NCAA Regulations & Compliance Information

The University of Montana, as a member of the Big Sky Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is responsible for ensuring that its coaches, student-athletes, faculty and staff, former students, donors, boosters, and friends abide by Big Sky Conference and NCAA regulations. This document is a quick reference to the many NCAA rules that apply to our former students, fans and friends of the University.

Since all applicable situations cannot be covered in this document, please contact Jean Gee if you have any questions.

The University appreciates your interest in and support of our Athletics Programs, but reminds you that an inappropriate contact or an inadvertent action on your part can jeopardize the eligibility of a prospective or enrolled student-athlete. As we strive for continued excellence, we must always seek the highest standard of ethical conduct. With your assistance and cooperation, we believe we can accomplish these goals.

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Parents' Guide to NCAA Rules and Regulations:

Compliance Policies and Procedures:


What is ...


Who is a ...


What are the Rule Interpretations of NCAA Bylaw ...


What are Rules and Regulations Governing ...


As a College Bound Student-Athlete, What Do I Need to Know to Play at UM

What Can I Do To Help?


What is ... "Amateurism?" [top]

A student-athlete loses their amateur status and shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the student athlete:

  • negotiates, signs or enters into any written or oral agreement with an agent.
  • accepts or receives any extra benefits (including family members) from an agent, financial advisor, or anyone who wishes to represent the student-athlete.
  • uses their athletic skills for pay, or promise of pay.
  • competes with a professional sports team or receives any compensation from a professional sports team.
  • receives an extra benefit that is not available to the general student population. An extra benefit includes, but is not limited to, transportation, meals, clothes, entertainment, preferential loan terms, and cash.

What is ... "Compliance?" [top]

Compliance at The University of Montana is a shared responsibility of the members of the compliance staff, university, athletic administrators, coaches, athletes, alumni, and boosters. NCAA rules compliance can be broken down into four primary components:

  1. Rules Education
  2. Monitoring
  3. Investigations
  4. Institutional Control.

A major area of responsibility for the Compliance Office is coordinating a systematic rules education program. The compliance coordinator must identify the rules education constituencies; develop procedures for obtaining rules information and interpretations; distribute educational materials; schedule appropriate rules education meetings; evaluate the effectiveness of education programs; and evaluate coaches and administrators on rules knowledge and compliance. Proper rules compliance is the concern of everyone associated with The University of Montana. Everyone plays a role, and that role begins with knowing the rules.

Monitoring & Investigation
Monitoring is making sure the rules and institutional programs and systems that are in place identify potential problems within the athletic department.

Investigations include self-reporting NCAA rules violations. These violations can be either secondary or major in nature. Secondary violations are isolated and inadvertent, and provide limited or no competitive or recruiting advantage. A major violation provides a recruiting or competitive advantage, and generally carries a larger penalty.

The University of Montana is responsible for controlling its intercollegiate athletics program in compliance with NCAA rules and regulations. Maintaining institutional control is imperative to continue the growth and success of Grizzly Athletics.

Through our educational outreach efforts for our coaching staffs, student-athletes, prospective student-athletes, athletic department staff members, university staff members, boosters, high school coaches and administrators, employers, and summer camp directors, we feel that the word is getting out that The Griz want to win, and win the right way. That means following NCAA rules.

UM's Compliance Office
The Compliance Office at The University of Montana is an information source that can answer questions regarding NCAA recruitment, eligibility and financial aid. We have the capability to contact the Big Sky Conference and the NCAA regarding compliance related issues and interpretations with which we need assistance. Most importantly, we are an educational and proactive resource. While monitoring and documenting various NCAA, Big Sky, and institutional forms are important roles , we will always attempt to educate everyone involved in intercollegiate athletics about NCAA rules and regulations.

What is ... "Gambling?" [top]

A student-athlete, coach or other employees of The University of Montana may not provide information to individuals involved in any type of organized gambling concerning sporting events.

In addition, student-athletes, coaches and employees of UM may not solicit or accept any wager on any intercollegiate or professional athletics contest.

A wager can consist of anything of value (for example: cash, clothing, merchandise.)

Who is a ... Prospective Student-Athlete? [top]

A prospective student-athlete ("prospect") is a person who has started classes for the ninth grade. A student-athlete who has not started classes for the ninth grade becomes a prospective student-athlete if the individual receives any benefits from an institution or representative of an institution's athletic interests.

