The rules regarding proper interaction between fans and student-athletes range from murky to odd to downright unknown.

Sure, you can just avoid all of it and remain a casual fan, but for those who like to be more active in the Michigan community, the University’s Compliance Services Office sent an e-mail entitled “The Top 10 Things Fans and Friends of Michigan Athletics Should Know” in hopes of setting the record straight.

According to Associate Athletic Director David Ablauf, “The email that was sent out through our ticketing system to season ticket holders was a regular, annual correspondence. We have done this the past few years in July prior to the shipment of season tickets to our fans.”

With recent scenarios like well-wishers hoping to contact 2013 basketball recruit and plane crash survivor Austin Hatch, as well as Ohio State’s woes with improper relationships and benefits in Columbus, the list is a good reminder of NCAA regulations.

Taken directly from the e-mail correspondance, here are the 10 most important things a fan should understand:

• ALWAYS ASK BEFORE YOU ACT! Breaking NCAA rules can render prospects and student-athletes ineligible for competition at the University of Michigan. The NCAA holds the University of Michigan accountable for the actions of its fans and friends.

• You MAY NOT make recruiting contacts with prospects, their relatives or legal guardians. A prospective student-athlete is a student who has started classes for the ninth grade (7th grade for Men’s Basketball) or above. This prohibition includes written and telephone communications.

• You MAY NOT contact a prospect’s coach, principal, or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect.

• You MAY send newspaper clippings and other information about talented prospects to the Michigan coaching staff. Also, you MAY continue established relationships with friends and neighbors whose children are prospects or current student-athletes, provided the relationship pre-dates reaching prospect status and is not based on their status as an athlete.

• You MAY attend high school or junior college competitions provided no contact occurs with the prospect or the prospect’s relatives.

• You MAY NOT entertain any coach from a junior or senior high school, preparatory school, or junior college or provide them with tickets or any other type of benefit.

• You MAY NOT become involved in arranging for a prospect, a Michigan student-athlete or their family to receive gifts, money or financial benefits of any kind.

• You MAY NOT provide transportation to a prospect, student-athlete or their friends and family. Also, you MAY NOT spend funds to entertain prospects, student-athletes or their friends and family.

• You MAY employ a student-athlete provided you are paying them only for the work they actually perform, paying the going rate for similar services, are not paying them or providing perks based on their status as a student-athlete and the employment has been approved by the Compliance Services Office.

• You MAY NOT use a photo or name of a student-athlete for commercial purposes or sell student-athlete memorabilia.

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