NCAA Policy

NCAA Policy Concerning Travel Expense Reimbursement for Athletes' Parents and Coaches

In response to numerous inquiries, please note the following concerning reimbursement of travel expenses for anyone other than athletes attending an athletic competition. In short, providing travel expenses to parents and/or coaches is not permitted unless all parents and coaches of all athletes in a meet are reimbursed. This policy does not only apply to NSSF events, but to all similar events.


The National Scholastic Sports Foundation (NSSF) has received several inquiries regarding travel grants it awards to high school athletes under its Grants Program and the affect, if any, on the eligibility of receiving athletes who plan on attending Division I or Division II colleges and universities. Some of these grants are used to assist athletes attend events the NSSF sponsors and hosts, such as the Nike Indoor Nationals and the Nike Outdoor Nationals, while other grants reimburse athletes for travel and accommodation expenses at other meets of which the NSSF is a contributing sponsor, such as the Simplot Games and the Taco Bell Meet.

NCAA Regulations permit reimbursement of actual and necessary travel and accommodation expenses incurred by an athlete attending competition sponsored by a non-professional organization such as the NSSF. It is important that the reimbursement be for specified and itemized expenses related to travel and accommodation of the athlete only. Recipients of our Grants receive a letter from the NSSF detailing the exact nature and amount of their travel grant.

While we are permitted to reimburse expenses for athletes, the same is not true of expenses of the parents or legal guardians of the athlete. Regulation prohibits such reimbursement unless similar reimbursement is extended to the parents/legal guardians of all athletes attending the competition. We provide no reimbursement or other compensation for personal expenses of parents or legal guardians or coaches.

The foregoing statements are made in reliance on the following NCAA Rules reprinted from the NCAA Division I and Division II Manuals:

  • Prohibited Forms of Pay

    "Pay" as used by Bylaw 12.1.1 above includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Expenses and Benefits

      Excessive or improper expenses, awards and benefits (see Bylaw 16 regarding permissible awards, benefits and expenses to enrolled student-athletes).

      • Unspecified or Unitemized Expenses

        Payment to individual team members or individual competitors for unspecified or unitemized expenses beyond actual and necessary travel, room and board expenses for practice or competition.

      • Expenses from Sponsor Other Than Parents/Legal Guardians or Nonprofessional Sponsor of Event.

        Actual and necessary expenses or any other form of compensation to participate in athletics competition (while not representing an educational institution) from a sponsor other than an individual upon whom the athlete is naturally or legally dependent or the nonprofessional organization that is sponsoring the competition.

      • Expenses for Parents/Legal Guardians of Participants in Athletics Competition.

        Expenses received by the parents or legal guardians of a participant in athletics competition from a nonprofessional organization sponsoring the competition in excess of actual and necessary travel, room and board expenses, or any entertainment expenses, provided such expenses are made available to the parents or legal guardians of all participants in the competition. (Adopted: 1/16/93, Revised: 1/11/97.

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