NCAA Compliance Page

Compliance Information for Boosters, Fans & Friends of the Boilermakers

Dear Boilermaker Fans and Supporters,

Purdue University, as a member of the Big Ten Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, is responsible for ensuring that its student-athletes, faculty, staff, alumni and friends abide with conference and NCAA regulations. Under these rules, alumni and friends can be categorized as "representatives of Purdue University athletics interests."

This information is presented as a quick reference to the many NCAA rules that apply to our "athletics representatives." Not all applicable situations are included, so please call if you have questions. The department appreciates your interest and support, but reminds you that an inappropriate contact or an inadvertent action on your part can jeopardize the eligibility of our prospects and student-athletes. When in doubt, the safest action is to check first and act second.

The University is proud to have the loyal support of our alumni and friends for its athletic programs. As we strive for national prominence, we must always seek the highest standard of ethical conduct. With your assistance and cooperation, we believe we can accomplish both goals.

Stay on board!

Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

Report a possible rules violation:

  • Send an e-mail to Ed Howat, Associate Athletics Director-Student Services
  • Send an e-mail to Tom Reiter, Assistant Athletics Director-Compliance

Intercollegiate Athletic Facility 1000 North University Street West Lafayette, IN 47907-2071

  • Make a telephone call to Tom Reiter, Assistant Athletics Director-Compliance, at (765) 494-3208

    Quick Reference to NCAA Rules and Regulations for Athletic Boosters (links below jump to paragraph below)


  • Who is a "Representative of Purdue's Athletics Interests"?
  • Who is a Prospective Student-Athlete?
  • Who is an Enrolled Student-Athlete?
  • NCAA Rules and Regulations Regarding Contact with Prospective and Current Student-Athletes
  • F.A.Q.'s Regarding NCAA Compliance

      Who is a "Representative of Purdue's Athletics Interests"?

    Under NCAA rules, a "representative of athletics interests" (more commonly referred to as a "booster") is any individual, agency or corporate entity who ...

    • is or has ever been a member of an agency or organization promoting Purdue's Athletics Program;
    • has ever made a donation to the Purdue Athletics Program or to one of the athletics booster organizations (i.e. John Purdue Club, BOILERmaker NETwork, GOLD BLOCK, Boiler Backers, Fastbreakers);
    • is assisting or has ever been asked by the Athletics staff to assist in recruiting prospects;
    • is assisting or has ever assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or
    • is or has ever been involved otherwise in the promotion of the Purdue Athletics Program (NCAA Bylaw 13.02.13).

    Once an individual or entity becomes a "booster" or "representative of athletics interests," that identity is retained forever, even if involvement with the athletics program ceases (NCAA Bylaw

    Return to Quick Reference questions

      Who is a Prospective Student-Athlete?

    A prospective student-athlete ("prospect") is any individual who has begun classes for the ninth grade, regardless of his or her athletic participation. In addition, it is possible for younger students to be prospects if the individual (or the individual's relatives or friends) is provided financial assistance or other benefits that the institution does not provide to prospective students in general (NCAA Bylaw 13.02.11).

    A prospective student-athlete remains a prospect even after signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend an institution, and both the institution and the prospect continue to be governed by NCAA recruiting legislation until:

  • the prospect reports for regular squad practice;
  • the registrar or director of admissions certifies that the prospect is officially registered and enrolled at the institution on the opening day of classes; or
  • the prospect attends a class or classes in any regular term.

    Return to Quick Reference questions

      Who is an Enrolled Student-Athlete?

    An individual becomes an enrolled student-athlete, and no longer a prospect, upon his or her first participation in official practice activities or attendance at the first day of classes at Purdue University during the regular academic year, whichever occurs first. The individual retains the status of enrolled student-athlete for so long as he or she remains a member of a team while attending Purdue University as a full-time student.

    Return to Quick Reference questions

      NCAA Rules and Regulations Regarding Contact with Prospective and Current Student-Athletes

    A contact is any face-to-face encounter between a prospective student-athlete, the prospect's parents or legal guardian(s) and an institutional staff member or athletics representative during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting. Additionally, any face-to-face encounter that is prearranged or that takes place on the grounds of the prospect's educational institution or at the site of organized competition or practice involving the prospect or the team the prospect represents shall be considered a contact, regardless of the conversation which occurs (NCAA Bylaws 13.02.3, 13.1.7).

