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.
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
- Commercial: A student-athlete may never make an appearance on behalf of a commercial entity or in a charitable activity at the location of a commercial establishment if the activity is cosponsored by a commercial business.
- High School: With the exception of speaking at his/her former high school, a student-athlete may not make a high school appearance until the Compliance Office outlines the parameters of permissibility.
Permissible Activities for Student-Athletes
- Types: According to NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52, a member institution or recognized entity thereof, a member conference or a non-institutional charitable, educational or nonprofit agency may use a student-athlete's name, picture or appearance to support its charitable or educational activities, provided that certain conditions are met, per Bylaw 184.108.40.206, and the activity is not located at and sponsored by a commercial business.
- Schools: Educational appearances are restricted to grades 8 and lower. High school appearances must be approved by the Compliance Office.
Educate Student-Athletes to NOT ACCEPT invitations without clearance from the Department.
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.
Requesting Organization Completes "Request for Appearance Form". This will provide all the necessary information to evaluate the activity, ensure that the conditions of Bylaw 220.127.116.11 are met, and help identify caveats that might accompany approval.
Submit to Mary Jo Kinney in Sports Marketing for Approval. 205 CHA. Phone: (319) 335-9431. FAX: (319) 335-9860.
Notification of Approval. Mary Jo will notify the coach of approval.
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.
Newly adopted Bylaw 18.104.22.168 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...
- does not have written approval, or
- misses class due to the appearance.
Impermissible Situations: Coaches are cautioned that the following situations are always impermissible:
- student-athlete promotes the team or University of Iowa in a high school setting,
- student-athlete supports a commercial entity or product, or
- student-athlete attends an event in a commercial establishment and that commercial entity has sponsored the event.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Origin of Item: All items to be autographed must be provided by the person or organization making the request.
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.
Click here for further information:
Autograph Request Policy