NCAA Rules Education - Use of Agents

I. GENERAL PRINCIPLE

A. NCAA Bylaw 12.01.2 indicates that member institutions' athletics programs are designed to be an integral part of the educational program and the student-athlete is considered an integral part of the student body, thus maintaining a clear line of demarcation between college athletics and professional sports. In this regard, an amateur student-athlete is one who engages in a particular sport for the educational, physical, mental and social benefits derived there from, and for whom participation in that sport is an avocation. The following legislation and interpretations relating to amateurism have been developed.

II. AGENTS

A. General Rule. An individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she ever has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport. Further, an agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport. [12.3.1]

i. Representative for Future Negotiations: an individual shall be ineligible if he or she enters into a verbal or written agreement with an agent for representation in future professional sports negotiations that are to take place after the individual has completed his or her eligibility in that sport.

ii. Benefits from Prospective Agents: an individual shall be ineligible if he or she (or his or her relative or friends) accepts transportation or other benefits from:

1. Any person who represents any individual in the marketing of his or her athletics ability. The receipt of such expenses constitutes compensation based on athletics skill and is an extra benefit not available to the student body in general.

2. An agent, even if the agent has indicated that he or she has no interest in representing the student-athlete in the marketing of his or her athletics ability or reputation and does not represent individuals in the student-athlete's sport.

B. Legal Counsel. Securing advice from a lawyer concerning a proposed professional sports contract shall not be considered contracting for representation by an agent under this rule, unless the lawyer also represents the student-athlete in negotiations for such a contract. [12.3.2]

i. A lawyer may not be present during discussions of a contract offer with a professional organization or have any direct contact (i.e., in person, by telephone or by mail) with a professional sports organization on behalf of the student-athlete. A lawyer's presence during such discussions is considered representation by an agent. [12.3.2.1]

ii. Advice From Individuals Other Than Attorneys: This legislation (12.3.2) was not intended to restrict individuals other than lawyers (e.g., financial consultants, family friends) from giving advice regarding professional contracts. Advice may be secured from any individual concerning a proposed contract, provided the individual in turn does not represent the student-athlete in negotiations for such a contract. [07/09/87 IC, Item No. 10]

iii. Advice From a Lawyer or Agent Concerning a Proposed Professional Contract. A lawyer or agent may provide advice to an individual regarding the merits of a proposed contract without jeopardizing the individual's amateur status, provided he or she has no contact with the professional sports organization, and does not market the individual's athletics ability or reputation in a particular sport. [06/30/89 Staff, item 1-f]

C. Professional Sports Counseling Panels. It is permissible for an authorized institutional professional sports counseling panel to:

i. Review a proposed professional sports contract.

ii. Provide information to enrolled student-athletes in regard to purchasing disability insurance.

iii. Advise a student-athlete about a future professional career.

iv. Communicate directly (e.g., in-person, by mail or telephone) with representatives of a professional athletics team to assist in securing a tryout with that team for a student-athlete.

v. Assist a student-athlete in the selection of an agent by participating with the student-athlete in interviews of agents, by reviewing written information player agents send to the student-athlete and by having direct communication with those individuals who can comment about the abilities of an agent (e.g., other agents, a professional league's players' association).

vi. Visit with player agents or representatives of professional athletics teams to assist a student-athlete in determining his or her market value (e.g., potential salary, draft status).

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