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Chancellor rescinds e-mail that required prior authorization before contact with prospective athletes

Bill Murphy, Associate chancellor for public affairs
(217) 333-5010; wmurphy@illinois.edu

6/
6/2001

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Chancellor Michael Aiken has issued a memo to faculty, staff and students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign rescinding the part of his March 2 memo requiring prior authorization before they contact prospective student athletes. This action does not lessen the university’s commitment to complying with NCAA rules.

The text of both memos:

E-mail memo from Aiken to faculty, staff and students June 6, 2001

As you may recall, on March 2,2001, I sent an e-mail message to persons associated with the university regarding "Contact With Potential Student Athletes." My e-mail message stated,in part,that "no contacts are permitted with prospective student athletes, including high school and junior college students, by university students, employees or others associated with the university without express authorization of the director of athletics or his designee." However, in light of [U.S. District] Judge [Michael] Mihm’s order of April 6, 2001, and more recent testimony by representatives of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), I have concluded that express authorization of the director of athletics or his designee should not be required.
Therefore, effective this date, I am permanently retracting the above-quoted sentence of my March 2, 2001, e-mail message.

"The retraction of the above-quoted language from my earlier e-mail message does not lessen the university’s commitment to complying with NCAA rules in the recruitment of student athletes at the University of Illinois. I continue to call upon all members of the university community to abide by the rules of the NCAA when dealing with potential student athletes. Should you have questions concerning NCAA rules, please contact Mr. Vince Ille, assistant director for compliance, at the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. Thank you."

E-mail memo from Aiken to faculty, staff and students March 2, 2001

"Questions and concerns have been raised recently about potential contacts by employees, students or others associated with the university with student athletes who are being recruited by the University of Illinois. As a member of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Big Ten Athletic Conference, there are a number of rules with which all persons associated with the university must comply. For example, the NCAA regulates the timing, nature and frequency of contacts between any university employee and prospective athletes. It is the responsibility of the coaches and administration in the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to recruit the best student athletes to participate in varsity sports at the University of Illinois.
No contacts are permitted with prospective student athletes, including high school and junior college students, by university students, employees or others associated with the university without express authorization of the director of athletics or his designee.

"The university faces potentially serious sanctions for violation of NCAA or Big Ten rules. All members of the university community are expected to abide by these rules, and certainly any intentional violations will not be condoned. It is the responsibility of each member of the university to ensure that all students, employees and others associated with the university conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner. Questions about the rules should be addressed to Mr. Vince Ille, assistant director for compliance, Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building, 1700 S. Fourth St., Champaign, IL 61820, (217) 333-5731;e-mail: ille@illinois.edu."