The amateur bylaws found in 4-10 were rewritten in 2003 and approved by the membership for inclusion in the 2004-05 Handbook. Thus, what you find currently in our 2012-13 Handbook is the same language that was in place in the fall of 2004. I am not sure it is fruitful to focus on something that happened six or seven years ago, so please forgive me if I redirect your attention to the present. Our focus must be on providing you with correct and timely information that will serve to protect the amateur status of current students.
Bylaw 4-10-2 c does not allow your students in cross country to receive any expenses from a sponsor such as Nike for competitions in this national event. Please see the text of the applicable bylaw below in red:
4-10-2 An athlete forfeits amateur status if any of the following standards are violated…:
(c) Receiving, from a sponsor, actual and necessary expenses or any form of compensation to participate in athletics practice or competition while not representing a member school. A “sponsor” is a person or entity that undertakes certain responsibilities (such as underwriting, promoting, endorsing or financing) in connection with an athlete or event and who/which is neither (1) a nonprofessional organization or governing body of an amateur sport which is sponsoring the tournament or event, (2) a member school or organization connected with the member school through duly recognized action of the member school’s Board of Education (or similar governing body) or (3) any person who is not a “legal stranger” to the athlete. A “legal stranger” is a person who is neither the biological parent nor is the legal guardian or custodian of the athlete nor one who has no legal obligation to support the athlete.
Any practice for which reasonable and necessary expenses are received must be conducted in a continuous time period preceding the competition except for a practice session conducted by a national team, under the auspices of a United States (USA) national Governing Body, which may be interrupted for specific periods of time preceding the competition;
“Nike” is not an NGB, is definitely not a nonprofessional organization or a member school or a person related to any student who might be invited to this event. So while OHSAA rules permit the athletes to participate, they may not receive any expenses or compensation for participation. An exception is found in 4-10-3 c in which the student may accept an award, equipment, etc from the sponsor (Nike) provided the value does not exceed $200. Also please note that there is no provision for a school coach to be involved in coaching students out of season at this event.