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Sports

U of U Athletics Department Reminds People Not to Give Student-Athletes Extra Benefits

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University of Utah
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Rice-Eccles Stadium

As students return to campus and football season begins, the University of Utah Athletics Compliance department is reminding people of the importance of not giving extra benefits to student-athletes.

Kate Chariper is the Assistant Athletics Director in charge of compliance for the University of Utah. Her job is to make sure the more than 400 student athletes and their coaches are all in compliance with the hundreds of NCAA rules. She says it’s a difficult job and requires educating not just student-athletes, but professors, boosters, and local businesses and sponsors. As part of that campaign, her office recently sent an email to all faculty and staff with a few reminders on how to appropriately treat student-athletes.

“We make sure that everybody on our campus is aware that these rules exist," she says. "You don’t have to memorize them. You just have to be aware that they’re there so that when you have a question you know exactly who to contact.”

The email answers a few frequently asked questions, like ‘what is an “extra-benefit?”’ It also instructs professors on how to know when student-athletes are allowed to miss class and make up work, and when they’re just skipping. But Chariper says even with their education efforts, they will always be dealing with violations.

“Will we a catch every single thing? We never will, but we try to do the very best we can," she says. "We hope that we have mechanisms in place that will help catch things before they become a major problem.”

Chariper’s role could soon become even more complicated after a recent NCAA decision gave the U of U and other members of the PAC-12 and so-called “power five” conferences more rulemaking autonomy. Recent court rulings over student-athlete pay could potentially have an even larger impact.

“We have learned over the years to roll with the punches and just go with what’s coming out, because every year everything seems to shift quite a bit,” she says.

Since joining the PAC-12 the University has increased its compliance staff from 2 people to 5. 

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