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From The NCAA
Questions and Answers About
Agents and Advisors

To: NCAA Divisions I, II and III Directors of Athletics
From: William S. Saum

NCAA Director of Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities
Chris Howard
Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Representative

Subject: Reviewing NCAA Eligibility - Baseball Draft

The Major League Baseball first-year player draft is scheduled for June 2003, and many prospective and enrolled student-athletes will be facing difficult decisions in deciding whether to participate in collegiate or professional baseball. The following questions and answers have been developed to assist the athletes, their parents and NCAA schools in the decision making process. The following questions and answers have been formatted to apply directly to the individual who has been drafted:

 

Question: Before and after the draft, I have been contacted by agents who wish to represent me. Can I reach an agreement with an agent to represent me without jeopardizing my eligibility at an NCAA school.

Answer: No. If you or your parents reach a verbal or written agreement with an agent, this will jeopardize your eligibility at an NCAA school.

 
Question: I have been told by people that it is permissible to have an advisor but not an agent. Is this true? If so, what is the difference between an agent and an advisor?

Answer: You are correct. It is permissible for you to have an advisor but not an agent) without jeopardizing your eligibility at an NCAA school. Under NCAA regulations, you and your parents are permitted to receive advice form a lawyer or other individuals concerning a proposed professional sports contract, provided that the advisor does not represent you directly in negotiations for the contract. In this regard, it is permissible for an advisor to discuss with you the merits of a proposed contract give you suggestions about the type of offer you should consider. In order to maintain your eligibility at an NCAA school, however, you may not use this advisor as a link between you and the professional sports team. Rather, you must view the advisor as an extension of your own interests and not as a source to contact a professional team. If you use the advisor as a direct contact with a professional team, the advisor shall be considered an agent, and you will have jeopardized your eligibility at an NCAA school. For example, an advisor may not be present during discussions of a contract offer with a professional team or have direct contact (i.e., in person, by telephone, email or mail) with the professional sports team on your behalf. Finally, it is important to note that in order to maintain your eligibility at the NCAA school, if you receive assistance from an advisor, you will be required to pay that advisor at his or her normal rate for such services.

 
Question: May I receive any benefits (e.g., transportation, meals) from an agent or advisor without jeopardizing my NCAA eligibility?

Answer: No. You will be ineligible if you accept any transportation or other benefits from any person who wishes to represent you in the marketing of your athletic ability. This rule does not prohibit you from having a meal with someone who wishes to assist you in your negotiations, provided you each pay for the actual cost of your meals and arrange for transportation separately.

 
Question: Am I permitted to negotiate directly with a professional sports team?

Answer: Yes. NCAA rules were changed in 1992 to allow you and your parents or legal guardians to negotiate directly with a major league team. If you currently attend an NCAA school, you should contact your school's director of athletics to learn whether your school sponsors a Professional Sports Counseling Panel, which is permitted to negotiate on your behalf.

 
Question: Am I permitted to reach any kind of an agreement for a contract with a major league team and still maintain my eligibility?

Answer: No. If you reach a written or verbal agreement for any portion of the terms of a professional contract, you will have jeopardized your eligibility at an NCAA school. No matter how vigorously you may be persuaded that it is permissible to reach a verbal agreement for the terms of a contract, NCAA regulations do not permit you to reach a verbal agreement for the terms of a contract.

Bob Note: Based on this answer it would seem that it would be a violation of NCAA rules to even discuss and/or agree to an amount of money (for a signing bonus) prior to the MLB draft, without risking your NCAA eligibility.

 
Question: Can I accept any items of value from the major league team that drafted me without jeopardizing my NCAA eligibility?

Answer: No. The receipt of any items of value will jeopardize your baseball eligibility at an NCAA school.

 
Question: What happens to my eligibility if a professional team offers to fly me and my parents to their city to watch a baseball game? Is the team permitted to take me or my parents to dinner or entertain us in any way?

Answer: In order for you to retain your NCAA eligibility, you would not be permitted to receive any kind of entertainment expenses from the professional team. This includes the representative of the professional team purchasing a meal for you or your parents or paying expenses for you to visit the city of the major league team.

 
Question: I have heard that I can receive an expenses paid tryout to the city of a major league team. Is this true?

Answer: Yes, but only if you have not enrolled in an collegiate institution (this includes a two-year college). In this regard, NCAA rules do permit, prior to collegiate enrollment, a student-athlete to receive an expense paid tryout with a major league team, provided such a visit does not exceed 48 hours and any payment or compensation in connection with the visit is not in excess of actual and necessary expenses. Thus, you may receive an expense paid visit from a professional team, provided that you participate in tryout activities that allow that club to evaluate you. You may receive such a visit either prior to or subsequent to the Major League Baseball draft. Additionally, you may try out at your own expense with any team for any length of time, provided you cease your tryout when you become a full-time student at any NCAA school.

NCAA Online

 

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Revised February 09, 2003 .