One of the cornerstones of the Virginia Tech athletics program is the enthusiasm and loyalty of Hokie fans. By your interest in our teams and your attendance at events, you have demonstrated that you are without equal. We appreciate this exceptional support, but caution you not to let your enthusiasm lead us into conflict with NCAA guidelines.

NCAA regulations place upon each university the responsibility to exercise “institutional control.” This responsibility extends outside the athletics department to the greater university community and beyond, making the university accountable for the acts of all individuals identified as “representatives of the university’s athletics interests.” The NCAA definition of this term is very broad and includes all alumni and Hokie Club members, as well as the vast majority of the fans who attend our sports events.

We thank you for your interest in our athletics program, and ask that you the compliance website at your convenience. By knowing and following the applicable NCAA rules, you will assist us in maintaining the level of excellence that Virginia Tech continually strives to achieve.

The NCAA constitution provides that each institution will be responsible for ensuring that staff members, student-athletes, and other individuals or groups representing the institution’s athletics interests comply with all NCAA rules.

This page is intended to provide basic information regarding NCAA rules that apply to fans, alumnus, and friends of Virginia Tech. It does not include all NCAA rules and should not be relied upon exclusively. It is a tool to help you avoid inadvertent involvement in a violation of NCAA legislation.

If you have questions concerning NCAA rules regarding recruiting of prospects, student-athletes, and representatives of Virginia Tech’s athletics interest, please contact the Athletics Compliance Office. Direct inquiries to:

Derek Gwinn, Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance
356 Jamerson Athletics Center
165 Spring Road
Blacksburg, VA 24061\
540-231-2696
gwinn@vt.edu

A BOOSTER DEFINED

A booster is an individual, independent agency, corporate entity (e.g., apparel or equipment manufacturer), or other organization that is known to:

  • Hold, or have ever held, season tickets for any sport with Virginia Tech Athletics;
  • Have participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization promoting any Virginia Tech Athletics program (e.g., Virginia Tech Alumni Association, Hokie Club, sport booster groups, etc.);
  • Have made financial contributions to the athletics department or to an athletics booster organization of that institution (e.g. Hardwood Club, booster groups, etc.);
  • Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families, which would trigger booster status under NCAA rules. These benefits include, but are not limited to, financial assistance, use of a car, use of a cell phone, etc.;
  • Provide allowable benefits (e.g., summer jobs, occasional meals, etc.) to enrolled student-athletes; or Promote Virginia Tech Athletics in any way.

This is not an exhaustive list. Please contact the Virginia Tech Athletics Compliance Office if you have any questions about your possible status as a booster.

 

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT-ATHLETES (RECRUITS)

As a booster, the NCAA restricts the involvement that you may have with prospective student-athletes. Only coaches and authorized employees may be involved in the recruiting process. NCAA rules prohibit boosters from engaging in recruiting activities designed to secure a prospect’s enrollment at Virginia Tech.

 

PERMISSIBLE BOOSTER ACTIVITIES:

  • Continuing to have contact with an established family friend or neighbor who is a prospect (contact Compliance for pre-existing relationship form – must submit to ensure eligibility of student-athlete)
  • Viewing a prospect’s game on your own initiative
  • Receiving a call from a prospect only if the prospect initiates the call and it is not for recruiting purposes
  • Notifying the Virginia Tech Athletics coaching staff of prospects

 

AS A BOOSTER YOU MAY NOT :

  • Contact or call a prospect that you do not have a longstanding relationship with (the relationship must pre-date the ninth grade)
  • Contact or call a prospect’s parent, coach, principal or counselor
  • Assist with the actual evaluation of talent at the direction of the coaching staff
  • Promote Virginia Tech Athletics in any way to encourage a prospect to attend Virginia Tech (e.g. fan page for prospect)
  • Attend a high school sporting event with the intent to promote Virginia Tech

 

AS A BOOSTER YOU MAY NOT GIVE/PROVIDE A PROSPECT (THIS LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE):

  • Use of an automobile or transportation
  • Admission to an event (e.g., movies, athletic events, banquets, clubs, special events/parties, concerts, etc.)
  • Cash or loans in any amount
  • Gifts of any kind, including those on special occasions such as birthdays, religious holidays, finals week, graduation, etc.
  • Free or reduced-cost services, rentals, or purchases of any type (e.g., meals, drinks, clothing, laundry, haircuts, legal fees, tattoos, rounds of golf, car repairs, etc.)
  • Free or reduced-cost housing for any length of time
  • Entertainment
  • Payment of bills (e.g., cell phone, gas money, rent, etc.)
  • Awards
  • Loans (including co-signing)
  • Use of your telephone or credit card
  • Provide a meal outside of your home or Virginia Tech
  • Academic assistance of any kind (e.g., tutoring, editing papers/ projects, assistance in completing class work, use of computer, etc.)

