Board of Trustees to discuss athletic compliance boosters

The Board of Trustees will meet today to discuss Ohio State’s Athletic Compliance Office.Though the board will delve into a number of different compliance concerns, an evaluation of OSU Boosters will lead the discussion.“Boosters and booster groups are consistently an area of primary concern amongst compliance officers across the country, and Ohio State shares these concerns,” according to a university report.The report cites both the size and abundance of booster groups as reasons for potential risk.Because these groups operate on their own and use only their own resources, policing them can be difficult, according to the university.The compliance department, which concerns itself with the enforcement, monitoring, procedures and education of NCAA and Big Ten rules, listed several consequences that would stem from potential noncompliance. Not the least of which was the possibility of a diminished university reputation that the board said would affect “all aspects of campus life” and “would significantly affect philanthropic giving.”To combat the difficulty of enforcing rules among the widespread booster groups and to avoid potential sanctions, the compliance office is considering models used by other universities with similar concerns.These schools, according to the report, “elected to consolidate their booster groups within the athletic department” to increase the ease of communication between the university and its boosters.The report made mention of two Big Ten institutions, Indiana University and the University of Michigan, which have recently been under NCAA scrutiny for major compliance infractions. Following the infractions “at both institutions, significant financial resources were spent as defended their name and reputation,” according to the report.Following today’s discussions, the compliance office will offer its suggestions to the director of athletics as it deems appropriate.

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