Official Visit Policies

University of Massachusetts Official Visits
NCAA Bylaw 13.6 - (All policies and procedures related to official visits meet NAAC standards, established 10/4/12)
 
As with the entire recruitment process, prospective student-athlete official visits should reflect the same commitment to the ideals of excellence that the University of Massachusetts exemplifies. Therefore, the University of Massachusetts athletics department is charged with identifying and recruiting student athletes who:
  •  Demonstrate the ability to make positive contributions to the University of Massachusetts community: athletically, academically and socially.
  • Represent the university, the athletic department, coaches and teammates in a positive manner.
  • Respect and follow the laws that govern this municipality, commonwealth, and country as well as the rules and regulations set forth by the NCAA and the University of Massachusetts Athletic Department Misconduct Policy.
In addition it is the responsibility of the coaches and administrators involved in recruitment to:
  • Set a positive example for student-athletes.
  • Abide by the local state and federal laws as well as the rules and regulations set forth by the NCAA.
  • Conduct themselves in a socially responsible and ethical manner
  • Be fiscally responsible

The University of Massachusetts is committed to conducting all recruiting activities within the regulations set forth by the NCAA and affiliated conferences.  The following policy provides the athletics department staff, coaches, student-hosts, student-athletes and prospective student-athletes with a uniform set of basic expectations regarding the conduct of official visits to the University.  This information is not intended to provide coverage of all applicable NCAA regulations, but rather to supplement NCAA Bylaw 13 legislation with additional institutional provisions. Due to recent legislative changes, the institution may be found in violation of NCAA rules for non-compliance with this approved recruitment policy.

 

Upon completion of an official visit the prospective student-athlete, and his or her family, should leave campus with an understanding of what it means to be a student-athlete at the University of Massachusetts and a desire to be a UMASS student-athlete.

  

Itinerary:

At least one business day prior to the commencement of an official visit the coaching staff must create and distribute a detailed copy of an itinerary to include minimally:
  • Transportation information (flight schedules, arrival times, meals in transit, etc.)
  •  Lodging information (including phone number and address of hotel or dormitory)
  • Staff phone numbers (extension and cell phone)
  • Student-host name, address and phone number
  • A detailed (times, location, etc) account of activities such as meals, meetings and off-campus activities.

A copy of the itinerary should be given to the sport administrator, compliance office and any others listed on the itinerary. It is recommended that a copy of the itinerary also be sent (fax or e-mail) to the prospect and his or her parents or guardians prior to the official visit. 

 

Academics:

An important aspect of the visit is to provide the prospect and parents an understanding of the academic opportunities at the institution as well as the academic expectations of a student-athlete.  To that end each official visit must contain at least three elements:
  • A discussion of the requirements for graduating from the University,
  • A discussion of the NCAA “progress toward degree “requirements, and
  • A visit to the academic support facilities available in the athletics department.

At the very least the coach must provide this information. If scheduling permits it is recommended that the prospective student-athlete meet with an academic advisor, a dean or a professor to further explore his or her academic interests. Class attendance with a student-athlete is also recommended.

  

Entertainment Limitations:

Entertainment on the official visit should include recreational and social experiences common to a student attending UMASS (NCAA bylaw 13.5.2). Each visit is unique in the selection of activities, however the following stipulations must be taken into consideration:
  • Consumption of alcohol or controlled substances by a student-host or a prospective student-athlete is strictly prohibited.
  • Student-hosts and prospective student-athletes are prohibited from engaging in any activity that could be deemed as sexually harassing or degrading to another person. (includes by implication, involvement with  escort services, exotic dancers or visits to adult entertainment establishments). 
  • Student hosts and prospective student-athletes may not engage in activities that may reflect negatively on the program, athletic department or University. Additionally, any activities that are destructive in nature or that may cause harm to property or individuals are prohibited.
  • The prospective student-athlete is permitted to participate in athletically related recreational activities provided these activities are not organized, supervised or observed by any member of the coaching staff.
  • The student-host’s responsibilities include being cognizant of the extensive itinerary of the prospect, therefore it is important for the student-host to return the prospect to his/her residency at a reasonable hour each night.

Additionally, athletics department staff members may not provide any alcoholic beverages for the parents or guardians of prospective student-athletes. Coaches and athletics administrators are discouraged from drinking alcoholic beverages at any time during the visit when prospects or parents of prospects/guardians are present.

 

Meals and Housing:

Prospective student-athletes must be provided with housing accommodations comparable to that of student-athletes, housing options may mirror campus lodging, off-campus housing or travel accommodations. These housing guidelines also apply to parents and legal guardians of the prospect. (NCAA bylaw 13.7.4)

Meals provided to the prospect and their parents or guardians should be similar to college fare available on-campus or in restaurants in or around the Amherst community. (NCAA bylaw 13.7.5.7) 

 

Transportation: 

Transportation to and from the campus shall be provided through normal commercial transporters (no limousines, airline charters, etc). A university vehicle or personal car may be used if a coach or other staff member is driving the prospect to campus. During the campus portion of the visit transportation for prospects or parents of prospects may be provided by staff members using University issued vehicles or personal cars. In the case of a student-host, a personal car may be used.  (NCAA bylaw 13.6.2.2.4)

 

 

Student-Host/ Prospect Responsibility:

The student-host is expected to provide the prospective student-athlete with an experience that embodies the athletic, academic and social facets of student life at the University of Massachusetts. The activities however are limited by any applicable NCAA regulations and the standards outlined in this athletic department policy.  Student hosts will sign forms attesting to knowledge of NCAA rules regarding official visits and use of entertainment money.   Further, the student-host is responsible for the safety and conduct of themselves and the prospective student-athlete.  The standards of conduct reflected in the Student-Athlete Misconduct Policy and the UMASS Student’s Rights and Responsibility Policy should apply to the actions of the prospective student-athlete as they already do to the student-host.  Furthermore, these standards of conduct for the prospect should apply from the time they depart from their home area until their return.

During the visit if the prospect chooses to act in ways contrary to the norm established by the student-host and peers, the student-host shall immediately notify a coaching staff member and thereby relieve him/herself from the responsibility for the conduct of the prospect.

It is important that the coaching staff make the prospect aware of the conduct policies applicable to them per their agreement to accept an official visit to the University of Massachusetts.  It is recommended that this information be provided to the prospect and the prospects parents prior to the visit, however, at the least it should be part of an initial meeting between the coach and the prospect.  Similar meetings should occur with prospective student hosts.  Furthermore, it is recommended that the sports administrators and coaches meet with team members concerning this issue annually.  

 

Enforcement:

All violations of the University of Massachusetts Official Visit Policy should be reported to the Director of Athletics by the head coach of the sport. Review of the violation by the Director will result in a penalty assigned on a case-by-case basis.  Sanctions or penalties assigned to a student host, coach or prospect may include, but are not limited to:
  • termination of visit 
  •  termination of recruitment
  •  verbal reprimand
  •  verbal or written warning
  • loss of student-host privileges
  • suspension from practice or competition
  • suspension from all student-athlete or coaching privileges
  • reduction of sport’s official visit opportunities
 

 
Comments