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.
Check out the Compliance Rules of the Game to ensure you are staying “in bounds” and not inadvertently breaking an Ivy League or NCAA rule!
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 identity indefinitely.
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 two-year college.
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 of:
"Friends" Involvement with Prospects
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.
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 him.
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 Athletics?
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.