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NCAA Expands Limits on Extra Scouting Service Information

The NCAA issued a new official interpretation on receiving extra information from a scouting service:

The committee confirmed that an institution is not permitted to subscribe to a recruiting or scouting service that provides information in any form (e.g., oral reports, electronic messages, etc.) about prospective student-athletes beyond the standardized, consistent information that is provided to all subscribers of the service.

A similar interpretation was issued in September, shortly after the conclusion of Oregon’s major infractions case. That interpretation prohibited only oral reports, even if the service provided published information as well. This new interpretation prohibits an institution from receiving any extra information from a recruiting or scouting service in any form. Only the normal, published information available to all subscribers is permitted.

The interp gets at the heart of what the NCAA has been trying to combat with its recruiting service rules. If someone using a recruiting service to control access to prospects they have influence over has an NCAA-approved service that coaches subscribe to, it will still be a violation for a coach to merely talk to an employee or owner of that services about a prospect. That is even before questions about paying for influence or access are addressed.

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