Much of the confusion about the NCAA's recruiting rules — particularly as they relate to social media — centers around who exactly embodies a “Representative of Athletics Interest.”
NCAA rules stipulate that such “representatives” cannot have any contact with recruits with few exceptions; for example, contact is allowed if a prospect and fan had a relationship that pre-dated the recruitment.
NCAA bylaw 13.02.14 broadly defines a “representative of athletics interest,” and the very next bylaw states that once an individual or entity becomes identified as such, that identity is indefinitely retained.
NCAA bylaw 13.02.14:
A “representative of the institution's athletics interests” is an individual, independent agency, corporate entity (e.g., apparel or equipment manufacturer) or other organization who is known (or who should have been known) by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to:
(a) Have participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization promoting the institution's intercollegiate athletics program;
(b) Have made financial contributions to the athletics department or to an athletics booster organization of that institution;
(c) Be assisting or to have been requested (by the athletics department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes;
(d) Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or
(e) Have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution's athletics program.
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