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Boosters and Fans
Central Michigan University Athletics is proud to have the faithful support and sustained interest in our athletic programs. As we build a "Championship Culture", it is important to remember as a booster of CMU Athletics, you are required to follow all NCAA, MAC, and institutional rules and regulations to ensure compliance; which enables us to continue strengthening CMU's culture of integrity and help protect the eligibility of enrolled student-athletes and prospective student-athletes.
Please don't hesitate to contact the compliance office if you have any questions. And please remember to always ask before you act!
Who is a Booster?
You are considered a booster (representative of CMU's athletics interests) if you ever have:
Boosters may be individuals, independent agencies, corporate entities, or other organizations. A common misconception is that NCAA rules only apply to individuals who donate to CMU Athletics. In reality, any individual or entity who represents CMU Athletics in any way (e.g., promoting, recruiting) or provides any benefits to prospects or enrolled student-athletes is considered a booster and required to follow NCAA rules.
Booster Interactions with Prospectus
A prospect is defined as any student who has started classes for the 9th grade. In addition, a student who has not started classes for the 9th grade becomes a prospect if an institution provides the student (or the student's relatives or friends) with any financial assistance or extra benefits. Prospects also
What boosters need to know about prospects and recruiting:
Only certified CMU coaches are permitted to recruit for the Chippewas.
NCAA rules regarding offers and inducements to prospects
CMU staff members and CMU boosters cannot be involved directly or indirectly in making arrangements for, giving or offering to give, financial aid or any other benefits to a prospect or a prospect's relatives or friends. Some examples (not an exhaustive list) of impermissible inducements include:
Booster Interactions with Current CMU Student-Athletes
A student-athlete is a student who was recruited by a coaching staff member or a representative of CMU with the ultimate goal of the student participating in a CMU athletic program. Any other student becomes a student-athlete only when the student reports for any varsity team conducted under the CMU Department of Athletics. NCAA rules apply to all student-athletes, not just those who were recruited or who received an athletic scholarship.
Boosters may employ a student-athlete provided the student-athlete is paid the going rate for work actually performed. The student-athlete's compensation may not include any remuneration for value or utility the student-athlete may have for the employer because of the publicity, reputation, fame, or personal following that he or she obtained because of athletic ability. The student-athlete may not be involved in any advertisements for the business. All employment activities involving a student-athlete must be pre-approved by the CMU Office of Athletics Compliance prior to commencing work.
It is fine for a booster to ask a student-athlete for an autograph, provided nothing is offered in exchange for the autograph, the autograph is personalized, and the autograph is not displayed in the booster's place of business or marketed for sale (e.g., auctioned).
An "extra benefit" is any special arrangement by a CMU employee or booster to provide a current student-athlete or the student's family with a benefit that is not permissible under NCAA rules. Bottom line: Boosters are not permitted to provide CMU student-athletes with any "extra benefits." The following are common examples (not an exhaustive list) of "extra benefits," which boosters may not provide to student-athletes:
- Cash or loans in any amount or signing/cosigning for a loan
Student-athletes can receive:
What about Student-Athlete Appearances and Promotions?
All charitable, educational and nonprofit promotional activities involving student-athletes must have prior approval from the Athletics Department. Please contact the Compliance Office at (989)774-6662 to make arrangements.
What are the rules governing gambling?
A student-athlete, coach and/or employee of CMU may not provide information to individuals involved in any type of organized gambling concerning sporting events. In addition, student-athletes, coaches and employees of CMU may not solicit or accept any wager on any intercollegiate or professional athletics contest.
What are the rules governing academic integrity?
CMU is committed having its student-athletes earn their academic success. It is a major infraction if a current of former institutional staff member (i.e., coach, professor, tutor, teaching assistant, student-manager, trainer, etc...) helps a prospective or current student-athlete to obtain fraudulent academic credit. It is all of our responsibility to help protect the academic integrity of the University and the welfare of our student-athletes.
What are the consequences to boosters for NCAA violations?
CMU is required by NCAA regulations to notify boosters of consequences regarding rules violations. Boosters found in violation of NCAA rule are subject to losing benefits and privileges, including season tickets.
When it comes to intercollegiate athletics, the golden rule is . . . ASK BEFORE YOU ACT!