The following is a statement from the LSU Compliance office:
As we prepare for a new athletic year, the LSU Athletic Department is issuing the following advisory regarding NCAA rules and asking operators of online message boards to please share the following message with their members:
As we begin the 2008-09 academic year, the LSU Athletic Department would like to take this opportunity to remind you that representatives of LSU's athletics interests, or "boosters," are prohibited from engaging in conversations with a prospect, or "recruit." Please be aware that NO written, telephonic or in-person communication is permitted between a recruit and a booster of an NCAA institution regardless of the medium. Please note that anyone who encourages a recruit to attend LSU is automatically considered a booster. Many believe that they are not a booster because they do not contribute financially to the University. However, NCAA rules specify that any individual who assists in the recruitment of prospects is considered a "booster."
Please be cognizant of these rules and refrain from engaging in chat room sessions, posting messages on a recruit's Web page or engaging in "Q & A sessions" with recruits on message boards. By avoiding these activities, you will be assisting LSU in maintaining compliance with NCAA rules.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter and for your continued support of LSU Athletics!
So... It's illegal for boosters to try to convince recruits to go to LSU. And, a booster is defined as anyone who tries to convince recruits to go to LSU.
Does anyone see a problem with this?
Under this formulation of the rule, no one can ever tell a potential recruit that he should go to LSU. If a person tells a recruit, "Hey, you should go to LSU!" that person becomes a booster, and it's illegal for boosters to say that. So no one ever can. Not you. Not me. Not Russell Shepard. Not the kid's next door neighbor. Not the kid's coach. Not the kid's mother. Not the kid's friends. Not the fans who see him on the sidelines during his official visit to a game. No one.
Is it possible that the Compliance Office either a) is being dishonest about the rules in an attempt to convince people not to talk to recruits, or b) actually believes this.
For what it's worth, I have never in my life talked to a kid I knew or believed to be a potential LSU recruit. I've simply never encountered one. If I did, I'm not sure what I'd do. I know I wouldn't feel the least bit guilty if I told him that he should look at LSU.