The NCAA rules
The following is relevant NCAA legislation and applicable NCAA interpretations that pertain to agents. The information can also be found on the NCAA web site.
1. RELEVANT NCAA LEGISLATION
11.1.4 Representing Individuals in Marketing Athletics Ability/Reputation. Staff members of the athletics department of a member institution shall not represent, directly or indirectly, any individual in the marketing of athletics ability or reputation to an agent, a professional sports team or a professional sports organization, including receiving compensation for arranging commercial endorsements or personal appearances for former student-athletes, except as specified in Bylaw 22.214.171.124, and shall not receive compensation or gratuities of any kind, directly or indirectly, for such services.
12.1.1 Amateur Status. An individual loses amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the individual:
(a) Uses his or her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport;
(b) Accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics participation;
(c) Signs a contract or commitment of any kind to play professional athletics, regardless of its legal enforceability or any consideration received;
(d) Receives, directly or indirectly, a salary, reimbursement of expenses or any other form of financial assistance from a professional sports organization based upon athletics skill or participation, except as permitted by NCAA rules and regulations;
(e) Competes on any professional athletics team (per Bylaw 12.02.4), even if no pay or remuneration for expenses was received;
(f) Subsequent to initial full-time collegiate enrollment, enters into a professional draft (see also Bylaw 126.96.36.199.1); or
(g) Enters into an agreement with an agent.
188.8.131.52.3.1 Educational Expenses – Prior to Collegiate Enrollment. A prospective student-athlete may receive educational expenses (i.e., tuition, fees, room and board, and books) prior to collegiate enrollment from any individual or entity other than an agent, professional sports team/organization or a representative of an institution's athletics interests, provided such expenses are disbursed directly through the recipient's educational institution (e.g., high school, preparatory school).
184.108.40.206 Negotiations. An individual may request information about professional market value without affecting his or her amateur status. Further, the individual, his or her legal guardians or the institution's professional sports counseling panel may enter into negotiations with a professional sports organization without the loss of the individual's amateur status. An individual who retains an agent shall lose amateur status.
220.127.116.11 Nonbinding Agreement. An individual who signs a contract or commitment that does not become binding until the professional organization's representative or agent also signs the document is ineligible, even if the contract remains unsigned by the other parties until after the student-athlete's eligibility is exhausted.
12.3.1 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.
18.104.22.168 Representation for Future Negotiations. An individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 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.
22.214.171.124 Benefits from Prospective Agents. An individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she (or his or her relatives or friends) accepts transportation or other benefits from:
(a) 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; or
(b) 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.
12.3.2 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 individual in negotiations for such a contract.
126.96.36.199 Presence of a Lawyer at Negotiations. 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 individual. A lawyer's presence during such discussions is considered representation by an agent.
12.3.3 Athletics Scholarship Agent. Any individual, agency or organization that represents a prospective student-athlete for compensation in placing the prospect in a collegiate institution as a recipient of institutional financial aid shall be considered an agent or organization marketing the individual's athletics ability or reputation.
188.8.131.52 Talent Evaluation Services and Agents. A prospect may allow a scouting service or agent to distribute personal information (e.g., high-school academic and athletics records, physical statistics) to member institutions without jeopardizing his or her eligibility, provided the fee paid to such an agent is not based on placing the prospect in a collegiate institution as a recipient of institutional financial aid.
2. APPLICABLE AGENT INTERPRETATIONS.
Benefits Resulting from an Established Relationship (I)
Interpretation: The subcommittee reviewed the application of NCAA Bylaw 184.108.40.206.6 as it relates to factual situations in which an individual (student-athlete or prospective student-athlete) has received benefits prior to or during collegiate enrollment from someone other than a family member or legal guardian, and agreed that the following objective guidelines generally should be used in determining whether such benefits are contrary to the legislation:
1. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) develop as a result of the athlete's participation in athletics or notoriety related thereto?
2. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) predate the athlete's status as a prospective student-athlete?