    On occasion, circumstances may arise in which contact between a booster and a prospect is unavoidable. Such contact is not a violation of NCAA rules provided the contact: (i) is not prearranged by the booster; (ii) does not occur at the prospect's school or at the site of a competition or practice involving the prospect or his/her team; (iii) is not made for the purpose of recruitment; and (iv) is incidental and involves only normal civility (NCAA Bylaw g).

    Boosters and Prospects
    Under NCAA rules and regulations, a booster MAY ...

    • Attend events where prospects are present.
      • A booster may attend events that prospects attend or at which a prospect is competing (i.e. banquet, high school game), provided the booster does NOT contact the prospect or the prospect's parents or relatives (NCAA Bylaw d).
    • Continue normal contacts with prospects with whom they have a pre-established relationship.
      • If a booster has a pre-established relationship with a prospect or the prospect's parents/relatives, the booster may continue to have normal contacts with those individuals, provided such contacts are not made for recruiting purposes and are not arranged by members of the institution's coaching staff.
    • Arrange employment for a prospect.
      • A booster may arrange employment for a prospect, provided the employment does not begin prior to the completion of the prospect's senior year in high school. Compensation must be based on actual work performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locale for similar services. It is not permissible to provide any benefits to a prospect (i.e. transportation, meals) unless the same benefits are provided to all other employees (NCAA Bylaws 12.4.1, 13.2.3).
    • Notify Purdue University coaches of prospects who may be strong additions to Boilermaker athletic teams.
      • If a booster is aware of a prospect the booster believes could contribute to the success of the Purdue Athletics program, it is permissible for the booster to provide the Purdue University coaching staff with the prospect's name and other basic information (i.e. name of high school attended, position and sport played).
    Under NCAA rules, a booster may NOT ...
    • Contact prospects or be involved in the recruitment of prospects in any way.
      • As a general rule, only coaches can be involved in the recruiting process. A booster is prohibited from having any contact with a prospect or a prospect's family at any location for the purpose of encouraging the prospect to attend Purdue University and participate in athletics. This rule prohibits not only in-person contact but also contact by any other means (i.e. phone, e-mail, internet chat room, text message, etc.).
    • Contact a prospect's coach, principal or counselor in an attempt to evaluate a prospect (NCAA Bylaw c).
    • Visit the prospect's institution to pick up films or transcripts to assist in Purdue's evaluation of the prospect (NCAA Bylaw d).
    • Make arrangements for the prospect or prospect's family/friends to receive money or financial aid of any kind (NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1, 13.15.1).
    • Provide a prospect or a prospect's family/friends with free or reduced-price tickets to attend an athletics event (NCAA Bylaw 13.2.1).
    • Arrange employment for a prospect's family member or friends (NCAA Bylaw
    • Provide a prospect or a prospect's family/friends a gift or benefit of any kind, including clothing, free or reduced cost housing, use of a car, equipment, apparel, meals and transportation (NCAA Bylaw
    • Provide a loan to, or co-sign a loan for, a prospect or a prospect's family/friends.
    • Entertain a high school, prep school or two-year college coach (NCAA Bylaw 13.8.1).

    Boosters and Enrolled Student-Athletes

    Under NCAA rules and regulations, a booster MAY ...

  • Provide an enrolled student-athlete with an occasional meal.
    • o A booster may provide an enrolled student-athlete or an entire team with an occasional home meal. The occasional meal must:

    • Take place in the locale of Purdue University;
    • Be provided in the booster's home (i.e. no restaurants);
    • Be restricted to infrequent or special occasions (i.e. one per quarter); and
    • Be reported to the Compliance Office before the meal occurs.

    NOTE: It is permissible for the meal to be catered. Also, local transportation to attend the meal may be provided to the enrolled student-athletes, but only by the institution or the booster who is hosting the meal.

    • Employ an enrolled student-athlete.
      • A booster may employ an enrolled student-athlete during the summer or the academic year, provided the student-athlete:
      • Is not hired based on publicity, reputation or fame obtained due to athletics ability;
      • Is not provided with any benefits not enjoyed by all other employees; and
      • Completes and submits the work approval form to the Compliance Office.
      • Have contact with an enrolled student-athlete.

