I am a fan, what do I need to know?
- 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?
- How much does the athlete receive from my contribution?
- Are my contributions tax deductible?
- How do I know the funds will be given to the player(s) whom I have selected?
- How is the UBooster UFund administered?
- What is the purpose of UBooster Points?
- What if the player chooses a school besides the one I selected at checkout – will I get my money back?
- Are there any restrictions on how or when athletes can receive funds from UBooster?
- How does an athlete claim his/her 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.
How much does the athlete receive from my contribution?
Just like any other crowdfunding site (and better than a few), we charge a 5% processing/administrative fee plus the standard credit card fees, which typically range from 1-3%. All other funds go directly to a player’s “trust fund” for distribution upon his/her graduation or completion of his/her NCAA eligibility.
In addition, all interest accrued over the years between high school and completion of NCAA eligibility will be donated to the athlete. This will further offset a portion of the fees noted above.
Are my contributions tax deductible?
No. The funds you contribute are set aside in a “trust fund” that is ultimately allocated to the individual(s) whom you have elected to support. While these funds may ultimately be used to pay for any number of future expenses, such as graduate school, they cannot be considered charitable nor do they meet any requirements for a 501(c)(3) contribution.
How do I know the funds will be given to the player(s) whom I have selected?
UBooster has created a specific trust agreement with an independent trustee for this purpose. Each time you make a financial contribution, those funds are immediately processed such that our administrative (and credit card) fees are deducted and the contribution you make is placed into that trust. We do not hold these funds in our business account. We have specifically set up this system to create a “firewall” such that these funds are designated for a single purpose – to support the athletes you have selected after they graduate from college.
How is the UBooster UFund administered?
The UFund is a trust established with an independent trustee national financial 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 Ttrustee will release each player’s UFund consistent with pre-determined guidelines for eligibility.
What is the purpose of UBooster Points?
UBooster Points contribute to each player’s “Heat Index” – our method for determining fan support for players at schools that he/she may be considering attending. This is YOUR opportunity to finally have a voice and to simultaneously help these athletes after they have finished college. Start with 10 free UBooster Points and support your favorite players and teams.
What if the player chooses a school besides the one I selected at checkout – will I get my money back?
No. We encourage you to make reasonable contributions and express your school pride. That’s why we recommend giving amounts of $10, $25, $50, or $100. Let everyone know you want to see a player attend your favorite university. That’s one purpose of UBooster Points.
The other purpose is to support these athletes in creating a “trust fund” to use after graduation – to attend graduate school, to help with job interviews, or other expenses. 99% of these athletes will not play professional sports, so your contributions will help them make the transition to the next stage of life. Your contributions are therefore not “contingent” on his/her choice of schools but they are a tangible way for you to demonstrate your school pride while helping a young man or woman pursue his dreams.
Are there any restrictions on how or when athletes can receive funds from UBooster?
All athletes are eligible to claim/receive their UFund upon graduation. Should an athlete suffer a significant hardship, he/she may be eligible prior to graduation at the discretion of the UFund Trustee. All funds will be held up to two years after graduation for each athlete. If those funds remain unclaimed, they will be donated to the charitable organization (the National Football Foundation) outlined in our User Agreement.
How does an athlete claim his/her UFund?
Upon graduation, any athlete may contact UBooster by phone, email, or direct mail requesting the release of his/her UFund. The UFund Trustee will confirm the identity of each player 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. Some of you loved the concept when we first launched. Some questioned the “legality” of our first model. Some wondered about our motives. Change is understandably difficult, but most of you agree that these athletes should be compensated. So do we. All we ask is that you continue to support the best interests of the athletes who play for your teams, and we’ll handle the rest. Give your favorite player a boost. Support college athletes and their long-term future. And feel free to give us a call or send an email.
UBooster: Funding the Future of College Athletes