Actions taken by athletics staff members that cause a student-athlete to become a prospective student-athlete include:

  • providing a prospect an expense paid visit to a collegiate institution.
  • having an arranged in-person encounter with the student-athlete.
  • initiating or arranging telephone contact with a prospect or family member on more than one occasion for the purpose of recruiting. 

Who is a ... Representative of Athletics Interests? [top]

Anyone who has, at any time, done one or more of the following:

  • Participated in or been a member of a sports booster club such as the Grizzly Scholarship Association, Quarterback Club, Roundball Club or Hoop Club.
  • Made a financial donation to any of The University of Montana's men's or women's athletic programs or the Grizzly Scholarship Association.
  • Assisted or have been requested (by athletics department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospects.
  • Assisted in providing any benefit (e.g. summer employment) to enrolled student-athletes or their families.
  • Been involved in any way with the University's athletic program.

Please note three important points regarding this definition:

  1. It is very easy to meet one of these criterion, thus each institution has thousands of athletics representatives.
  2. Once an individual becomes a representative of the institutions athletics interest, he or she retains that identity indefinitely.
  3. Under NCAA rules, the institution is responsible for all actions of its athletic representatives.

What are the Rule Interpretations of NCAA Bylaw ... 13.1.2? [top]

A representative of a Division I institution is prohibited from making on or off campus in-person recruiting contact with a prospect and his or her parents/guardians.

Limited Exception: A representative may have contact with a prospect regarding permissible pre-enrollment activities such as summer employment, provided the prospect has already signed a National Letter of Intent and the institution is aware that you are making these contacts in regard to the employment. (Reference: NCAA Bylaw

A representative is prohibited from contacting a prospect's coach, principal, or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect.

Limited Exception: NCAA rules do not preclude a representative from viewing a prospect's contest, but the representative may not contact the prospect. (Reference: NCAA Bylaw

A Division I representative is prohibited from writing or telephoning a prospect and his or her parents or legal guardians.

Limited Exception: A representative may have a phone conversation with a prospect only if the prospect initiates the call. Such a call may not be prearranged by an institutional staff member. The representative is not permitted to have a recruiting conversation, but may exhibit normal civility. The representative must refer any questions about the University's athletic program to an intercollegiate athletics department staff member. (Reference: NCAA Bylaw

What are the Rule Interpretations of NCAA Bylaw ... 13.2.1? [top]

A representative of a Division I institution is not allowed to, directly or indirectly, make arrangements for or give any financial aid or other benefits to a prospect or a prospect's relatives or friends.

Benefits include, but are not limited to: Employment arrangement for a prospect's relatives; Gift of clothing or equipment; Cash or like items; Any tangible items, including merchandise; Cosigning of loans; Providing loans to a prospect's relatives or friends; Free or reduced-cost services, rentals or purchases of any type; Free or reduced-cost housing; Use of an institution's athletics equipment; Sponsorship of or Arrangement for an awards banquet for prospective athletes.

What are the Rule Interpretations of NCAA Bylaw ... 12.5.1 & 12.5.2? [top]

A student-athlete's name, picture or appearance cannot be utilized to promote the commercial ventures of any nonprofit agency.

Limited Exception: a) the primary purpose of the advertisement is to publicize a sponsor's congratulations to the student-athlete or team; b) there is no indication in the wording of the advertisement that the student-athlete(s) or the institution endorses the product or service of the advertiser.

What are Rules and Regulations Governing ... Contact With Recruitable Student-Athletes? [top]

Only University of Montana coaches who successfully pass the NCAA Recruiting Rules Examination on an annual basis may be involved in the recruitment process. Representatives of our athletics interests may not make any recruiting contacts. This includes letters, telephone calls, and face to face contacts on or off campus with a prospect or the prospect's parent(s). As a supporter of Grizzly Athletics, you are permitted to do the following:

  • Forward information about prospective student-athletes to the appropriate coaches.
  • Contact a prospect regarding permissible pre-enrollment activities such as summer employment, provided the prospect has already signed a National Letter of Intent, and you have notified the Compliance Office (406) 243-5370 that you are making these contacts.
  • Have a telephone conversation with a prospect only if the prospect initiates the call. Such a call may not be prearranged by an institutional staff member and the conversation must not include any attempt to recruit. You must refer any questions about our athletics programs to a University of Montana coach or staff member.

