I did not make this headline up
Found this article on SbB regarding Trent Richardson and his supposedly cozy relationship with (now) estranged booster Tom Al-betar:
There are also a couple of articles regarding tickets T. Richardson received in a couple of very pricey vehicles of which he is listed as the owner:
Does this impact the game we play with Alabama? Given the evidence presented by SbB is it possible for Alabama to state ignorance (pull an ohio) and get off with little or no punishment? What possible sanctions would impact the 2012 Michigan-Alabama game? I ask because I have very little knowledge with regard to compliance and I know Mgoblog has recently become very well versed thanks to our love of ohio Schadenfreude. SIAP I searched and found nothing, including Mgoboard and other media outlets!
I just received an email with this information from Michigan's compliance office (we have season tickets). I thought it would be useful for everyone here, and also interesting that they took this step.
Since I am new, I also fully expect to screw up the block quote. I apologize in advance. Here it is:
Dear Michigan Fans:
We thank you for being our most loyal fans, spectators, and supporters. As a University of Michigan season ticket holder, a UM alumnus or a member of any booster organization, you are by NCAA definition a representative of UM’s athletics interests. UM is held responsible for anything you do related to UM’s prospects and/or our current student-athletes.
The NCAA has strictly limited the role you, as a Michigan Fan, may take with regard to prospects and student-athletes. The penalties for breaking those rules, whether by accident or intentional, can be severe. Any infraction will jeopardize a prospect or student-athletes opportunity to attend and compete for UM no matter how minor it may seem. In addition, you might expose UM to NCAA sanctions, and you could be disassociated from the program.
University of Michigan’s athletics programs value your continued support. The best message you can take from this information is to ask someone who is knowledgeable about NCAA rules before taking any action with a recruit or a student-athlete. The rules are complicated, and there are far too many to mention in this e-mail. Therefore, if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact the Compliance Services Office at (734)-615-7341 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Heinrich, Interim Chief of Compliance
The Top 10 Things Fans & Friends of Michigan Athletics Should Know:
1. ALWAYS ASK BEFORE YOU ACT! Breaking NCAA rules can render prospects and student-athletes ineligible for competition at the University of Michigan. The NCAA holds the University of Michigan accountable for the actions of its fans and friends.
2. You MAY NOT make recruiting contacts with prospects, their relatives or legal guardians. A prospective student-athlete is a student who has started classes for the ninth grade (7th grade for Men’s Basketball) or above. This prohibition includes written and telephone communications.
3. You MAY NOT contact a prospect’s coach, principal, or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect.
4. You MAY send newspaper clippings and other information about talented prospects to the Michigan coaching staff. Also, you MAY continue established relationships with friends and neighbors whose children are prospects or current student-athletes, provided the relationship pre-dates reaching prospect status and is not based on their status as an athlete.
5. You MAY attend high school or junior college competitions provided no contact occurs with the prospect or the prospect’s relatives.
6. You MAY NOT entertain any coach from a junior or senior high school, preparatory school, or junior college or provide them with tickets or any other type of benefit.
7. You MAY NOT become involved in arranging for a prospect, a Michigan student-athlete or their family to receive gifts, money or financial benefits of any kind.
8. You MAY NOT provide transportation to a prospect, student-athlete or their friends and family. Also, you MAY NOT spend funds to entertain prospects, student-athletes or their friends and family.
9. You MAY employ a student-athlete provided you are paying them only for the work they actually perform, paying the going rate for similar services, are not paying them or providing perks based on their status as a student-athlete and the employment has been approved by the Compliance Services Office.
10.You MAY NOT use a photo or name of a student-athlete for commercial purposes or sell student-athlete memorabilia.
Thank You For Your Support!
The University of Michigan Compliance Services Office (CSO)
1000 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
In the Jordan Diamond thread and many times before, I've seen a lot of misinformation about who exactly the NCAA considers a "booster" (officially known as a representative of athletics interest). Here are three important things to know about the NCAA definition:
- A season ticket holder is considered a booster.
- Anyone who contacts a recruit to encourage that person to attend a particular university instantly becomes a booster of that university.
- Once a person becomes a booster, they remain a booster forever.
The bottom line is that while fans (and I believe alumni) are not by definition considered to be boosters, they turn into a booster the moment they contact a recruit and act as a school's representative by trying to influence the recruit to attend that school.
The NCAA prohibits boosters from contacting recruits, and this includes all manner of electronic communication. A number of universities have posted very similar pages with details on what boosters are prohibited from doing online. The following is part of what appears on a page at the University of Cincinnati's website:
(2) Message Boards: Boosters participating on a message board are not permitted to write, call, instant message, text, chat with, or e-mail a prospect. Sometimes we will read on a message board that someone thinks it is okay to contact a prospect once they sign a National Letter of Intent with Cincinnati. However, that signing does not change the fact he or she is still a prospect and all prohibitions against booster contact continue to apply. We often also hear comments that because a person is not a graduate of Cincinnati or a season ticket holder, they believe they are not a booster and it is okay for them to contact a prospect. However, part of the NCAA's definition of a booster includes anyone who contacts a recruit on behalf of the institution. Therefore, as soon as someone on a message board e-mails or sends a message out to a recruit, they automatically become a booster and are subject to the NCAA rules prohibiting such contact.
(3) Social Networking: Boosters are not permitted to use social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace to contact or otherwise attempt to correspond with prospects. This includes, but is not limited to, posting on a wall, using the inbox/e-mail feature, instant messaging, "@replies", "mentions", or direct messaging. Recently, NC State University sent a cease-and-desist letter to a student who had formed a Facebook group urging a prospect to come to the university. The university saw the group as a fan's attempt to recruit the prospect, thus violating NCAA rules.
Long story short (as a number of people said in Jordan Diamond thread): Don't contact any recruits using any method of communication.
Also worth reading: The NYT article Social media and the NCAA — A recruit's friend, a team's fan and a headache for colleges
I have club seats at Michigan stadium and I haven't sent in my check yet for next season. Last year was my first year in the premium seating, so I'm not sure if this is the usual practice or not but this AM I received a call from an athlete thanking me for my support of the athletic department. This seems like one hell of a coincidence given yesterday's events.
I was curious if any other season ticket holders/ boosters received similar calls and/ or if this is the usual protocol.