Last week there was a thread regarding contacting recruits. In essence it stated that anyone who contacted a recruit became a booster. It also suggested that anyone who spoke to a recruit and suggested that recruit should attend a specific school would be in violation of NCAA bylaws.
After reading the actual bylaw I disagreed with this interpretation of the OP and tried to describe why, but many disagreed with my interpretation (which is fine, that is what debates are all about). Since I still had questions as to how someone like myself could be considered a "booster" (a person who isn't an alumni, isn't a season ticket holder, has never been on campus, never donated money, and don't belong to any "booster associations) I contacted UM compliance in regard to my question.
I can't copy and paste the emails on my phone so I will give you the highlights of what she (Elizabeth Heinrich, Assistant Athletic Director of Compliance at UM) said: First I will be clear that my question was how could a person who has no affiliation with a university other than being a fan be considered a "person of athletic interest" which is what they call boosters. Her response was someone fitting that description would not be committing a violation by simply talking to a recruit and passing the idea that said recruit should attend a specific university. She continued by stating that a person fitting my description above would only be found to be committing a violation if they offered something in exchange for their commitment (money etc), but simply saying they should attend a university is not a violation.
To be clear, this only covers a person fitting my description above. If you are a season ticket holder, student, alumni, etc you may fit the definition of "booster" as set out in the NCAA bylaws. I also want to be clear that I think anyone (short of people who actually know a recruit or work in the industry like TVH) who contacts these recruits is taking far too much interest in recruiting and is likely doing far more harm than good.
I posted this so that people who may have been left with uncertainties after reading the previous thread (like myself) could have a more definitive answer as to whether a person with no affiliation to a university would be committing a violation by contacting a recruit and offering them nothing more than advise as to where to attend university. A societal violation, yes...an NCAA violation, no. Hope that clears it up.
It also clarifies that people who are simply fans of a University who may attend the odd game here and there but are not alumni or make donations to the University are not considered boosters by the NCAA.