Any other activity involving a prospective student-athlete may be considered a violation of NCAA rules, and not only endangers The University of Montana's ability to recruit a particular student-athlete, but also the prospect's eligibility at any NCAA institution.

What are Rules and Regulations Governing ... Contact With Currently Enrolled Student-Athletes? [top]

Representatives of athletics interests may not provide a student-athlete any benefit or special arrangement that would not be offered to the rest of the student population. Such a benefit may cause a student-athlete to lose his or her eligibility. Prohibited extra benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Entertaining student-athletes, their friends or family.
  • Using the name or picture of an enrolled student-athlete to advertise, recommend or promote any product or service of any kind.
  • Providing awards or gifts to a student-athlete.
  • Allowing a student-athlete to use your telephone to make free calls, or allowing use of a free or discounted automobile.

You can however, invite an enrolled student-athlete to your home for an occasional home cooked meal, but you may not take a student-athlete to a restaurant. Any contact or planned activity with an enrolled student-athlete should be cleared by the Compliance Office.

What are Rules and Regulations Governing ... Employment of Student-Athletes? [top]

NCAA legislation permits Division I student-athlete's (SA's) to receive earnings from legitimate on- or off-campus employment during semester or term time. Please contact the Compliance Office before employing a student-athlete. As an employer, you should be aware of the following NCAA regulations regarding the employment of student-athletes:

  • Compensation may not include any value the student-athlete has to the employer due to the student-athlete's fame or reputation.
  • The student-athlete shall be paid only for work actually performed.
  • The student-athlete shall be paid at a fair market value equal to that for other similar positions in the immediate area of employment.
  • Do not employ a prospect prior to the completion of the prospect's senior year in high school.
  • Do not employ a currently enrolled student-athlete during the academic year without receiving approval from The University of Montana.
  • Do not provide transportation to and from work for student-athlete employees unless such transportation is provided to all employees.

What are Rules and Regulations Governing ... Student-Athlete's Involvement in Promotional Activities? [top]

It is permissible for student-athletes to be involved in promotional activities that are deemed institutional, charitable, educational, or non-profit agencies provided the activity is approved by UM's Athletic Director or designee. Student-athletes may only receive necessary travel expenses for their participation, but may not receive an honorarium. (Reference: NCAA Bylaw

What are Rules and Regulations Governing ... May I Use a Student-Athlete's Name or Picture? [top]

No, it is not permissible for anyone to use the name or picture of an enrolled student-athlete to directly advertise, recommend or promote sales or use of a commercial product or service of any kind.

As a College Bound Student-Athlete, What Do I Need to Know to Play at UM? [top]

When being recruited by a university, it is just as important for a prospective student-athlete to know the rules, as it is for the university to know the rules. The NCAA offers a valuable resource designed to help high school athletes understand the NCAA rules:

The NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete is designed specifically for the college-bound student-athlete, who may have some basic questions regarding their future as a college student-athlete. Prior to your admission to a university, you must receive a high school diploma, and successfully complete a core curriculum. Your GPA in these core courses will be compared with your best score on the ACT or SAT on a floating scale to determine your eligibility. Check with your high school counselor for your schools core courses that will count towards your recognized GPA.

What Can I Do To Help? [top]

If you know of a high school student-athlete who might want to attend The University of Montana, the only permissible activity for a representative is to call the appropriate coach.

  • Do not entertain high school, prep school or community college coaches at any location.
  • Do not offer to pay registration fees for summer sports camps for a prospect.
  • Do not pay for or loan any automobile for a student-athlete to return home or to any other location for any reason.
  • Do not provide an honorarium to a student-athlete for a speaking engagement. Only necessary travel expenses can be given when speaking to educational or charitable groups. All speaking engagements and charitable promotional appearences must be approved in advance by the intercollegiate athletic department.
  • Do not employ or arrange for the employment of a prospect or an enrolled student-athlete without first checking with the head coach of the sport in question. The intercollegiate athletic department is permitted to make arrangements for summer employment for prospects prior to enrollment as freshman and to enrolled student-athletes during the semester, vacation periods and summer. Student-athletes employed by you must be payed at a rate commensurate with the going rate for similar services in the community and your business.

Thank you for your support of intercollegiate athletics. We ask for your cooperation in keeping The University of Montana's tradition of athletic integrity intact. Your assistance also will ensure the eligibility of both high school prospects and enrolled student-athletes.

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