As the saying goes in the world of the NCAA, “Once a booster, always a booster.” Even if you were just a season ticket holder for one year back in 1979, you’re still considered a booster in the world of the NCAA. I’ve had season tickets to ‘Canes games, and still, to this day, donate the minimum $50 to keep my Hurricane Club membership active in case one family member or another, or some friend, wants tickets to an event. Therefore, in my e-mail box this morning was one of the bi-annual compliance news letters from the school’s compliance director Dave Reed. Normally when these arrive, I give it the once over to make sure there’s nothing ground breaking, then it gets trashed. Being a member of the media, I’m already paranoid about my interactions with student-athletes or prospective student-athletes. I can honestly say I’ve never personally bought a meal for a player or hosted them at my house, or called them or done anything to put any body’s eligibility in question. On the other hand, I’m probably a goody two shoes in this area.
The changes expressed in this edition of the compliance newsletter wasn’t all that surprising. From now on, boosters at Miami will no longer be allowed to provide the occasional meal for student-athletes or host them at their home, or anywhere else for that matter. This is in difference to the NCAA rules which allow for both of the above. Here’s the explanation that the school submitted to it’s boosters today:
CHANGE IN OCCASIONAL MEAL POLICY
The institution recently changed it’s policy regarding occasional meals provided by boosters to student-athletes. Effective immediately, boosters are no longer permitted to entertain student-athletes with an occasional meal and boosters are prohibited from hosting current University of Miami student-athletes in their homes or other locations. Boosters should not provide any type of food, drink, transportation, or other extra benefits to current student-athletes. An extra benefit is any special arrangement to provide one or more student-athletes or their relatives or friends with a benefit not authorized by the NCAA. The receipt of such benefit will pace the student-athlete’s eligibility in jeopardy.
Examples of extra benefits are:
A Special discount, payment arrangement or credit on a purchase or service (e.g., dry cleaning, legal representation);
Free or reduced-cost housing or storage:
Transportation (an automobile, use of an automobile, or a ride);
Services (e.g., movie tickets, dinners, use of a car) from commercial agencies (e.g., movie theaters, restaurants, car dealers) with out charge or at reduced rates; and
Cash, gift certificates, clothing or other items with value.
In other words, we really got blindsided by Nevin Shapiro and that crap won’t happen again over someone’s dead body.
And to think I was contemplating a big outing on my yacht with a bunch of players and strippers with steaks from Prime One Twelve. Oh well.