3. Did the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete's parents) and the individual providing the benefit(s) predate the athlete's status achieved as a result of his or her athletics ability or reputation?
4. Was the pattern of benefits provided by the individual to the athlete (or the athlete's parents) prior to the athlete attaining notoriety as a skilled athlete similar in nature to those provided after attaining such stature?
The subcommittee, however, noted that the origin and duration of a relationship and the consistency of benefits provided during the relationship are key factors in determining whether the benefits provided are contrary to the spirit and intent of Bylaw 220.127.116.11.6.
The subcommittee determined that prior to initial full-time collegiate enrollment, a prospective student-athlete may receive normal and reasonable living expenses from an individual with whom the student-athlete has an established relationship (e.g., high-school coach, nonscholastic athletics team coach, family of a teammate), even if the relationship developed as a result of athletics participation, provided:
1. The individual is not an agent,
2. The individual is not an athletics representative of a particular institution involved in recruiting the prospect, and
3. Such living expenses are consistent with the types of expenses provided by the individual as a part of normal living arrangements (e.g., housing, meals, occasional spending money, use of the family car).
The subcommittee noted that the above mentioned interpretation does not apply to individuals who have no logical ties to the prospect. It also noted that a current student-athlete who, prior to initial collegiate enrollment, has been receiving normal and reasonable living expenses from an individual with whom he or she has an established relationship may continue to receive occasional benefits (e.g., meals during campus visits, reasonable entertainment) from an individual or family with whom the student-athlete has an established relationship. Such expenses may not include educational expenses associated with a grant-in-aid (i.e., tuition and fees, room and board, and required course-related books).
Institutional Financial Aid to a Student-Athlete Under Contract With an Agent (I)
Interpretation: An institution, at its discretion, may award financial aid to a student-athlete who remains under contract with an agent during the academic year subsequent to exhausting his or her four seasons of eligibility.
Student-Athlete Retaining Agent to Pursue Radio/Television/Theatre Appearances
Interpretation: 1. Student-Athlete Retaining Agent to Pursue Radio/Television/Theatre Appearances: a. A student-athlete who is seeking a degree in the performing arts (e.g., theatre, drama) may retain an entertainment agent for the purposes of pursuing appearances on radio, television and theatre, provided the student-athlete's athletics reputation or ability is not used in any manner to secure such appearances and any compensation received by the student-athlete is at a rate commensurate with the individual's skills and experience as a performer and not based in any way on the individual's athletics ability or reputation. The committee noted that any compensation received by the student-athlete must be consistent with applicable NCAA limitations on a student-athlete's maximum amount of financial aid.
Participation in Foreign Tour Subsequent to Exhausting Eligibility
Interpretation: 3. Participation in Foreign Tour Subsequent to Exhausting Eligibility. A student-athlete who no longer is eligible to represent his or her institution in intercollegiate competition due to a violation of NCAA amateurism regulations (e.g., signed with a professional organization, secured the services of an agent, asked to be placed on the draft list of a professional league) may not participate in an institution's foreign tour.
Student-Athletes Having Agreements with Financial Advisors
Interpretation: Student-Athletes Having Agreements with Financial Advisors: The Professional Sports Liason Committee recommended that the Council sponsor legislation for the 1996 Convention that would prohibit student-athletes from making agreements with financial advisors. It was noted that a financial advisor who acts as an agent could be treated as an agent for purposes of applying NCAA legislation.
It was VOTED
"That the Council issue an official interpretation, rather than sponsor legislation, to confirm the fact that a financial advisor can be treated as an agent for purpose of the application of NCAA legislation if he or she acts as an agent."
