For the Media
One of the conditions for the use of a press credential is this: “Credentialed media members must adhere to NCAA rules and any NCAA violations are grounds for the revoking of a credential. Specifically, contact with prospective student-athletes is strictly prohibited on the Texas A&M campus.”
Want the Participation of a Student-Athlete, Coach or Staffer for Your Article/Segment?
Contact Texas A&M Media Relations at (979) 845-5725 or visit www.12thman.com/media.
You May Not Recruit for Texas A&M
The only way that your contact and communication with prospects, their relatives, friends and coaches is permissible is if you are doing so as a member of the media and are contacting a recruit for the purpose of gathering information/reporting, not to recruit the prospect or influence the decisions of the prospect. If you are a member of the media who is also a former student of Texas A&M, a donor to one or more Texas A&M athletics booster groups, or otherwise qualify as a representative of Texas A&M Athletics (i.e., a booster), it is especially important for you to act in a professional manner when interacting with prospects or their relatives, coaches, or friends for purposes of gathering information so that you not give off the appearance of someone who is acting as a fan/booster. If you recruit prospects for Texas A&M or you or your organization promote Texas A&M’s athletics programs to prospects or their relatives, then you have or will become a booster of Texas A&M (even if you did not attend Texas A&M and do not donate to it), the NCAA might hold the institution responsible for your actions, and your actions might render the involved prospects ineligible for competition at Texas A&M. In short, do not attempt to persuade (through communication or other means) prospects or their relatives, friends or coaches that prospects should or should not attend Texas A&M or any other institution.
No Comment on Prospects
Prior to a prospect’s signing with Texas A&M, neither Texas A&M staff, coaches nor student-athletes may comment to the media (on the record or off the record) about ANY prospect (even those who have yet to begin high school), except to respond to such an inquiry with a confirmation/denial of recruitment. Therefore, please do not ask them about prospects who have yet to sign with Texas A&M. For example, if a prospect signed with another institution, do not ask a Texas A&M coach to comment about that prospect.
Furthermore, an NCAA rule specifically prohibits staff members at NCAA member institutions from evaluating or rating prospects for news media, scouting services or recruiting services, regardless of whether such comments are made on- or off the record.
No Media Contact with Prospects during Recruiting Contacts, Visits
An NCAA Division I member institution may not permit a reporter, journalist or other media entity to be present during any on- or off-campus recruiting contact with or telephone call between a Texas A&M coach and a prospective student-athlete, prospective student-athlete’s relative, or prospective student-athlete’s coach.
Media Presence at Institutional Camps or Clinics
NCAA Division I institutions may not arrange for the media, including recruiting or scouting services, to be present at an institutional camp or clinic by inviting members of the media to attend or providing special access (e.g., access to areas not open to the general public) for the media to observe, meet or otherwise interact with prospective student-athletes. Further, members of the media who are present at an institutional camp or clinic may be positioned only in areas open to the general public.
Do Not Interview NCAA Member Institutions’ Coaches When…
Do not attempt to interview NCAA Division I coaches when they are present at prospects’ athletic events (e.g., high school competitions, non-scholastic sport tournaments). The reason is that the NCAA has a history of treating an interview granted in that context as a violation of NCAA publicity regulations.
No Embed Stories
Do not request that you be granted permission to have all-access for a story because the nature of NCAA rules and federal laws regarding students’ rights to privacy in their educational records means that granting such unrestricted access would almost certainly result in violations of NCAA rules and/or the Federal Educational Right to Privacy Act; therefore, Texas A&M will deny requests for such all-access/embed stories.
No Accompanying a Coach when (S)he Recruits
NCAA Bylaw 13.10.1 requires that an NCAA Division I member institution not permit a media entity to be present during any recruiting contact made by an institution’s coaching staff member. When NCAA Division I coaches recruit, they often have contact with prospects as well as prospects’ relatives, friends, and coaches. If a reporter were present during such a recruiting contact with the consent of the NCAA Division I coach, then a violation would result from such action; therefore, do not make requests for such access because Texas A&M will not grant them.
Concerning Recruiting/Scouting Services
NCAA Division I coaches and staff may grant interviews to recruiting or scouting services, but they may not discuss prospects who have not signed with or been admitted to their institution.
NCAA Division I coaches and staff are also prohibited from serving as consultants for, sitting on boards of, promoting, or endorsing recruiting/scouting services or publications/media outlets that report primarily on an NCAA member institution’s athletics interests.
Do not put an NCAA Division I coach or athletics staff member on the same show as a prospect or a prospect’s coach. The reason is that there is an NCAA bylaw that states that NCAA Division I institutions shall not permit a prospect or prospect’s coach to appear, be interviewed or otherwise be involved (in person or via film, audio tape or videotape) on a program in which the institution’s coach is participating.
Quid Pro Quo
Individuals who report on Texas A&M Athletics should not accept (nor should Texas A&M Athletics staff offer or provide) any special benefit or service not available to the general public or to other reporters. Accepting such services or benefits creates an air of impropriety that undermines the individual’s status as a member of the media.
Extra Benefits / Preferential Treatment
Unless you are a relative of a student-athlete or prospective student-athlete, do not provide the student-athlete or prospective student-athlete or his/her relatives or friends with any benefit unless the benefit is specifically authorized by the NCAA or is available to the general student body or general public on a basis unrelated to athletics ability. If a prospect or student-athlete (or his/her relatives or friends) accepts a benefit from a member of the media and that benefit is not allowed by NCAA rules, then the benefit will render the prospective or enrolled student-athlete ineligible, regardless of whether the member of the media is a booster at the time of the provision of the impermissible benefit. Furthermore, please note that this restriction continues to apply even after a student-athlete exhausts his/her eligibility.
Refer student-athletes or their relatives who express financial or other need to Texas A&M Athletics Compliance. The student-athlete will very likely qualify for access to the NCAA Opportunity Fund or an incidental expense waiver. There is no need to commit an NCAA violation that renders the individual ineligible for competition and/or results in penalties for the institution. Also, always remember that even if a prospective or enrolled student-athlete re-pays the provider of the impermissible benefit, the provision of the benefit remains a violation.