The University of Texas and its Office of Athletic Compliance have summarized the definition of ‘extra benefits‘ and which donations from boosters, or the athlete himself, are permissible and which situations make it legal or illegal.
But in a rival that concluded in 2011 after Texas A&M departed for the SEC, the staff couldn’t help but poke fun at one of the Aggies’ most elite players to ever wear the maroon and white, Johnny Manziel.
Q. But benefits from friends and family are ok, right?
A. Maybe. NCAA rules are very fact specific. The same benefit can be permissible or impermissible depending on where it comes from and why it was given. For example, Johnny, a student-athlete, receives a football jersey.
If that jersey comes from the school and is for practice and competition it is permissible, because NCAA rules allow the institution to provide appropriate equipment.
If that jersey came from Aunt Amy and Uncle Joe as a Christmas present and you have exchanged gifts with them since Johnny was little, it is permissible.
If that jersey comes from Aunt Amy and Uncle Joe, who you haven’t heard from in years but suddenly turned up after they saw a story on tv about how Johnny is likely to go high in the draft, it may not be permissible.
If that jersey came from “Aunt” Amy and “Uncle” Joe, who you are not really related to, but you think of like family, it may be permissible depending on how long you have known Amy and Joe and whether they have provided similar gifts to Johnny in the past or if those gifts only started coming after Johnny became known as an athlete.
Bottom line, don’t assume that something is ok just because the person giving it is “like family,” or sometimes, even if they are family.
After mixed results flooded in from the conclusion of the Ed O’Bannon case, many former college football players, like Manziel, as well as former basketball players, are exempt from being financially recognized and the concept of allowing athletes to be represented in such a world has been put on hold unless an appeals decision sends the trial to the Supreme Court.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports