Student-athletes may not sell, trade or upgrade any item they receive due to their participation in athletics.
Who May Receive Awards -- All members of a team may receive participation awards and special attainment awards (i.e., scholar-athlete, team leader award). However, only student-athletes who were eligible to compete in conference, NCAA or other post-season tournaments or events may receive awards in conjunction with those events.
Awards for Participation in Special Events -- NCAA rules permit the management of an established meet or tournament and/or the institution to provide an award or combination of awards that do not exceed $350 in value. For example, if Michigan's women's basketball team was participating in a four-team holiday tournament, it would be permissible to provide the participating student-athletes with an award such as a winter coat.
Value of Awards -- Only retail value may be used in calculating the value of an award provided to a student-athlete, even if the awards were received free of charge or at a reduced price. However, if a vendor offers a volume discount that is offered to all purchasers of similar volume, the value of the award may be based on the discounted price.
Student-Athlete Contributing to Award Purchase -- It is impermissible for student-athletes to contribute money, even voluntarily, to cover the cost of an award.
Combining Awards -- All awards must be treated independently. Thus, it would not be permissible to combine the value of a $325 participation award with a $175 MVP award to purchase a $500 award for a student-athlete.
Uniformity of Awards -- NCAA rules require that all awards provided to members of a team be uniform. One exception to this rule allows more than one type of award to be provided to groups of student-athletes within a team (i.e., all seniors get rings, all underclassmen get watches).
Game balls -- It is not permissible to award game balls to student-athletes for specialized performances in particular contests or events (e.g., "player of the game"); however an institution may provide a game ball to a student-athlete only on an occasional basis to recognize an extraordinary achievement (e.g., establishing an institutional record).
Compliance Manual >