A Message To All Red & Blue Fans

Dear Red & Blue Fan:

Sept. 4, 2002

As a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the University of Pennsylvania is responsible for exercising "institutional control" over its intercollegiate athletics program. Under this concept, the University is held accountable for the acts of each person identified as an "athletics representative."

By NCAA definition, an "athletics representative" is any individual who is a member of a Penn intercollegiate athletics "Friends" group, has made contributions to a "Friends" group or to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA), is involved in any manner in recruiting prospects for participation in intercollegiate athletics or in providing benefits (e.g., summer jobs) to enrolled student-athletes, or is otherwise involved in promoting Penn's athletics program. Once an individual is identified as such a representative, the person retains that identity indefinitely.

Under NCAA legislation, "athletics representatives" are prohibited from any contact, including letters and telephone calls, for purposes of athletic team recruitment with prospective student-athletes, their relatives or legal guardians. Such contacts are to be initiated exclusively by authorized University athletics staff members only. Under NCAA definition, a prospective student-athlete ('prospect') is a student who has started classes for the ninth grade. If you are a Secondary Schools Committee member, you may have contact with high school students, however it is not permissible for you to discuss Penn's athletic programs.

Athletics representatives are subject to NCAA legislation that requires the University to revoke or withhold privileges of an individual who has engaged in conduct that is determined, either by the University, Ivy League, or the NCAA, to be a violation of NCAA regulations, regardless of whether such violation results in the imposition of sanctions. The individual shall be subject to the revocation or withholding of any athletically-related benefit or privilege, received by that individual from the University. Such benefit or privilege may include, without limitation, ticket privileges which may be withheld by the University for that period of time which the University, Ivy League, or NCAA deems appropriate. The revocation of ticket privileges may result in an individual being denied admittance to any University hosted athletic event.

Obviously, the perils for overzealous and misguided alumni and friends are many. We request that "athletics representatives" do not make athletic team recruiting contacts with prospective student-athletes at any time. No matter how well-meaning the communication, it has the potential to place our entire program in jeopardy of NCAA and possible Ivy League sanctions.

If you have questions, contact the D. Elton Cochran-Fikes, Compliance Coordinator at 215/898-6241 or via email at decfikes@pobox.upenn.edu.

We are grateful for your support and appreciate your attention to NCAA regulations regarding Penn prospective and enrolled student-athletes. No Ivy athletics program boasts a more enthusiastic and loyal following!