University Integrity and Compliance

Providing independent oversight of the university's compliance programs

Help Us Play the Right Way...Know the Rules

Submitted by Cardinal Athletics 1/28/13

Cardinal Athletics would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support.  There is much to be excited about both on and off the field, and we truly appreciate the contributions made by so many areas of the university that go toward providing the high quality educational and athletic experiences our student-athletes enjoy.


As you know, compliance with NCAA rules is a team effort.  This responsibility is assumed by everyone associated with the University of Louisville family, including, university staff members, faculty, students, student-athletes and athletic boosters.  It is important that we take the time to understand some important NCAA rules that we all are responsible for following.


Principle of Institutional Control and Responsibility

It is the responsibility of each member institution to control its intercollegiate athletics program in compliance with the rules and regulations of the NCAA.  The institutions chief executive officer is responsible for the administration of all aspects of the athletics program, including approval of the budget and audit of all expenditures.

The institution’s responsibility for conduct of its intercollegiate athletics program includes the responsibility for the actions of its staff members and for the actions of any other individual or organization engaged in activities promoting the athletics interests of the institution.

Unethical Conduct. Unethical conduct by a prospective or enrolled student-athlete or a current or former institutional staff member (e.g., coach, professor, tutor, teaching assistant, student manager, student-trainer) who serve in either a paid or nonpaid capacity may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Refusal to furnish information relevant to an investigation of a possible violation of an NCAA regulation when requested to do so by the NCAA or the individual's institution;
  2. Knowing involvement in arranging for fraudulent academic credit or false transcripts for a prospective or an enrolled student-athlete;
  3. Knowing involvement in offering or providing a prospective or an enrolled student-athlete an improper inducement or extra benefit or improper financial aid;
  4. Knowingly furnishing or knowingly influencing others to furnish the NCAA or the individual's institution false or misleading information concerning an individual's involvement in or knowledge of matters relevant to a possible violation of an NCAA regulation;
  5. Receipt of benefits by an institutional staff member for facilitating or arranging a meeting between a student-athlete and an agent, financial advisor or a representative of an agent or advisor (e.g., "runner");
  6. Knowing involvement in providing a banned substance or impermissible supplement to student-athletes, or knowingly providing medications to student-athletes contrary to medical licensure, commonly accepted standards of care in sports medicine practice, or state and federal law.  This provision shall not apply to banned substances for which the student-athlete has received a medical exception per Bylaw; however, the substance must be provided in accordance with medical licensure, commonly accepted standards of care and state or federal law;
  7. Failure to provide complete and accurate information to the NCAA, the NCAA Eligibility Center or an institution's admissions office regarding an individual's academic record (e.g., schools attended, completion of coursework, grades and test scores);
  8. Fraudulence or misconduct in connection with entrance or placement examinations;
  9. Engaging in any athletics competition under an assumed name or with intent to otherwise deceive; or
  10. Failure to provide complete and accurate information to the NCAA, the NCAA Eligibility Center or the institution's athletics department regarding an individual's amateur status.


Academic Fraud

The term “academic fraud” is not specifically defined within the NCAA rules.  It is generally understood to include (but is not limited to):  cheating on a test, handing in an assignment completed in whole or in part by another individual, receiving advance copies of assignments (when this is not the general policy in a course), having someone take an exam in your place, altering transcripts, receiving fraudulent credit, etc.

Situations in which an institution must report an institutional violation regarding academic fraud include the following:

1.  Any time an institutional staff member (for example, a coach, a professor, a tutor, a teaching assistant) is knowingly involved in the academic fraud, regardless of whether the staff member acted alone or together with the prospective or enrolled student-athlete.

2.  Any time a student-athlete or staff member is knowingly involved in any way in arranging fraudulent academic credit or false transcripts.


Extra Benefit. An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution's athletics interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete's relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. Receipt of a benefit by student-athletes or their relatives or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation if it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the institution's students or their relatives or friends or to a particular segment of the student body determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability.

