Important Documents to Read:
Mississippi Valley State University Compliance Information
MVSU Fans and Boosters Do's and Don'ts:
This simple phrase is a friendly reminder to alumni, fans and friends of MVSU that it is always better to ask before you act!
Mississippi Valley State University strives for academic and athletic excellence. Pursuant of that goal is an on-going commitment to ethical conduct by all members of its staff and supporters. Even the simplest, inadvertent actions on the part of a booster or supporter may jeopardize the eligibility of student-athletes and/or prospects and the compliance of the university with NCAA or SWAC regulations.
Mississippi Valley State University, by virtue of its membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), is responsible for ensuring complete compliance of all constituencies (i.e. university staff, student-athletes, alumni, fans, boosters and friends) with all NCAA and SWAC rules and regulations. Under NCAA rules, parents, alumni, fans and friends may be categorized as “representatives of athletics interests.”
Who is a Booster?
An individual is considered to be a representative of Mississippi Valley State University’s athletic interests if they are a former student, friend, or fan of the program. Representatives of athletics interest are subject to NCAA regulations; therefore, both Mississippi Valley State University and the representative are subject to penalties for any violation of NCAA rules by athletics representatives or their support organization. The NCAA defines a representative of athletics interests as an “individual who is known (or should have been known) by a member of the institutions Athletics administration” to:
Currently be a member or have participated as a member in any organization promoting the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program( example: booster club);Have made financial contributions to the athletic department or to an athletic booster organization of that institution; Have been involved, in any way, in promoting the institution’s athletics program; Be assisting or have been requested by the athletic department staff to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes or; Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families
Important Note: Once an individual is identified as a representative of the institution’s athletics interests, the person retains that identity indefinitely.
The NCAA stipulates that once an individual has been identified as a representative or "booster" of the University's athletics program, he or she retains this status forever. This is true even if the individual no longer contributes to the athletics program.
Extra benefits (as defined by the NCAA) – “any special arrangement by an institutional employee or representative of athletics interest to provide a student-athlete a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. Receipt of such a benefit in not considered an NCAA violation if that same benefit is generally available to the institution’s students or their relatives and/or friends or to a particular segment of the student body determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability.”
A student athlete cannot accept anything from a booster or an employee of MVSU that would be considered an extra benefit not available to the general student body. Examples include the use of a car, clothing, gifts, money, tickets, entertainment, etc.
A student athlete cannot accept free or reduced-cost room and board from any MVSU employee or booster of MVSU.
A student athlete cannot accept free or reduced merchandise or services from any merchant unless that free or reduced-cost item is also available to the general public.
A student athlete cannot receive a special discount arrangement or credit on a purchase (e.g. airline ticket, clothing) or service (e.g., laundry, dry cleaning) from an employee of MVSU or a booster.
A student athlete cannot eat at a restaurant as the guest of an athletic booster or an employee of MVSU.
On infrequent, special occasions (e.g., birthday), a student athlete may accept an invitation to the home of an employee of MVSU or booster for a meal.
A student athlete cannot use the Department of Athletics' copy machine, fax machine, or make long distance phone calls using departmental equipment or the long distance access code of an employee of MVSU or a booster.
A booster or employee of MVSU cannot type reports, letters, papers, etc., for a student athlete.
An MVSU employee or booster cannot provide a student athlete with a loan or money, a guarantee of bond, the use of an automobile or the signing of a note to arrange a loan.
A student athlete cannot accept frequent traveler miles for trips that are financed by the Department of Athletics.
Frequently asked questions and answers:
Q: IS IT PERMISSIBLE TO CONTACT A PROSPECTIVE STUDENT-ATHLETE OR HIS/HER PARENTS OR LEGAL GUARDIANS?
NO. An athletic representative may not contact a prospect or his/her parents in person, by telephone, writing, or e-mail.
Q: IS THIS CONTACT APPLICABLE TO PROSPECTS THAT ARE “ESTABLISHED FAMILY FRIENDS” OR NEIGHBORS?
NO. However, it must be UNDERSTOOD that such contacts cannot be initiated or arranged by Mississippi Valley State University coaching staff members. In addition, the established relationship must have occurred prior to the friend or neighbor becoming a prospect.
Q: WHAT IF A PROSPECT CALLS AN ATHLETICS REPRESENTATIVE?
A: An athletic representative may have a telephone conversation with a prospect ONLY if the prospect initiates the call. Such a call may not be prearranged by an institution staff member and the athletics representative may NOT have a recruiting conversation, but may exhibit normal civility. The athletics representative must refer any questions, about the University’s athletic program to the Department of Athletics.
Q: WHAT IF A PROSPECT KNOWS THAT ATHLETICS REPRESENTIVE IS A MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY GRADUATE AND CONTACTS HIM/HER ABOUT QUESTIONS ABOUT MVSU?
A: If a prospect contacts an athletic representative, he/she may answer questions regarding various aspects of Mississippi Valley State University as long as NO discussion takes place regarding Mississippi Valley State University athletics program. If a prospect asks about Mississippi Valley State University athletics, refer him/her to the Department of Athletics.
Q: MAY AN ATHLETICS REPRESENTATIVE SPEAKS TO A MVSU COACH IF A PROSPECT IS WITH THE COACH?
A: If a MVSU coach is with a prospect, do not approach the coach until the prospect and family have gone elsewhere. Otherwise, the coach will be placed in an awkward situation because he/she will not be able to introduce the prospect to the athletics representative. If a prospect approaches an athletic representative on or off campus regarding the athletics department, explain that NCAA rules do not permit discussion of the athletics program. Refer the prospect to the appropriate MVSU coach.
Q: CAN I EMPLOY RETURNING STUDENT-ATHLETE DURING THE SUMMER?
YES, but the compensation must be only for work that is performed and at a rate that is commensurate with the going rate for similar services.
Q: IS IT PERMISSIBLE FOR AN ATHLETICS REPRESENTATIVE TO EMPLOY A STUDENT-ATHLETE DURING THE ACADEMIC YEAR WHILE HE/SHE IS ENROLLED AS A FULL-TIME STUDENT?
YES, but student-athletes must register their part-time job with the Compliance Office to ensure all income is correctly tracked in accordance with NCAA legislation. If you do employ a MVSU student-athlete, you will be contacted by MVSU Compliance Office to ensure the student-athlete’s eligibility is not in jeopardy.
Q: CAN I PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO A STUDENT-ATHLETE TO GET TO HIS/HER JOB?
NO. You cannot provide transportation for student-athletes under your employment unless such transportation is provided to all employees. .
WHOM DO I CONTACT?
Compliance with NCAA regulations is the highest priority for our athletics programs at MVSU. We need your assistance in complying with NCAA rules and regulations. If you are faced with a situation and are unsure how to respond, or if you have any questions regarding NCAA rules, we urge you to contact the Compliance Office. Your continued interest in and support of Mississippi Valley State University is greatly appreciated.
Mississippi Valley State University
Office of Athletics Compliance
14000 Highway 82 West
Itta Bena, MS 38941-1400
phone: (662) 254-3552