Dear Local Merchants:
As you are aware, Georgia and at least eight SEC programs have recently been under the NCAA microscope. Fresno State is currently serving probation and a popular restaurant is one of the problems because it has been found student-athletes received free or discounted meals. We are doing our best to educate local businesses and fans about NCAA rules.
It is my understanding that some of our student-athletes frequent your business, so I wanted to take the opportunity to familiarize you with some NCAA guidelines that the institution, alumni, fans and student-athletes are responsible to follow.
NCAA rules prohibit any student-athlete from receiving any “extra benefits.” The NCAA considers any special discounts or arrangements given to student-athletes or their friends and family that was not available to the general student body or public to be an extra benefit, and could jeopardize the student-athlete’s eligibility. If a student-athlete receives any extra benefits they must be declared ineligible and would have to repay the benefit received and possibly be suspended for competition. Following are some extra benefit guidelines:
- Discounts and Credits: A student-athlete may not receive a special discount, payment arrangement or credit on purchase from an institutional employee or a Representative of UGA’s athletic interests (season ticket holder, alumni, donated funds for athletic purposes) or local business if the same was not offered and advertised to the general student body or public.
- Free or Reduced – Cost Services: A representative may not provide a student-athlete with services for which a fee would normally be charged without a charge or at a reduced cost. Professional services provided at less than the normal rate or at no expense to a student-athlete are considered an extra benefit unless they are available and advertised on the same basis to the general student body or public.
- Preferential Treatment: A student-athlete may not receive preferential treatment, benefits or services for his or her athletics reputation or skill or payback potential as a future professional athlete. Although other schools have been hit very negatively, I believe it can be used in a positive way to educate local businesses and UGA supporters to the importance of NCAA rules. The University of Georgia’s success is due to support from individuals, who continue to be cautious and knowledgeable of NCAA rules. If you have any questions regarding this information please feel free to contact us at (706) 542-9086. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.