Amateurism / Promotional Activities

A student-athlete will lose their amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the individual:

  • Uses his or her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport, except that prior to collegiate enrollment an individual may accept prize money based on his or her place finish or performance in an athletic competition;
  • Accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics participation;
  • Signs a contract or commitment of any kind to play professional athletics, regardless of its legal enforceability or any consideration received;
  • Receives, directly or indirectly, a salary, reimbursement of expenses or any other form of financial assistance from a professional sports organization based upon athletics skill or participation, except as permitted by NCAA rules and regulations;
  • Competes on any professional athletics team (per Bylaw 12.02.4), even if no pay or remuneration for expenses was received;
  • Subsequent to initial full-time collegiate enrollment, enters into a professional draft or an agreement with an agent
  • Enters into an agreement with an agent (oral or written).

Promotional Activities
All student-athlete promotional activities could potentially affect your status as an amateur student-athlete. Student-athletes have very limited opportunities in terms of promotional activities. Any use of a student-athlete’s name, picture or appearance to support CMU, a charitable, educational or non-profit activity requires approval from the Office of Athletics Compliance. In order for a student-athlete to participate in any promotional activity, a Student-Athlete Promotional Activities Waiver Form must be completed and turned in to the Compliance Office prior to participating in the activity.

Participation in any of the below activities results in a student-athlete becoming immediately ineligible to compete:

  • Accepting payment OR allowing your name or picture to be used to advertise, recommend, or promote the sale or use of a commercial product or service; or
  • Accepting payment for endorsing a product or service because you are using the product or service.

If a student-athlete's name or picture appears on commercial items (e.g. t-shirts, advertisements) without the student-athlete's knowledge or permission, it is considered an institutional violation and does not affect the student-athlete’s eligibility. However, the student-athlete (or the institution) must take steps to stop the activity. For example, if you sign a jersey for a fan and that fan auctions the item off on Ebay, your eligibility could be affected and you (or CMU) must take immediate action to stop this activity.

The following guidelines are required to be followed in order to participate in any institutional, educational or charitable promotions:

  • You cannot miss class for such an activity.
  • You may accept legitimate and normal expenses from the agency (e.g., CMU, charity) related to participation in such activity.
  • You and an authorized representative of the agency must sign a release statementensuring your name, image or appearance is used in a manner consistent with NCAA rules.
  • You may not permit use of your name or picture in a "name the player" contest conducted by a commercial business to promote the business.
  • If you are involved in an institutional promotion on a TV station or radio network (e.g., coaches show), you cannot make a reference to the station or network (e.g., endorse the station).
  • The are also NCAA rules that regulate the apparel you wear during competition (including pre and post-game and press conference). You may have only one manufacturer's logo or trademark per article of clothing and the logo / trademark cannot exceed 2.25 square inches (e.g., no t-shirt with multiple corporate logos).

Examples of impermissible promotional activities that will affect your eligibility (not an exhaustive list!):

  • Friend uses your name or picture on a product and sells the product (e.g., t-shirt).
  • You produce a music CD with your picture on the cover and sell the CD.
  • You use your name to publicize your own business.
  • You wear apparel or utilize equipment that has more than the manufacturer's logo on the item (e.g., "NBA" logo on headband).
  • You sign a jersey and the jersey is displayed at a local business, or the business auctions off the jersey.

What about signing Apparel / Memorabilia?
The golden rule for signing apparel or memorabilia items is that you should always personalize the item to the individual who you are signing for. If you do not personalize the item and that fan sells the item (e.g., Ebay), your eligibility will be affected and you (or CMU) must take immediate action to stop this activity. The only time when it is OK for you to not personalize your signature is if the item is being used for an educational (e.g., k-8 school), institutional (CMU), or charitable organization, and multiple student-athletes sign the item. Any educational, institutional, or charitable organization that requests signed apparel or memorabilia items are required to complete a Memorabilia Request Form and submit to the Office of Athletics Compliance prior to the disbursement of the item.

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