Voluntary Activities

Definition of Voluntary Activities
In order for any athletically related activity to be considered “voluntary,” all the following conditions must be met.

  • 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.
  • Coaches may not observe voluntary activities.  However, coaching  staff members  may be present during permissible  skill-related instruction requested by the student-athlete if that sport has the safety exception.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

In addition, Athletics Department Staff may:

  • 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).
  • 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 a purpose and inform the student-athletes of the time in advance.

Definition of Countable (Mandatory) 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 Bylaws 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.

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