05/01/07 - Tip of the Week - Institutional Note Cards

SBU Athletics:

This weeks Tip focuses on the use of and content of Institutional Note Cards. I don't know how many coaches are still using this device, considering e-mail and text messaging seem to be all the rage at the moment. But, as you may know, beginning August 1, 2007, text messaging will no longer be allowed, possibly ensuring the survival of the institutional note card as a recruiting tool.

So, before you go out and design and purchase you unique looking institutional note cards, please keep in mind that these recruiting materials are governed by NCAA legislation. The institutional note card now must be relatively simple - blank on the inside, no pictures, etc. I don't know if it was coincidence that the below interp came in concert with the no texting legislation, but there may be a run on institutional stationary.

Please review the information below and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Heath

Educational Column -- NCAA Bylaw 13.4.1.1 - Recruiting - Printed Recruiting Materials - Institutional Note Cards (I)


Date Issued: Apr 26, 2007
Type: Ed. Column
Item Ref: 1

Interpretation:

Effective August 1, 2007, institutional note cards that are provided to prospective student-athletes may not exceed 8-1/2 by 11 inches when opened in full. In addition, such cards may contain only the institutionís name and logo or an athletics logo on the outside and may not include any preprinted information on the inside of the note card.

Below are some commonly asked questions and answers designed to assist the membership in applying this bylaw.

Question: Is it permissible to include multiple logos on the outside of the note card?
Answer: No. Each card may only include the institutionís name and either a single institutional logo or a single athletics logo.

Question: Is it permissible to use a sport-specific logo and have sport-specific note cards?
Answer: It is permissible to use sport-specific logos and note cards. These logos do not have to be registered trademarks, but an institution must be able to demonstrate that what is printed on the note card is an official logo for that sport (e.g., logo is used on other materials and/or merchandise).

Question: Is it permissible to use color ink, foil ink and/or embossing on the outside of the card?
Answer: Yes. The legislation limits the type of information that may be included on the outside of the card, but not the printing mechanism or technique used to present the information. Institutions should note that a note card may include a solid color border around the outside edge; however, that border may not include pictures of any items (e.g., golf balls, basketballs).

Question: Is it permissible to use color paper or color stock for the note card?
Answer: Yes. The legislation limits the total size of the note card, but not the color or type of paper that is used to make the note card.

Question: How does the legislation apply to cards that are not rectangular in shape?
Answer: The legislation does not limit the shape of the note card. However, regardless of the shape of an institutional note card, when opened in full, it must fit within the area of a rectangle that measures 8-1/2 by 11 inches.

Question: What would constitute "preprinted information?"
Answer: The inside of the note cards must be blank when received from the publisher or printer that produces the cards. Therefore, any printing on the inside would constitute "preprinted information."

Question: Is it permissible to print a message on the inside of the note card through a printer or copier?
Answer: The NCAA Division I Legislative Review/Interpretations Committee reviewed this issue and determined that only handwritten information may be added to the inside of the note card.

Question: Is it permissible to modify the note cards (e.g., cut slits cut into the note card or create a folder flap on the inside of the note card) to hold any other materials such as business cards or camp brochures?
Answer: No. The legislation does not permit preprinted material on the inside of the card and the outside of the card is restricted to the institutionís name and logo or sport-specific logo. Therefore, attaching other materials (e.g., business cards) to the note card is not permissible.

Question: How does the proposal apply to cards that are not folded or that are not folded in half?
Answer: Even if an institutional note card is not folded, one side must be considered the outside and the other must be considered the inside. If a card is not folded in half (e.g., tri-fold), when the card is opened in full, one complete side must be considered the outside and the other must be considered the inside. Note that a card mailed without an envelope is considered a postcard and, therefore, must be a blank card issued by the U.S. Postal Service.

[References: Bylaws 13.4.1 (recruiting materials) and 13.4.1.1 (printed recruiting materials); and an official interpretation (12/12/06, Item No. 1)]