Compliance Corner: Contacting Student-Athletes


In the spirit of compliance, our department wants to better educate the boosters, supporters and fans as to what activities are allowed and what should be avoided.

This week, the compliance office breaks down the rules regarding contact with currently enrolled student-athletes.

Trojan fans, boosters and supporters of USC may not a provide a student-athlete any benefit or special arrangement that would not be offered to the rest of the student population.

Such a benefit may cause a student-athlete to lose his or her eligibility.  Such benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Use of the name, picture or appearance of an enrolled student-athlete to advertise, recommend or promote a commercial product or service of any kind.
  • Provision of awards or gifts to a student-athlete.
  • Use of your telephone to make free calls, or use of a free or discounted automobile, housing or a service of any kind.
  • Entertainment of student-athletes and/or their friends and family.  However, if you live within a 30-mile radius of USC's main campus, you may invite an enrolled student-athlete (but not their family or friends) to your home for an occasional home cooked meal, but you may not take a student-athlete to a restaurant.  Any contact or planned activity with an enrolled student-athlete should be cleared by the Office of Athletic Compliance prior to the occurrence of the activity.

We know that Trojan fans are the most dedicated and supportive in the country so please if you have any questions about NCAA rules, contact the Compliance Office at any time by calling (213) 740-3832 or emailing


I don't know any student-athletes, so these aren't a problem for me. Having said that, I've never understood some of these rules. The restaurant rule is a perfect example: it's normal for parents or friends of one student to include that student's college friends, roommates, et al, when going to dinner, so why should student-athletes be excluded from this? I thought the whole point was to prevent "extra" benefits, not prevent athletes from enjoying the same benefits all non-athlete students can have. Likewise the rule about riding in someone else's car seems silly. Since when don't students ride in each others cars?

I realize they don't want student-athletes getting stuff that other students can't have, but there has to be a way to inject some common sense into the process.

the compliance rules are beyond ridiculous. For example the ban on practice. Not one single agent or runner has ever contacted a player on howard jones field. They get to the players at popular clubs on friday or saturday night or they go through their friends. On top of that if an agent wanted to get to a player why not just wait outside heirtage hall after practice to give your business card. What agent has ever run onto the field during practice to contact a player? It has totally alienated the fans and it has affected the practice intensity. As a player when you walk onto the field and see 300 people it gets you amped up but if you walk out there and see 30 people it gives you the impression nobody cares. What's worse is there are older trojans whose whole life was coming to practice and cheering their team on and now that was stripped of them. what about the local kids who would come in groups to see practice. This was a motivating factor for kids in the community to do well and be rewarded by going on the school trip to practice. More than one player has commented at the last game they were surprised to see the sidelines so bare and felt that it affected the team spirit.

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