 

STUDENT-ATHLETES

As a booster, the NCAA restricts the involvement that you may have with student-athletes. NCAA rules prohibit boosters from providing a student-athlete with an extra benefit and doing so may result in the student-athlete being declared ineligible to compete on behalf of Virginia Tech Athletics. Extra benefit violations include any special gift or arrangement provided to a student-athlete, or a student-athlete’s friend or family member that is not available to the general public or Virginia Tech student body.

PERMISSIBLE BOOSTER ACTIVITIES:

  • Employ student-athletes (see employment section of brochure)
  • Host a meal at your home or at the Virginia Tech Athletics facilities on an occasional basis that has been approved by the Virginia Tech Athletics Compliance Office prior to the meal occurring
  • Speak with student-athletes at athletic events, banquets, etc.
  • Obtain a personalized autograph from a student-athlete for personal use only. Autographs that are sold or exchanged for anything of value will result in a violation that will jeopardize his/her eligibility

AS A BOOSTER YOU MAY NOT GIVE/PROVIDE A STUDENT- ATHLETE:

  • Use of an automobile or transportation
  • Admission to an event (e.g., movies, athletic events, banquets, clubs, special events/parties, concerts, etc.)
  • Cash or loans in any amount
  • Gifts of any kind, including those on special occasions such as birthdays, religious holidays, finals week, graduation, etc.
  • Free or reduced-cost services, rentals, or purchases of any type (e.g., meals, drinks, clothing, laundry, haircuts, legal fees, tattoos, rounds of golf, car repairs, etc.)
  • Free or reduced-cost housing for any length of time
  • Entertainment
  • Assistance with paying bills (e.g., cell phone, gas money, rent, etc.)
  • Awards
  • Loans (including co-signing)
  • Use of your telephone or credit card
  • Provide a meal outside your home or Virginia Tech Athletics facility
  • Academic assistance of any kind (e.g., tutoring, editing papers/ projects, assistance in completing class work, use of computer, etc.)

 

SOCIAL MEDIA REMINDER

Virginia Tech Athletics asks that boosters do not initiate or “accept” friend requests from prospects on Facebook and do not “follow” prospects on Twitter or Instagram. Booster should NEVER post on a prospect’s “wall,” reply to a “tweet,” send them any kind of direct message, or take any other action that would constitute contact with a prospect. This prohibition also includes creating fan pages for prospects to attend Virginia Tech. Please remember contact between boosters and prospective student-athletes is prohibited. We thank you for your support, but also request that you leave the recruiting to the Virginia Tech Athletics coaching staff members.

 

NCAA RULES

TOP 10 THINGS FANS & FRIENDS OF VIRGINIA TECH ATHLETICS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT NCAA RULES

  1. The NCAA holds Virginia Tech accountable for the actions of its fans and friends. This means that if you are involved with NCAA violations (known or unknown), Virginia Tech may have to forfeit games, entire seasons, scholarships, recruiting opportunities, or may be prohibited from participating in post-season competition.
  2. You may send information about prospects to Virginia Tech Athletics coaching staff members.
  3. You may continue established relationships with friends and neighbors whose children are prospects or current student-athletes, provided the relationship pre-dates high school and is not based on his/her status as an athlete (must register with Compliance).
  4. You may not be involved in recruiting prospective student-athletes on behalf of Virginia Tech. A prospective student-athlete is defined as a student who has started classes for the ninth grade or above.
  5. You may not become involved in arranging for a prospect, a Virginia Tech student-athlete, or a Virginia Tech student-athlete’s friends or family to receive money or financial assistance of any kind.
  6. You may not provide transportation to a prospect, student-athlete, or his/her friends and family.
  7. You may not spend funds to entertain prospects, student-athletes, or his/her friends and family.
  8. You may not use a photo or name of a student-athlete for commercial purposes or for the sale of student athlete memorabilia.
  9. Breaking NCAA rules can render prospects and student athletes ineligible to compete on behalf of Virginia Tech Athletics.
  10. Always ask before you act!