Interview with NCAA Director of Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities: Rachel Newman Baker talks about the issues surrounding agents.
Overview of NCAA bylaws governing athlete agents: If a student-athlete enters into a prohibited agreement with an agent, the student-athlete is ineligible for intercollegiate competition.
FAQ on Uniform Athlete Agents Act: Information about the UAAA, a model state law that provides a means of regulating the conduct of athlete agents.
List of agents Do’s and Don’ts: There are guidelines that agents should follow to comply with NCAA amateurism rules and the Uniform Athlete Agents Act.
These are case studies based on actual cases investigated and processed by the NCAA. Names and certain details have been changed to preserve the confidentiality of the involved parties.
Accepting significant benefits from an agent and signing or agreeing to be represented by an agent are among the most serious violations from a student-athlete reinstatement perspective, and generally carry with them a determination that the student-athlete’s eligibility should not be reinstated. These acts clearly professionalize an individual.
A football student-athlete enrolled at an NCAA member institution. The institution provided rules education to the student-athlete, including informing him that he would be ineligible to compete in collegiate football if he signed an agreement with an agent. The student-athlete had been at the institution for four years, but competed in only two seasons due to academic issues.
An agent made contact with the student-athlete and told him that he would check with the institution to determine whether the student-athlete had eligibility remaining. The agent later informed the student-athlete that he had checked with the institution and that the student-athlete had no remaining eligibility. That information was incorrect.
The student-athlete attempted to contact an academic advisor during Christmas break regarding whether he had any remaining eligibility, but did not hear back from the academic advisor for approximately one week, due to the holiday. In the meantime, the agent had provided the student-athlete with a National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Standard Representation Agreement (SRA) and told the student-athlete that the deadline to sign with the agent in order to enter the National Football League (NFL) draft was quickly approaching. The student-athlete did not verify the deadline to enter the NFL draft with the NFL league
office nor did the student-athlete confirm his NCAA eligibility status with the institution, but rather signed the SRA.
In early January, the student-athlete had a change of heart and asked the agent to tear up the SRA, which the agent did. At the end of January, the agent sent a letter to the student-athlete confirming that he had terminated his services and that the SRA was void.
The student-athlete was declared ineligible to compete by his institution. The NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff considered a request from the institution to have the student-athlete’s eligibility reinstated and declined to reinstate the student-athlete, after
determining that the student-athlete knew, at the time he signed the SRA, that he was forfeiting his remaining eligibility.
A men’s basketball student-athlete attended an NCAA Division I member institution for one year before withdrawing. After withdrawing, the student-athlete traveled with a friend to New York City, where he met with a sports agent. The agent paid $175 of the student-athlete’s travel and meal expenses during the trip. Several months later, the sports agent paid travel expenses of approximately $700 for the student-athlete to participate in a five-day National Basketball Association (NBA) pre-draft showcase. Later, the agent paid approximately $500 in travel expenses for the student-athlete to participate in a professional league tryout.
The year after withdrawing, the student-athlete permitted the agent to enter his name for the NBA draft, but the student-athlete was not drafted. The agent then paid approximately $1,500 in expenses for the student-athlete to participate in a tryout with a professional team. After the professional team declined to sign the student-athlete, he enrolled at an NCAA Division II member institution and sought to compete on the men’s basketball team. The student-athlete asserted that he had no oral or written agreement with the sports agent.
The Division II institution sought to have the student-athlete’s eligibility reinstated.
The NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff and committee declined to reinstate the student-athlete’s eligibility because they determined that the acceptance of significant impermissible benefits from a sports agent after the student-athlete’s initial collegiate enrollment compromised the student-athlete’s amateur status to the point that reinstatement was not warranted. Specifically, the student-athlete had rules education regarding agents and a responsibility to ensure his actions were permissible within NCAA regulations. In addition, the student-athlete’s actions clearly professionalized him beyond the point warranting reinstatement.
While in high school, an international prospective women’s tennis student-athlete signed an agreement with a sports management agency, in which she agreed that the agency would develop, negotiate and organize income-producing activities arising from her profession as a tennis player. The agreement was signed by both the student-athlete, who was 16 years old, and by the student-athlete’s father. The agreement was terminated three years later and the student-athlete enrolled at an NCAA Division I member institution, where she sought to compete as a tennis student-athlete.
The student-athlete stated that she did not fully understand the terms of the agreement she had signed and did not realize that signing the agreement would jeopardize her amateur status. According to the student-athlete, none of the activities described in the agreement were ever performed, and she believed that the agreement would make it easier for her to get equipment. The prospective student-athlete never profited from her participation in tennis tournaments during the term of the contract.
The institution sought to have the student-athlete reinstated for intercollegiate competition. The NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff and committee determined that the act of signing with an agent carries with it an intention to pursue a professional sports career and is considered a serious violation of NCAA amateurism principles. As a result, the student-athlete was not reinstated.
A football student-athlete sustained a season-ending injury in September of his final season of eligibility. The student-athlete
was advised by the head football trainer that he would not be able to seek a sixth season of eligibility. The coaching staff did not discuss the possibility of a sixth season of eligibility when it met with the student-athlete after his injury. The student-athlete, therefore, signed an agreement with an agent in December to assist him with the National Football League (NFL) draft. The agent had not provided any expenses or material benefits to the student-athlete, though the agent had provided the student-athlete’s medical records to several NFL teams.
In the interim, the institution had hired a new coaching staff, which asked the institution’s compliance office to seek a sixth year of eligibility for the student-athlete. After reviewing the circumstances, the institution determined that the student-athlete was eligible to seek an extension of his eligibility. The student-athlete sought to return to the institution and complete his collegiate eligibility.
The student-athlete was declared ineligible due to the fact that he had signed an agreement with an agent. However, in light of the facts that the student-athlete acted in reliance on erroneous information provided by the institution and that the student-athlete did not receive material benefits from the agent, the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff reinstated the student-athlete subject to several conditions. The student-athlete was required to terminate his agreement in writing with the agent and withdraw from the NFL draft. The student-athlete was also required to repay $100 to the charity of his choice. Finally, the institution was required to withhold the student-athlete from the first 30 percent of the institution’s contests the following football season.
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2013