Compliance

Compliance Question of the Week

For the week of: May 3, 2010

Question:
How involved may coaches be with their student-athletes' workouts during the summer vacation?


Answer:
Coaches are not permitted to be present or receive updates on strength, conditioning, and sport specific workouts that take place during the summer. Per NCAA Bylaw 17.1.6.2.1.1, "a student-athlete may not participate in any countable athletically related activities outside the playing season during any institutional vacation period and/or summer. Strength and conditioning coaches who are not countable coaches and who perform such duties on a department-wide basis may design and conduct specific workout programs for student-athletes, provided such workouts are voluntary and conducted at the request of the student-athlete." For activities to be considered voluntary, they must meet every requirement in Bylaw 17.02.13:

  1. The student-athlete must not be required to report back to a coach or other athletics department staff member (e.g., strength coach, trainer, manager) any information related to the activity. Nor may the strength coach report the activity to the coach(es);
  2. The activity must be initiated and requested solely by the student-athlete;
  3. Attendance and participation in the activity (or lack thereof) may not be recorded for the purposes of reporting such information to coaching staff members or other student-athletes;
  4. The student-athlete may not be subjected to penalty for lack of participation nor may the student-athlete be provided incentives for participation.
The NCAA rules are written to allow student-athletes to "take a vacation" if they wish to and not worry about being punished for lack of participation during the summer months. Therefore, student-athletes may not be forced to participate in summer conditioning, weight lifting and individual workouts. A coach may hand out suggested workouts to his/her student-athletes. Should a student-athlete participate in summer conditioning either on or off institutional grounds, progress updates and results may not be reported back to a coach. If a member of the athletics department were to observe the activity, he or she may not report back to the student-athlete's coach. In addition, non-coaching staff members (i.e. administrative assistant, director of operations) with sport-specific responsibilities may not participate with or observe student-athletes in the staff members' sport who are engaged in non-organized voluntary athletically related activities (i.e. pickup games).

Please note that there are exceptions in certain sports for individual workout sessions during the summer vacation period. In a few sports, a coach may be permitted to participate in individual workout sessions with student-athletes during the summer as long as the request to do so was by the student-athlete. However, the activities are limited to only general counseling and does not involve activities set forth in 17.02.12.1 (e.g., chalk talk; use of equipment relating to the sport; field, floor or on-court activity). Please contact the Compliance Office to see if your sport has such an exemption.


17.1.6.2.1.1 - Sports Other than Championship Subdivision Football.
In sports other than championship subdivision football, a student-athlete may not participate in any countable athletically related activities outside the playing season during any institutional vacation period and/or summer. Strength and conditioning coaches who are not countable coaches and who perform such duties on a department-wide basis may design and conduct specific workout programs for student-athletes, provided such workouts are voluntary and conducted at the request of the student-athlete. (Adopted: 10/31/02 effective 8/1/03, Revised: 4/28/05, 12/15/06)

17.02.1 - Countable Athletically Related Activities.
Countable athletically related activities include any required activity with an athletics purpose involving student-athletes and at the direction of, or supervised by one or more of an institution's coaching staff (including strength and conditioning coaches) and must be counted within the weekly and daily limitations under Bylaw 17.1.6.1 and 17.1.6.2. Administrative activities (e.g., academic meetings, compliance meetings) shall not be considered as countable athletically related activities. (Adopted: 1/10/91 effective 8/1/91, Revised: 10/31/02 effective 8/1/03)

17.02.13 Voluntary Athletically Related Activities.
In order for any athletically related activity to be considered "voluntary," all of the following conditions must be met: (Adopted: 4/18/01)
  • The student-athlete must not be required to report back to a coach or other athletics department staff member (e.g., strength coach, trainer, manager) any information related to the activity. In addition, no athletics department staff member who observes the activity (e.g., strength coach, trainer, manager) may report back to the student-athlete's coach any information related to the activity;
  • The activity must be initiated and requested solely by the student-athlete. Neither the institution nor any athletics department staff member may require the student-athlete to participate in the activity at any time. However, it is permissible for an athletics department staff member to provide information to student-athletes related to available opportunities for participating in voluntary activities (e.g., times when the strength and conditioning coach will be on duty in the weight room or on the track). In addition, for students who have initiated a request to engage in voluntary activities, the institution or an athletics department staff member may assign specific times for student-athletes to use institutional facilities for such purposes and inform the student-athletes of the time in advance;
  • The student-athlete's attendance and participation in the activity (or lack thereof) may not be recorded for the purposes of reporting such information to coaching staff members or other student-athletes; and
  • The student-athlete may not be subjected to penalty if he or she elects not to participate in the activity. In addition, neither the institution nor any athletics department staff member may provide recognition or incentives (e.g., awards) to a student-athlete based on his or her attendance or performance in the activity.

[Note: Coaching staff members may be present during permissible skill-related instruction pursuant to Bylaws 17.1.6.2.2 and 17.1.6.2.3] (Revised: 4/29/04 effective 8/1/04)

Individual consultation with a coach initiated voluntarily by a student-athlete
Date Published: November 7, 1991
Item Ref: 3
Interpretation: Official Interpretation


Individual consultation with a coach initiated voluntarily by a student-athlete. Individual consultation with a coaching staff member initiated voluntarily by a student-athlete is not a countable athletically related activity, provided any discussion between the coach and the student-athlete is limited to general counseling activities and does not involve activities set forth in 17.02.12.1 (e.g., chalk talk; use of equipment relating to the sport; field, floor or on-court activity). [References: 17.02.1.2-(j) (noncountable athletically related activities); 17.02.12.1 (activities considered as practice)]


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