I am a high school athlete. What do I need to know about UBooster?
- What is the mission of UBooster?
- What about the O’Bannon v. NCAA court case?
- How does UBooster work?
- Didn’t UBooster do something like this before?
- Is this legal? What about the NCAA?
- Don’t the FAQs from 2014 about crowdfunding prohibit this activity?
- Are you using athletics skill for pay in any form?
- Are you accepting a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics?
- Are there any restrictions on how or when athletes can receive funds from UBooster?
- How is the UBooster UFund administered?
- How do I claim my UFund?
- How can I learn more or speak to someone about UBooster?
WHAT IS THE MISSION OF UBOOSTER?
At UBooster we believe that all college athletes should ultimately be compensated for service to their teams, teammates, and schools. While the NCAA has recently allowed its member institutions to provide “Cost of Attendance” stipends, it continues to fight the O’Bannon court decision, vowing to continue that battle to the Supreme Court if necessary. We don’t get it.
WHAT ABOUT THE O’BANNON V. NCAA COURT CASE?
The original O’Bannon ruling established the concept of creating a “trust fund” for athletes upon graduation. We all know that 99% of college athletes will not play professional sports. That’s an actual NCAA advertisement, right? After sacrificing countless hours on the courts, tracks, fields, or in the rinks, pools, and arenas across the country, why not establish a fund to help them go to graduate school, find their first job, or get started in the next phase of life? If the NCAA isn’t going to implement the basic tenets of the original O’Bannon case, then we will.
A 3-judge panel recently ruled that while colleges must pay a stipend covering the cost of attendance, establishing a “trust fund” is not required. We expect this legal battle to continue, especially with the Jenkins v. NCAA case beginning soon. At UBooster we continue to side with the athletes in these cases. Judge Wilken had the right idea in establishing a trust fund and our model provides the ideal mechanism for doing so.
HOW DOES UBOOSTER WORK?
We are asking the millions of college football fans who cheer for these athletes to show their support while the students are in high school. Our goal is to establish a “trust fund” consistent with the original O’Bannon decision that will be available to these athletes after graduation or upon completion of their NCAA eligibility. Fans may contribute funds via our website to a “trust fund” for their favorite high school students who are planning to play collegiate athletics. We will hold those funds until he/she graduates, at which time we will distribute those funds to each designated player.
DIDN’T UBOOSTER DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS BEFORE?
Our original launch in January 2015 was designed to raise money from fans that we could then distribute to you – the member institutions of the NCAA. After several conversations with us, the NCAA decided that it would advise schools not to accept these funds, even though we were distributing them to you to support college athletes (and athletics programs) to offset the mounting expenses you are now facing.
We knew that your expenses were going to rise and wanted to work with you to address this issue. Now you’re paying stipends, raising ticket prices, and/or increasing student athletic fees. We encouraged – and still do – an innovative solution to this problem. Sometimes institutions of higher learning have a tough time…learning. Ed O’Bannon, Martin Jenkins, and others are not going away. The courts are right and change is coming. Welcome (back) to UBooster!
IS THIS LEGAL? WHAT ABOUT THE NCAA?
Of course it is. What will the NCAA say about it? We can guess, but quite frankly, UBooster has nothing to do with the NCAA. This is a private transaction between fans and our company for the provision of funds to individuals after graduation. Neither the schools nor the student-athletes are parties to this transaction. If the NCAA attempts to inhibit our ability to legally run a company and for us to provide support for these athletes after graduation, then we will gladly have that conversation.
DON’T THE FAQS FROM 2014 ABOUT CROWDFUNDING PROHIBIT THIS ACTIVITY?
The NCAA’s FAQs regarding crowdfunding apply to “student-athletes” who are currently enrolled in college, not to high school students. Nevertheless, let’s look specifically at some other terms in the NCAA Bylaws.
According to NCAA Bylaw 12.1.2 (Amateur status): An individual loses amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the individual: (a) Uses his or her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport; (b) Accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics participation; etc.
NCAA Bylaw 12.02.4 defines an Individual as follows: An individual, for purposes of this bylaw, is any person of any age without reference to enrollment in an educational institution or status as a student-athlete.
At UBooster we are raising funds from fans for high school students — “individuals,” – NOT “student-athletes” – who are hoping to play collegiate athletics. Is that individual using his or her athletics skill for pay in any form? Absolutely not. Is that individual accepting a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics? Again, absolutely not.
We do not seek contact with these individuals and specifically ask them not to engage with UBooster via the questions appearing on our homepage. That’s not how we would ideally like to operate, but until the courts end the NCAA’s efforts to reach into all aspects (and ages) of an individual’s life, it’s the only way to provide the trust funds called for in the original O’Bannon v. NCAA decision.
We’ve got an idea for the NCAA [?]. Join us! There are millions of college football fans out there, and you’re missing a fun and financially sustainable way to reach them. We can help you.
Are you using athletics skill for pay in any form?
Absolutely not. You’re playing a sport that you love in high school and are hoping to do the same in college.
Are you accepting a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics?
Again, absolutely not. We are purposefully avoiding direct contact with you and are providing helpful reminders and information about the NCAA rules from the instant you visit our site. Again, that’s not how we would ideally like to operate, but until the courts end the NCAA’s efforts to reach into all aspects of your life, even while in high school, it’s the only way to provide trust funds for you as called for in the original O’Bannon v. NCAA decision.
Are there any restrictions on how or when athletes can receive funds from UBooster?
You are eligible to claim/receive your UFund upon graduation. Should you suffer a significant hardship, you may be eligible prior to graduation at the discretion of the UFund Trustee.
How is the UBooster UFund administered?
The UFund is a financial trust established with a national banking institution and overseen by a designated Trustee for the purposes of collecting and distributing funds designated to athletes via UBooster. These funds are therefore separate from any UBooster operational accounts and the Trustee will release each player’s UFund consistent with pre-determined guidelines for eligibility.
How do I claim my UFund?
Upon graduation, you may contact UBooster by phone, email, or direct mail
requesting the release of your UFund. The UFund Trustee will confirm your identity and establish a payment mechanism for release of the funds. In addition, UBooster will make a good-faith effort to contact any athlete who has a UFund upon his/her graduation to notify him/her of the funds that are available.
How can I learn more or speak to someone about UBooster?
If you have questions or concerns, please direct them our way. We’ll do our best to answer and we always…always…recommend that you first become completely familiar with the current NCAA Manual. At over 350 pages we understand that can be a challenging request, but please understand that we cannot provide legal or compliance-related advice. It shouldn’t be that difficult, but it takes that many rules to protect a billion dollar organization that keeps fighting your best interests in court.
UBooster: Funding the Future of College Athletes