Do College Athletic ‘Boosters’ Need Tighter Regulations?
What exactly is a 'Booster Club'?
The NCAA categorizes the group as “representatives of the institution’s athletic interests,” include anyone who has:
- Provided a donation in order to obtain season tickets for any sport at the university.
- Participated in or has been a member of an organization promoting the university’s athletics programs.
- Made financial contributions to the athletic department or to a university booster organization.
- Arranged for or provided employment for enrolled student-athletes.
- Assisted or has been requested by university staff to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes.
- Assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student athletes or their families.
- Been involved otherwise in promoting university athletics.
Personally I have no problem with people donating money to a university for season tickets for a sporting event. But I do have problems with 'boosters' giving or gifting items to athletes and having an open line of communication with 'their' athletes.
Once upon a time, I was a high-school athlete that got scouted by a few schools to play ball. I learned a lot during the process, but most importantly I learned, schools and boosters will do whatever it takes to get you to commit to their university. No, I wasn't offered cars, cash, girls, housing or anything like that, which universities are doing right now to entice young talented boys and girls across the country, because that's illegal and would look bad on a few universities that I was pressed by.
Lastly, boosters LOVE to flaunt 'their' little athletes like a trophy or a medal of 'look at me and see what I'm doing to help our troubled BUT talented youth'. It's really disgusting and shows the real colors of boosters around the country.