Promotional Activities



Charitable Donations, Memorabilia & Autograph Requests

Promotional Appearances

Appearances by Coaches or Departmental Staff

Athletics staff are not restricted in appearances as are student-athletes. Therefore, staff may support for-profit or nonprofit activities through appearances, speaking engagements, promotions or autographs. Athletics staff will be restricted if the situation is focused on prospect-age individuals (e.g., high schools or sport clubs), at which time all restrictions outlined in Bylaw 13 or via NCAA interpretations take precedence.

Student Appearances

The department has an obligation to protect the student-athlete from excessive or impermissible public appearances per NCAA Bylaw 12.5. The protection of the SA's time is a student-welfare issue and must be carefully balanced with the institution's welfare. This mandates a screening process to evaluate situations.

Non-Permissible Activities for Student-Athletes

Permissible Activities for Student-Athletes

Approval Process for Student Appearances

  1. Educate Student-Athletes to NOT ACCEPT invitations without clearance from the Department.

  2. Outside Requests - secure WRITTEN APPROVAL. Written approval from the director of athletics (or the Compliance Office as his designee) is a requirement for all student appearances. Both the requesting organization and the student-athlete are to sign the request.

  3. Appearances Initiated Internally - For promotional activities organized by Coaches and/or Administrators, a Request for Appearance Form must be submitted, indicating the team or list of athletes involved and basic details of the event.

    A single form may be used for an entire team (simply identify the sport team) and/or for an ongoing activity. For example, if a team will be going into certain schools for the entire semester or year, one form for the duration will suffice provided it is completed prior to the first event and receives clearance.

NCAA Infractions & Self Reports

Newly adopted Bylaw states that a student-athlete may not participate in any activity that is not specifically permitted under Bylaw 12.5.1. If the activity is clearly permitted, we have an obligation to assure the activity meets all the conditions outlined in the bylaws.

Important Conditions: Coaches are cautioned that an infraction has automatically occurred if the student-athlete...

Impermissible Situations: Coaches are cautioned that the following situations are always impermissible:

Self Reports: A student-athlete has rendered him/herself ineligible if he/she participates in an event that does not have pre-approval. Therefore, known violations should be brought to the attention of the Compliance Office immediately. Restoration of eligibility will be requested immediately along with a self-report of the violation.

Charitable Donations, Memorabilia & Autograph Requests

Miscellaneous requests for donations received by the University of Iowa include requests for charitable cash contributions, in-kind contributions, memorabilia and autographs. The Department of Athletics handles a high volume of such requests, some of which must be approved by the Compliance Office.

Requests are typically of three types: (1) request for cash or in-kind donation (e.g., tickets), (2) autographs on items either supplied by the requester or the University, and (3) apparel items. The Compliance Office is part of the approval process for charitable donations because of the implications of NCAA recruiting and extra benefit legislation.

UI as a State Institution: Cash Requests

As a state institution, the University of Iowa is not authorized to donate state funds to any outside entity. Gifts funds held at the UI Foundation, even if discretionary, that have been donated for use on behalf of The University of Iowa have not been donated with the contemplation that they would be further donated by the University to another entity. Therefore, regardless of the worthiness of the cause, it is not appropriate that cash contributions of any kind be made in response to requests for charitable contributions from outside entities.

The NCAA: Donations and Prospects

NCAA Bylaw 13.16 prohibits the institution, including staff members acting independently of the institution, and it's boosters from providing or arranging financial assistance, directly or indirectly, to pay (in whole or in part) the costs of the prospect's educational or other expenses for any period prior to his or her enrollment. Donations that support a prospect's activities will generally be PROHIBITED, including in-kind gifts such as UI athletics tickets. Such legislation addresses:

Contact the Compliance Office for clarifications and possible exemptions.

The NCAA: Donations and Current Student Athletes

NCAA Bylaw 16 addresses permissible and extra benefits. The student-athlete is precluded from any special arrangement by an institutional employee or booster which is not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. In general, institutions (including coaches as individuals) may not donate to an outside team that includes one of its student-athletes as a participant.

Memorabilia Requests

In-kind contributions (e.g., posters, jerseys, T-shirts, balls) are usually permissible, provided they are not targeted to support a prospect-age individual. Autographs by student-athletes may be impermissible. See the Autograph Request Policy or call the compliance office (319-335-9598) if you have questions.


Autograph Request Policy


Effective September, 2003, the department's autograph policy has been revised to better protect the student athlete's name and likeness. Teams may choose to promote themselves with pre or post-game autograph signings managed in conjunction with Marketing and Event Management. However, in regard to other requests made of the staff, team, or individual student-athletes, the following principles will be in effect:

  1. Origin of Item: All items to be autographed must be provided by the person or organization making the request.

  2. Personalize: All items must be personalized. If the item cannot be personalized at the time of the request (e.g., auction item), a certificate should be issued instead which can be redeemed at a later date once the recipient has been identified.
  3. Statement of Permissible Uses: All autographed items should go out of the department offices with a statement of pertinent NCAA and Big Ten rules. No Fees: No fee should be charged for coach or student-athlete autographs.
  4. Student-Athlete Signatures Need Preapproval: Student-athletes may not sign items except for official promotional events, on their personal time, or when preapproved by Compliance. Staff are encouraged to minimize any commitments on behalf of the student-athletes in order to ensure compliance with NCAA regulations and to protect the students' welfare.

Approval Process

Staff Signatures: Provided the above principles are satisfied, a Sport Office may approve and supply either a certificate or autographs directly to individuals and organizations. Sufficient information must have been supplied to guarantee the item:

If there is high school or prospect involvement, feel free to use this document to notify the requestor that we will not be able to fulfill their request, per NCAA rules.  

Questions: If there is any question as to whether an autograph may be provided please contact the Univerity of Iowa Athletic Compliance Office at 319-335-9598.

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Autograph Request Policy