Amateur Athlete Fundraising Guidelines

USA Deaf Sports Federation frequently sends athletes to represent the United States in international competitions. Considerable fundraising efforts may be required in order to raise funds to participate in competitions, which may come in conflict with the athletes’ amateur status and impact their eligibility in collegiate athletics. USA Deaf Sports Federation encourages student-athletes to reach out to their school’s NCAA compliance officers and/or athlete directors and potential student-athletes to reach out to their school’s guidance counselors, athletic directors, and coaches.

It is the responsibility of the student-athlete or potential student-athlete to ensure NCAA compliance. Below are some situations that may impact the amateur status of a student-athlete or potential student-athlete. Consult the NCAA Eligibility Center
(http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/amateurism) and your school’s NCAA compliance officer or athletic director to learn more about NCAA requirements in each of the following examples.

● Taking a break between high school/secondary school and full-time collegiate enrollment and continuing to participate in your sport(s).
● Using a recruiting agency, scholarship agent or a scouting service.
● Receiving payment from a sports team to participate.
● Receiving funds or money to offset training expenses.
● Accepting prize money based on performance/finish at a competition.
● Being represented or marketed by a professional sports agent.
● Promoting or endorsing a commercial product or service.

In addition, athletes, coaches, National Sports Organizations should consult NCAA Bylaw 12: Amateurism and Athletics Eligibility and NCAA Bylaw 16: Awards, Benefits, and Expenses. More information about these regulations can be found in the NCAA Manual for your division on http://ncaapublications.com.

Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is a popular approach to fundraising that leverages online social networks to expand the pool of donors supporting a cause. However, as it pertains to NCAA
student-athletes and potential student-athletes, crowdfunding can also impact eligibility. USA Deaf Sports Federation encourages student-athletes to reach out to their school’s NCAA compliance officers and/or athlete directors and potential student-athletes to reach out to their school’s guidance counselors, athletic directors, and coaches. It is the responsibility of the student-athlete or potential student-athlete to ensure NCAA compliance.

National Sports Organizations shall ensure that their fundraising efforts do not compromise the eligibility of a student-athlete or potential student-athlete.

The NCAA has posted a helpful powerpoint clarifying these guidelines, which can be downloaded here: https://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/Division_III_Bylaws_12_and_16_Crowdfunding–SEMIN AR.pptx

For more information, athletes, coaches, or parents and legal guardians of athletes under 18 years of age may contact teamusa@usdeafsports.org.

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