Thank you for your support and enthusiasm for Harvard Athletics.
We're proud that our tradition of excellence-both on and off of the
playing field-has been achieved by playing by the rules. This
section will provide you with guidelines on following these rules
and will help answer any questions you may have about contributing
to the success of Harvard Athletics.
Definitions You Should Know
Representative or Friend of Harvard's Athletic
Interests: If you are or have ever been a member of any
group which supports or promotes the athletic program, if you have
made financial donations to the athletic program, or if you have
helped in any way to recruit athletes, you are considered a
"representative or a friend of Harvard's athletic interests." Once
you become a "representative" or a "friend," you retain that
Prospective Student-Athlete or Prospect: Any
student who has started classes for the ninth grade, regardless of
whether or not he or she is being recruited by Harvard. This term
also applies to any student enrolled at a preparatory school or a
Extra Benefits: Any benefit not equally
available to all students and prospective students who are not
student-athletes. Prospects and enrolled student-athletes may not
receive any extra benefits from the institution or a representative
of athletic interests. An extra benefit includes the provision
Recruiting: Any solicitation of a prospect or a
prospect's relatives for the purpose of securing the prospect's
enrollment and ultimate participation in Harvard's Athletic
Program. Recruiting by a friend or representative of Harvard's
athletic interests is not allowed-they are prohibited from having
any contact with a prospect. Only Harvard staff members can
recruit. However, friends and representatives can have some
involvement in the recruiting process. The following provides
detailed information on what friends and representatives can and
- Cash or merchandise (or cash equivalent)
- Tickets to a pro sporting event, movie, concerts, etc.
- Athletic equipment or clothing
- Any type of benefit from a booster or alum (i.e. meal). All an
alumni club can do for you is help arrange employment, either
during the summer or after graduation, as long as you are paid at
the normal rate and for work activities you actually perform.
- Loan of money
- Use of an automobile or free/reduced travel
- Any type of benefit from a former teammate/student-athlete
beyond those similar in nature that occurred while both were in
college (movie, meal, etc.).
"Friends" Involvement with Prospects
The following are NCAA rules on what you can and cannot do
regarding the recruitment of prospective student-athletes.
- Observe a prospect's athletics contest as long as no contact is
made with the prospect.
- Talk to a prospect about Harvard if the prospect initiates a
phone call to you, but refer all recruiting conversations about
Harvard athletics to the respective coach.
- Notify the Athletic Department or members of the coaching staff
about outstanding prospects.
- Attend a high school awards banquet or dinner as long as no
recruiting contact is made with a prospective athlete.
- Appear as a commentator on high school radio or television
- Arrange for employment for prospective student-athletes after
the student has accepted Harvard's offer of admission, provided the
job does not begin until after the completion of the student's
senior year of high school.
"Friends" Involvement with Enrolled
- Provide any benefit to prospective student-athletes, even if it
is available to all students. This includes, but is not limited to,
cash or loans, promise of employment after college, use of an
automobile, tangible items, etc.
- Contact recruits or their parents, on- or off-campus, in
person, by telephone or in writing. However, there are two
exceptions. One, if you are a member of the Schools &
Scholarship Committee, you may contact prospects for Admissions
purposes only; you may not have a recruiting conversation with a
prospect. Two, if you are an established family friend or neighbor
of a prospect, you may continue that relationship but never have a
- Contact the prospect's high school coach, principal, or
guidance counselor for the purposes of evaluating or recruiting the
- Visit the prospect's educational institution to pick up
film/videotape or transcripts regarding the evaluation of the
prospect's academic eligibility or athletic ability.
- Invite prospective student-athletes, their high school coaches,
or their parents to receptions.
- Provide a meal at a restaurant for prospects and their
The following are NCAA rules pertaining to what you can and cannot
do regarding the interaction with enrolled student-athletes, their
families and the coaching staff.
- Provide an occasional home meal to enrolled student-athletes
(not prospects) and provide local transportation to your home with
the Athletic Director's permission.
- Provide a home meal and lodging at your home, and/or reasonable
entertainment within 100 miles of the competition site to a Harvard
team competing in your area on an away trip.
- Provide lodging, meals, and transportation to Harvard coaches
when they come to your community to contact and evaluate
- Donate frequent flyer miles to the athletic department to help
defray the cost of recruiting expenses, as long as the miles may be
used at the department's discretion.
- Arrange for employment for enrolled student-athletes as long as
there is no preferential treatment and the student only gets paid
the going rate for work activities actually performed.
- Join a Friends group to help fund special trips, recruiting and
- Provide any benefit to enrolled students (which includes
transportation, meals, housing, entertainment, etc.) that are not
equally available to all students, even after their eligibility is
- Pay transportation expenses for the family of a prospect who is
- Invite enrolled student-athletes or their parents to
- Provide a meal at a restaurant for enrolled student-athletes or
This summer, an enrolled student-athlete is speaking at our
hometown's alumni club, which is in Springfield, Massachusetts. Can
I pay for her expenses?
YES. If the student-athlete is speaking at the
alumni club in his or her hometown during vacation, you can pay for
the athlete's expenses if the alumni club is in Massachusetts or
within 100 miles of Harvard.
My Harvard Club is hosting a luncheon for prospective
students. Some of these students are athletes and might decide to
play for the Crimson if they are accepted. Can we still invite them
to the luncheon?
YES. However, no recruiting presentation may
take place and alumni may not have direct contact with any prospect
regarding his or her interest in the athletic program. A Harvard
Club or alumni organization may host a luncheon or dinner in for
all prospective students (athletes and nonathletes) in that
immediate locale as long as the purpose of the function is not
related to athletics.
My neighbor's son is a prospect for Harvard's water polo
team. Can I talk to him about Harvard's athletic program?
NO. While you can still maintain contact with
this prospect, you cannot have a conversation about recruiting with
I know the women's basketball team will have to stay in
Cambridge over the Thanksgiving holiday. Can I pay for their
Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant in the Square?
YES. If a Harvard team has to stay on campus
during the holidays because of competition, you may pay for the
meal, BUT the money must go through the Athletic Department.
I'd like to help with recruiting. How can I?
You can help by identifying outstanding student-athletes in your
area and letting Harvard coaches know about them. If they think the
athlete has potential, then they will contact him or her. While you
cannot contact prospects or their coaches and guidance counselors,
you can attend their athletic contests.
How can I become more involved with Harvard
You can join a Friends group to help fund special trips,
recruiting, and team functions. Contact the Harvard Varsity Club,
at (617) 495-3535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.