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GCAA National Convention Update
Day Two

The second day of the GCAA National Convention began with a session with Tony Zirpoli of the USGA regarding the Rules of Amateur Status, which went into effect at the beginning of this calendar year. Zirpoli began his presentation with an overview of the USGA and how important college golf was to the governing body. He then reviewed evolution of amateur status. The major revisions in 2006 include hole-in-one-prizes, expenses to amateurs, amateurs giving instructions under approved programs and periods awaiting reinstatement.

The USGA was followed by three presentations by the NCAA. The first regarding the Amateurism Clearinghouse which will go into effect for students enrolling in 2007 in Division I and II institutions. The clearinghouse will operate through online registration and will be part of the existing process that certifies academic eligibility. The clearinghouse will not create new or change existing amateur rules - it will make decisions based on current NCAA bylaws. The current registration fee for certification of academic eligibility will not increase with the addition of the amateurism clearinghouse.

The second NCAA presentation covered amateurism issues. The first issue regarded PSAs accepting reimbursement from state golf associations in amateur golf tournaments. A PSA may accept the expenses as long as the money has not been earmarked for the specific use of the prospect and the reimbursement does not exceed the amount of actual and necessary expenses for participation in that event. Next the NCAA addressed the hole-in-one prizes. All three Divisions have separate criteria regarding acceptance prior to full-time collegiate enrollment. After full-time enrollment, a student-athlete may accept an award if it meets the following conditions: During the academic year, the awards limitations of Bylaw 16.1 apply; and such awards may not include cash, gift certificates, a cash-equivalent award for athletics participation, or a country club or sports club membership.

Regarding fundraising events, the NCAA stated that contests may be exempted for the maximum number if student-athletes may not miss class to participate in any golf activities in which the purpose is to raise funds to benefit the institution?s athletics or other programs (see Bylaw 12.5.1.1). Contests that an institution counts against its maximum dates of competition limitations per Bylaw 17 are not subject to Bylaw 12.5.1.1. Thus, if the contest is counted against the maximum number, then student-athletes may miss class to participate in the date of competition.

A student-athlete may retain athletics apparel items (not equipment) at the end of the individual?s collegiate participation if it is not reusable by other team members in subsequent seasons. Although considered equipment, the student-athlete may retain shoes if they are not reusable at the end of the institution?s playing season. Used equipment may be purchased by the student-athlete on the same cost basis as by any other individual interested in purchasing such equipment. It is not, however, permissible to provide equipment to a student-athlete free of charge even if the institution receives the equipment free of charge. Each institution determines the appropriate fair market value of the equipment it sells at the end of the year. During the summer, a student-athlete may retain and use institutional athletics equipment (per the institution?s normal equipment policy) during a summer vacation period. Student-athletes are permitted to compete in the institution?s uniform during a summer vacation period without such action constituting the student-athlete?s participation as a representative of the institution, provided the uniform is not reusable by other team members in subsequent seasons and such use is subject to the discretion of the institution, inasmuch as these apparel items are considered the property of the involved student-athlete.

The final NCAA presentation dealt with sports wagering. The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering. Sports wagering has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests, and jeopardizes the welfare of student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community. Bylaw 10.3 states "Staff members of a member conference, athletics department of a member institution and student-athletes shall not knowingly: a) provide information to individuals involved in organized gambling activities concerning intercollegiate competition; b) solicit a bet on any intercollegiate team; c) accept a bet on any team representing the institution; d) solicit or accept a bet on any intercollegiate competition for any item (e.g., cash, shirt, dinner) that has a tangible value; or e) participate in any gambling activity that involves intercollegiate athletics or professional athletics through a bookmaker, parlay card, or any other method employed by organized gambling." According to a 2003 NCAA gambling study, men?s golf had the highest proportion of student-athletes who reported wagering on any sport, pro or college.

The afternoon was reserved for individual breakout sessions for Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and NJCAA members. The day was capped off by the GCAA Corporate Exhibit Night.

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