Pepperdine Athletics appreciates the support of the alumni, parents, friends, and fans whose generosity helps the Waves compete at the highest level of NCAA athletics. The relationship between the university and its supporters is of paramount importance to the success of every athletics program. One important aspect of that relationship is Pepperdine's responsibility under NCAA rules to educate boosters regarding what manner of support is appropriate and what types of activities might run afoul of NCAA bylaws.
The following are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding NCAA booster rules; but this should not be considered an inclusive list rules that apply to boosters. If you have specific questions that are not answered below, or if you would like to receive a link to Pepperdine's free online educational course for boosters, please feel free to email Amanda Kurtz, Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again for your continued support and cooperation.
Q: What is a "Booster"?
A: Under NCAA rules, a booster is any individual or entity (e.g. business, organization, etc.) that has:
- Been a member, or participated in, any organization promoting Pepperdine Athletics (e.g. Waves Club), or;
- Made contributions to Pepperdine Athletics, or;
- Provided any benefits to enrolled student-athletes or to their families, or;
- Been otherwise involved in promoting Pepperdine Athletics.
Q: What if I donated to Pepperdine Athletics many years ago, but have not been active recently. Am I still a booster?
A: Under NCAA rules, once an individual becomes a booster, he/she remains a booster permanently.
Q: I only donated $25 to Pepperdine once, does that make me a booster?
A: Yes. Any individual who has made a donation of any size to Pepperdine Athletics at any time is considered a booster of Pepperdine University.
Q: I am a booster and I want to support Pepperdine's student-athletes. May I provide a student-athlete a gift, give a student-athlete a ride to school, or let a student-athlete have a discount at my store?
A: No! NCAA rules prohibit boosters from providing any extra benefits to student-athletes. Extra benefits include cash, gifts, free or discounted services, use of cars or lodging, as well as any other benefits not expressly permitted by NCAA legislation. Note that extra benefits are impermissible regardless of scale -- obviously buying a car for a student-athlete is prohibited under NCAA rules; but remember that it is also impermissible for a booster to give a student-athlete a birthday card or a tray of cookies.
Q: I am aware of an excellent high school athlete who would be a great fit for Pepperdine. Should I encourage him/her to attend Pepperdine?
A: NCAA rules mandate that only coaches are involved in the off-campus recruiting process. Boosters may not assist in recruiting prospective student-athletes to Pepperdine, and should never attempt to recruit athletes on behalf of the school.
Q: What if I am attending an athletics event at Pepperdine (e.g. basketball game, volleyball match) and I notice a high school prospect also in attendance? Could I speak with him/her in that setting?
A: No. It is not permissible for boosters to have any contact with prospective student-athletes (or their parents) during a campus visit.
Q: Why do I need to worry about NCAA rules? I don't work for Pepperdine or for the NCAA.
A: The NCAA holds Pepperdine responsible for the actions of its boosters. If a booster is involved in a violation of NCAA rules, the repercussions to the booster could include forced disassociation from the University. The repercussions to the University could include loss of eligibility for student-athletes, forfeiture of games and other NCAA sanctions.