Common extra benefits which would be a violation

  • An employee providing a student-athlete with use of the employee’s car
  • Loaning or giving cash to a student-athlete
  • Co-signing or arranging a loan for a student-athlete
  • Arranging for a student-athlete or his/her family to receive free or reduced cost merchandise or services – anything from a free slice of pizza or a free haircut to a discount on a car would fall into this category
  • Use of copy machines, telephones, fax machines, except that these items may be used by student-athletes in conjunction with required academic course work (with approval from the Academic Support Staff or the Office of Compliance).
  • Free or reduced-cost tickets to an athletics, institutional or community event

Permissible Benefits

  • Having a team or individual student-athletes to your home or a local restaurant for an occasional meal for a special occasion subject to prior approval by the Office of Athletic Compliance.
  • Providing occasional local transportation to a student-athlete
  • Providing refreshments to student-athletes for celebratory events such as birthdays, or for educational and business meetings
  • Use of computers, typewriters, copy machines, and fax machines for course related work, only with the approval of the Academic Support Staff or the Office of Athletic Compliance


Employment of a Student-Athlete

NCAA Financial Aid and Amateurism rules permit student-athletes to work and earn income during the academic year.  However, student-athletes must get prior approval from the Office of Athletic Compliance for off-campus employment (i.e., not paid through university payroll).

Occasional Meals

A student-athlete or the entire team in a sport may receive an occasional meal in the locale of the institution on infrequent and special occasions from an institutional staff member.  An institutional staff member may provide reasonable local transportation to student-athletes to attend such meals. A student-athlete or the entire team in a sport may receive an occasional meal from a representative of athletics interests on infrequent and special occasions under the following conditions:

(a)    The meal may only be provided in an individual's home, on campus or at a facility that is regularly used for home competition and may be catered; and

(b)   A representative of the institution's athletics interest may provide reasonable local transportation to student-athletes to attend the meal function only if the meal function is at the home of that representative.



The recruitment process is the lifeline for all athletic programs.  Over the years, the process has become dynamic and complex. There are two important pieces to this process for institutions and prospective student-athletes (PSAs).  They are official visits and unofficial visits.  Being able to visit an institution that a PSA is interested in attending can greatly impact the final decision.  PSAs are defined as students in high school, prep school, junior college or (possibly) four year colleges/universities. Here are some general points regarding both.


General Restrictions -- Staff Members and Governing Board.  The following are additional restrictions that apply to an institution's staff members and governing board. Violations of this bylaw shall be considered institutional violations per Constitution 2.8.1; however, such violations shall not affect the prospective student-athlete's eligibility.

(a)    Institutional Staff Members -- Off-Campus Contacts. Only those coaches permitted to recruit off campus as specified in Bylaw 11.7 may contact prospective student-athletes off campus. Institutional staff members (e.g., faculty members) may contact prospective student-athletes for recruiting purposes in all sports, on campus, or within 30 miles of campus during the prospective student-athlete's official visit.

(b)   Board of Governors/Regents. Recruiting contacts on or off campus between a member of the institution's board of governors (or regents) and a prospective student-athlete are not permissible.


Benefits to Prospective Student-Athletes

An institution’s staff members cannot be involved, directly or indirectly, in making arrangements for or giving or offering to give any financial aid or other benefits to the prospect or the prospect’s relatives or friends, other than expressly permitted by NCAA regulations.

Permissible Benefits

  • Hotel, meal and transportation expenses to visit campus one time.  The visit is limited to 48 hours in duration and is approved through the Office of Athletic Compliance.
  • Entertainment up to $40 per day during the prospect’s paid official campus visit.
  • Official university publications available to all students


Social Media/Electronic Communication

As electronic communication technology continues to advance, the opportunity for boosters of an athletics program to have impermissible contact with a prospect or prospect's family is greatly increased. However, the school's responsibility for that contact remains the same. To protect the university and our recruits, we ask all staff and boosters to refrain from using any type of social media or electronic method of communication (message boards, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to communicate directly with a prospective student-athlete.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Athletic Compliance at (502) 852-7728.