    • The rules that preclude a booster from having any contact with a prospect do not apply to enrolled student-athletes. It is permissible for a booster to speak with an enrolled student-athlete before or after a game, at a banquet or at any other location.

    • Contribute money or make donations in-kind.

  • A booster may contribute money to an athletics team, provided the funds benefit the team in general and are not earmarked for a particular student-athlete. In addition, a booster may make donations in-kind for the benefit of a team (i.e. equipment, practice/competition apparel).
  • Under NCAA rules and regulations, a booster may NOT ...

  • Provide an enrolled student-athlete with any extra benefit.
    • A booster may not provide an enrolled student-athlete or the student-athlete's relatives/friends any benefits or special arrangements which are not expressly authorized by NCAA rules, unless such benefits are generally available to all Purdue University students and their relatives/friends (NCAA Bylaw

      • The list of impermissible benefits for enrolled student-athletes includes, but is not limited to (NCAA Bylaws,,,,
        • Providing cash or loans in any amount.
        • Co-signing a loan.
        • Providing gifts of any kind, including birthday or holiday gifts.
        • Providing free or reduced-cost housing.
        • Providing meals (except for occasional home meals as noted above), clothing, transportation or the use of an automobile.
        • Providing special discounts for goods or services (i.e. discount car repairs, legal services, haircuts).
        • Providing an honorarium for a speaking engagement (NCAA Bylaw
    • Involve student-athletes in commercial advertising.
      • NCAA rules do not permit a student-athlete's name, picture or appearance to be used to advertise, recommend or promote the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind. The use of a student-athlete's name or picture in this manner affects the student-athlete's amateur status and eligibility to compete in intercollegiate athletics (NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2).
      • Under certain specified conditions, however, a student-athlete may be involved in charitable, educational and non-profit promotional activities. Any such activities require the prior approval of the Athletics Department. If you would like a Purdue University student-athlete to be involved in a community service program, please contact Tanya Foster, Life Skills Coordinator, by e-mail or telephone at (765) 494-9324.

    Return to Quick Reference questions

      F.A.Q's Regarding NCAA Compliance

    Is Purdue University responsible for the acts of its boosters and booster support groups such as the John Purdue Club, GOLD BLOCK, BOILERmaker NETwork, Boiler Backers and Fastbreakers?

    YES. Boosters are governed by the same NCAA and institutional rules and regulations as those placed upon all institutional athletics staff members.

    Can a booster occasionally provide awards or gifts directly to a particular student-athlete for his or her performance?

    NO. All awards must conform to NCAA regulations, be approved by Purdue University and be provided by Purdue University or an authorized entity.

    What should a booster do if he or she is contacted by a prospect about Purdue University athletics?

    The booster should refer all questions about Purdue's athletics program to the coaches and athletics department staff.

    What sanctions could be imposed if a booster violates NCAA rules?

    Boosters who violate NCAA rules are subject to losing benefits and privileges. The NCAA Committee on Infractions has processed cases in which penalties included disassociation of the offending booster and the loss of season ticket privileges. In addition, the involved prospect or enrolled student-athlete could be ruled ineligible for athletics competition. Other penalties would be assessed against the university as well.

    The so-called "booster ban" legislation applies to Division I and became effective August 1, 1987 (NCAA Bylaw 13.01.4). It reads as follows:

    "In Division I, representatives of an institution's athletics interests are prohibited from making in-person, on- or off-campus recruiting contacts, or written or telephonic communications with a prospect of the prospect's relatives or legal guardians."

    May a booster provide benefits to a student-athlete after he or she has exhausted eligibility or departed Purdue University?

    As a general rule, once an individual becomes a student-athlete, the individual retains that status indefinitely. It is not permissible for a booster to provide material benefits to a former student-athlete just because he or she has exhausted eligibility or departed Purdue University. The same rules regarding extra benefits still apply. Again, however, it is permissible for a booster to provide legitimate employment to a former student-athlete.

    What action should a booster take if he or she becomes aware of an NCAA rules violation?

    The booster should contact the Compliance Office or the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics to report all information pertinent to the violation. The Compliance Office will review the information reported, conduct an investigation and, if necessary, report a violation to the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA. The individual reporting the violation is encouraged to provide his or her name, contact information and as much detailed information as possible. However, violations that are reported anonymously will be treated seriously and will be investigated as thoroughly as possible. Return to Quick Reference questions