and regulations. If you are aware of any infractions of Horizon League or NCAA rules please report it to the Compliance Office immediately. Even if a violation is unintentional, the eligibility of a prospect or enrolled student-athlete could be in jeopardy. The following information will help everyone gain a basic understanding of NCAA rules and regulations.
Who is a prospective student-athlete?
A prospective student-athlete is any student who has started classes for the ninth grade. A student who has not yet started ninth grade may become a prospect if CSU or a booster provided the student, their relatives or friends, with financial assistance or benefits not generally provided to other students. In addition, student-athletes enrolled in preparatory school or two-year colleges, or those who have officially withdrawn from a four-year school, are considered prospects. A prospective student-athlete remains a prospect even after he/she has signed a National Letter of Intent or accepted an offer of admission or financial aid to attend Cleveland State University. A prospect becomes a current student-athlete only when he/she reports for preseason practice or the first day of classes, whichever occurs first.
Who is a current student-athlete?
A student-athlete is any Cleveland State University student who is presently a member of a varsity athletics team, who is receiving athletically related financial aid or who has completed his/her eligibility but is still enrolled in the institution. NCAA regulations apply to all student-athletes, not just those student-athletes who were recruited or who receive an athletics scholarship.
What is an extra benefit?
Members of the athletic staff and representatives of athletics interests are prohibited from providing an extra benefit to a prospective or current student-athlete. An extra benefit is any gift or arrangement provided to a prospective or current student-athlete or their relatives or friends that is not expressly permitted by the NCAA.
Examples of extra benefits include, but are not limited to:
• Monetary loans or cosigning of loans
• A vehicle or use of a vehicle
• Payment for or the arrangement of transportation
• Free or reduced-cost goods or services
• Free or reduced cost housing
Student-athletes who receive any extra benefits are immediately ineligible for intercollegiate competition, they must repay the entire amount of the benefit, and they often must petition the NCAA for the reinstatement of their eligibility. In cases in which boosters provide the extra benefit, the NCAA or institution often imposes penalties related to disassociation of the booster from the athletic program.
What is recruiting?
Recruiting is any solicitation of a prospect or the prospect's parent/legal guardian by a Cleveland State staff member for the purpose of securing the prospect's enrollment at CSU and/or participation in one of CSU's athletic programs. Recruiting activities include correspondence, e-mail, faxes, telephone conversations, and in-person contacts (on and off-campus).
Who may recruit?
Only Cleveland State University coaches who successfully complete the NCAA Recruiting Rules Examination on an annual basis may recruit off-campus for the athletic program.
Representatives of Athletics Interests are prohibited from engaging in any recruiting activities either on or off-campus. An alumnus of the institution may receive phone calls from prospects to discuss the University in general, but may not discuss athletics.
Faculty and staff members are not permitted to recruit off-campus, but they may have on-campus contact with prospects. In general, faculty and staff members may not telephone a prospect until July 1 following the completion of his or her junior year in high school. In most instances, a call by a faculty or staff member counts as the prospects one call that they may receive from the institution each week. Therefore it is imperative that calls from faculty and staff are coordinated through the coach. Faculty and staff members may write to prospects after September 1 of their junior year.
Athletics Department staff members may have recruiting contacts with prospects on campus only.
A spouse of a coach or staff member may have contact with a prospect on-campus. Additionally, he or she may make an off-campus contact during the prospect's official visit, as long as it is within a 30-mile radius of the institution's main campus. The spouse may not however, correspond in writing (follow-up letter after visit etc.) with the prospect.
A member of the Board of Trustees may not make on or off-campus recruiting contact with a prospect.
Enrolled student-athletes and other enrolled students are not considered to be boosters as long as any contact with a prospect is incidental and does not occur at the direction of a member of the athletics department. Enrolled students should be aware that they:
- May not make or participate in telephone calls to prospects at the direction of a coaching staff member or financed by CSU or a representative of athletics interests
- May receive telephone calls made at the expense of the prospect subsequent to July 1 following the completion of the prospect's junior year in high school
- May exchange written correspondence with a prospect
- May serve as student hosts for a prospect
What may boosters do?
Permissible activities with prospective student-athletes:
- You may continue to have contact with an established family friend or neighbor who is a prospect as long as such contact is not for recruiting purposes and is not initiated by a CSU coaching staff member
- You may bring outstanding prospects to the attention of the CSU coaching staff by sending the coach newspaper clippings and other information about the individual
- You may assist a prospective student-athlete who has signed a National Letter of Intent with securing employment the summer before he/she enrolls in CSU. All arrangements of employment must be reported to the Compliance Office
Permissible activities with currently enrolled student-athletes:
- You may have contact with enrolled student-athletes on campus (limited to a pleasant greeting and conversation - an exchange of extra benefits would NOT be permissible)
- You may invite a student-athlete(s) or the entire team for a meal at your home and provide transportation to the event. The meal, which may be catered, should be limited to infrequent or special occasions (holidays, birthday, etc.) Please seek permission from the Compliance Office first
- You may invite an entire team for a meal when they are visiting your city for an away-from-home athletic event. When the team is on the road, this meal may take place at the booster's home or at a restaurant, but must include the entire team
- You may assist a student-athlete with securing summer and post-graduation employment. However, the student-athlete may only be paid for work he/she actually performs (at a rate commensurate with the type of work). All arrangements of employment should be reported to the Compliance Office
- You may contribute to CSU athletics monetarily. These contributions help subsidize the University's commitment to providing a quality athletic experience for more than 300 student-athletes annually
Thank you for your continued support of Vikings athletics. Play by the rules and everyone wins! Remember that if you have any questions/concerns, you can contact the Compliance Office at (216) 523-7491.