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Home Terms & Definitions Prospective Student-Athletes Donors & Alumni Contact Us

Many times the NCAA rules and regulations may seem complex and difficult to understand. Below we've tried to identify and define some of the most frequently used terms.

Prospective Student-Athlete (Prospect)
A prospective student-athlete (prospect) is an individual who has either started classes in the ninth grade OR who has received any benefit from an institution or a booster. These types of benefits include:

  • providing an individual an expense-paid visit to a collegiate institution (official visit);
  • having an arranged in-person contact;
  • providing an individual (or their relatives or friends) any financial assistance or other benefits that the institution does not provide to prospective students at large, not just student-athletes.

Student-Athlete
A student-athlete is a student who was recruited to participate in the intercollegiate athletics program. Also, other students become student-athletes when they report for an intercollegiate squad that is under the jurisdiction of the athletics department (walk-on).

Booster (Representative of the Institution's Athletics Interest)
A "booster" is an individual or business who is known (or should have been known) by the Stanford Athletic Department to have participated in any of the following:

  • participated in or been a member of an organization promoting Stanford Athletics;
  • contributed financially to the Stanford Athletic Department, the Buck/Cardinal Club, individual athletic programs or any other Stanford Athletics or sport-specific booster organization;
  • assisted in the recruitment of prospects;
  • provided NCAA permissible benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families;
  • promoted the Stanford Athletic Department in other ways.

Once identified as a booster, an individual or business retains that identity for life.

Recruiting
Recruiting involves any solicitation of a prospect (or family members) by the Stanford Athletics staff to encourage him/her to enroll at Stanford and participate in the intercollegiate athletic programs. Only Stanford coaches who have passed the NCAA Recruiting Examination may be involved in recruiting prospects. Boosters are prohibited from becoming involved in recruiting activities. The only exception for a booster to have contact with a prospect is in the case of an established relationship with family friends or neighbors. In that instance contact may not be made for recruiting purposes and may not be initiated by a Stanford coaching staff member. (See the booster section for more details)

Contact
A contact is any face-to-face encounter between a prospect or the prospect's parents, relatives or legal guardian(s) and an institutional staff member or athletics representative during which any conversation in excess of a greeting occurs. Any face-to-face meeting that is prearranged or takes place on the grounds of the prospect's school or competition site is considered a contact, regardless of the conversation that occurs.

Extra Benefit
An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a booster to provide a student-athlete, or that athlete's friends or relatives, a benefit not authorized by the NCAA. Extra benefits a student-athlete may NOT receive include, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  • money, special discount, payment or arrangement of credit on a purchase (airline ticket, clothing) or service (dry cleaning, laundry);
  • a professional service without charge or at a reduced cost (typing of papers for athletes);
  • use of a telephone, pager, cell phone or credit card for personal reasons without charge or at a reduced rate;
  • services (movie tickets, dinners, use of a car) from commercial agencies (theaters, restaurants, car dealers) without charge or at a reduced rate;
  • free or reduced-cost admission to professional athletic contests from professional sports organizations;
  • a loan of money;
  • use of an automobile;
  • signing or co-signing a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan;
  • preferential treatment, benefits or services (loans on a deferred pay-back basis because of athletic reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a future professional athlete);
  • rent-free or reduced rate housing during the academic year OR during the summer;
  • use of personal property (boats, summer homes, cars, computers);
  • holiday or other presents (Christmas, birthday, flowers);
  • anything given because an individual is a student-athlete.

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