Prospective Student Athlete or "Prospect" - any student who has started classes for the ninth grade. The individual 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 the University of Maryland. A prospect becomes a current student-athlete only when he/she reports for preseason practice or the first day of fall classes, whichever occurs first.
Enrolled Student-Athlete - a student who is presently participating in athletics or has completed his or her eligibility but is still enrolled at the University
Extra Benefit - Any special gift or arrangement provided to an enrolled student-athlete, prospect, or to their relatives or friends, which is not available to the general student body. Examples of extra benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Cash or loans in any amount
- Co-signing or arranging for a loan
- Guarantee of post-graduation employment
- Entertainment of any kind, including tickets to any sporting events or concerts including those held on the University of Maryland campus
- Special discounts on services (i.e. meals, clothing, summer storage, etc)
- Food and drinks at tailgates
- Use of a car or payment for other transportation
- Free or reduced rent or housing
- Use of a credit card
- Payment for work not performed or at unreasonable levels for work performed
- Holiday or birthday gifts
- Financial aid to attend Maryland
Below is a list of commonly asked questions that addresses many if the critical areas of compliance. If you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact the compliance office at (301) 314-7081.
Q: Who is a Representative of Maryland Athletics Interest?
A: You are a Representative of Maryland Athletics Interest (also known as a "Booster") if ANY of the following applies:
- You are the parent or legal guardian of an enrolled student-athlete
- You are a former student or fan of the University of Maryland
- You are or have ever have been a season ticket holder
- You are or have been a member of the Terrapin Club
- You have made any financial contributions to the University of Maryland Athletics
- You have participated in promoting the Terrapin athletics program
- You have assisted or have been requested to assist in the recruitment of prospects.
- You currently employ or have previously provided or helped arrange employment for enrolled student-athletes or prospective student-athletes who have signed a National Letter of Intent
A: Yes. The NCAA has developed a four-part test to determine whether or not an individual has become a booster and/or provided a student-athlete, their relatives or friends with an impermissible benefit. If any of the following statements are true then providing benefits to prospects or student-athletes, their relatives and friends can result in the student-athlete being rendered ineligible and cause the individual providing the benefit to be classified as a booster:
1. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) develop as a result of the athlete's participation in athletics or notoriety related thereto?
2. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) predate the athlete's status as a prospective student-athlete?
3. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) predate the athlete's status achieved as a result of his or her athletics ability and reputation?
4. Was the pattern of benefits provided by the individual to the athlete (or the athlete's parents) prior to the athletes attaining notoriety as a skilled athlete similar in nature to those provided after attaining such stature?
Q: Once an individual has been identified as a "Booster", how long does he/she retain this identity?
Q. Is the University of Maryland responsible for the actions of its representatives and their support groups?
A: Yes. The University of Maryland is subject to penalties for all violations committed by any athletic representative or support organization because boosters are governed by the same NCAA and institutional rule sand regulations as those placed upon all intuitional athletics staff members.
Q: Can a booster contact high school coaches or guidance counselors directly regarding a prospective student-athlete?
A: No. This contact would constitute recruiting.
Q: If only Maryland coaches, athletic department, and/or institutional staff members may recruit a prospect how may a booster help?
A: A booster may:
- Attend as many athletic contests as you desire to evaluate talent
- Call, write, or send newspaper articles to the Maryland coaching staff regarding outstanding student-athletes in his/her area
- Feel free to offer assistance to members of the coaching staff who are recruiting in his/her community
A: No. A booster may not contact the coach, the prospect or family members, the principal or counselor in an attempt to evaluate a prospect.
Q: What if a booster attends an athletic event and finds himself/herself sitting next to the parents of the prospect?
A: Do not initiate conversation with the relatives. If conversation is initiated with the booster, respond in a civil manner but do not discuss the University of Maryland Athletics Program with them. If they ask questions about the program, remind them that the NCAA prohibits a booster from discussing the program with them. Encourage the family to contact the University of Maryland Athletic Department directly.
Q: As a booster may I visit the prospect's school to pick up transcripts or videotape/film to send to a college coach?
A: No. A booster may not visit the prospect's school to pick up transcripts or videotapes/film pertaining to the evaluation of the prospect's academic or athletic ability.
Q: May a prospect call a booster?
A: Yes. A booster may have a telephone conversation with a prospect only if the prospect initiates the call. The telephone call may not be prearranged by an institutional staff member, and the booster is not permitted to have a recruiting conversation with the prospect but may exhibit normal civility. The booster must refer any questions about the institution's athletics program to the athletics department staff.
Q: May boosters entertain relatives and friends of a prospective student-athlete at any site off-campus?
Q: May a booster make a contact with a prospect and/or his or her guardian during an official or unofficial visit to campus?
Q: Is it permissible for a booster to pay costs incurred by an athletics talent scout in studying or recruiting a prospect?
Q: Is it permissible for a booster to provide free admission to the University of Maryland's away contests to prospects, their relatives, or friends?
Q: Is it permissible for a booster to pay in whole or in part the registration fees for summer sports camps?
Q: Is it permissible for a booster to be involved in the on-campus entertainment of a prospect and/or his or her guardian during an official or unofficial visit?
Q: During the recruitment of a prospect or prior to a prospect's enrollment, may 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 financial aid, benefits or arrangements are available to prospective students in general, their relatives or friends?
A: No. Other types of inducements that are prohibited include, but are not limited to:
- the use of an automobile;
- signing or cosigning a note for a loan;
- special discounts or payment arrangements on loan;
- cash or tangible items (e.g., clothes, cars, jewelry, stereo equipment , even a soft drink);
- the promise of employment after college;
- an employment arrangement for a prospect's relatives or friend;
- purchase of items or services from a prospect or the prospect's family at inflated prices;
- free or reduced -cost housing arrangements;
- free or reduced-cost services or rentals of any type;
- the promise of financial aid for post graduate education;
- the promise to pay or arrange payment of transportation costs incurred by relatives or friends of prospective student-athletes;
- the use of University of Maryland's athletic equipment (e.g., for a high school all-star game); or
- sponsorship of or arrangement for an awards banquet for high school , prep school or two year college athletes by an institution, boosters, or its alumni groups or booster clubs.