Agents Employing Individuals
Interpretation: a. Agents Employing Individual(s): It is permissible for an agent to employ an individual, provided:
1. Compensation is paid for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate.
2. The student-athlete is qualified to perform the work.
3. There is no marketing of the student-athlete's athletics ability or reputation.
Agent charging fee to student-athlete on deferred payment schedule
Interpretation: a. Agent Charging Fee to Student-Athlete on Deferred Payment Schedule: Confirmed that a student-athlete jeopardizes his or her eligibility if an agent provides advice to the student-athlete about a professional contract with the understanding that the student-athlete will pay the agent for such services once the student-athlete has been drafted by the professional sports organization, regardless of the fact that the agent provides the service only to student-athletes and has the same fee arrangement for all clients.
Receipt of money from an agent
Interpretation: 1. Receipt of money from an agent. Reviewed the provisions of NCAA Bylaws 18.104.22.168 (benefits from agents), 22.214.171.124 (preferential treatment) and a previous staff interpretation (reference: Item No. 1-e of the minutes of the staff's December 18, 1987, meeting) and determined that a student-athlete who receives money (or other benefits) from an agent who is representing the student-athlete only in a particular sport would remain eligible to participate in a second sport at the member institution.
Advice from a lawyer or agent concerning a proposed professional contract
Interpretation: f. Advice From a Lawyer or Agent Concerning a Proposed Professional Contract: Reviewed Bylaw 12.3.2 (legal counsel) and 05/09/84 NCAA Legislative Assistance Column in regard to whether an attorney or agent may provide a value judgment to an individual (e.g., a recommendation regarding the financial merits of an offer) regarding a proposed professional sports contract without jeopardizing the individual's amateur status; determined that a lawyer or agent may provide advice to an individual regarding the merits of a contract, 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.
Receipt of financial aid during the summer for student-athlete who signs with agent
Interpretation: Reviewed NCAA Bylaw 15.2.7 (summer financial aid) in regard to a student-athlete who has signed with an agent and still wishes to receive financial aid to attend summer school at the certifying institution; determined that such an arrangement would be permissible, at the member institution's discretion.
Booster providing information regarding insurance against disabling injury
Interpretation: b. Booster Providing Information Regarding Insurance Against Disabling Injury: Reviewed Bylaw 126.96.36.199 (insurance against disabling injury), Bylaw 188.8.131.52 (benefits from prospective agents) and 05/01/87 staff minutes and determined that a representative of a member institution's athletics interests, who also is a player agent, may provide information to a student-athlete to indicate which lending institutions and insurance companies would be interested in providing services for securing insurance against a disabling injury that would prevent the individual from pursuing a chosen career, inasmuch as such an arrangement is not contrary to the provision that a representative of an institution's athletics interests may not be involved in the arrangements for securing a loan.
Student-athlete signing an agreement with an attorney
Interpretation: Reviewed a situation in which a member institution requested that a student-athlete be permitted to sign an agreement with an attorney to represent the student-athlete in screening inquiries and analyzing offers from agents; determined that the proposal submitted would preclude such an arrangement, inasmuch as it was contrary to Bylaw 12.3.1 (representation by an agent).
Student-athlete on a scholarship receiving money from an agent
Interpretation: Determined that if a student-athlete on full scholarship receives money from an agent, an institution must adjust the student-athlete's financial aid per Bylaw 6-1-(b)-(1) proportionate with the amount of money received; further, the institution may gradate or cancel the student-athletes aid per NCAA Constitution 3-4-(c)-(2)-(i).
Agent agreements and all-star games
Interpretation: The Extra Events Committee had asked if adoption of Bylaw 2-3-(i) at the 1980 Convention requires that committee to consider student-athletes with agent agreements in terms of eligibility for postseason all-star games, noting that the intent of the 1980 legislation was only to formalize existing procedures, which never have included the agent consideration.
It was VOTED
"That the committee be directed to employ the same procedures it has used in the past, and any adjustment in the legislation necessary to clarify its application be prepared for future consideration."
Student-athlete allegedly misled by agent into signing agreement
Interpretation: The staff had advised the University of Toledo that a student-athlete in the sport of football at that institution is ineligible per Constitution 3-1-(c) inasmuch as he signed an agreement with a Canadian agent to play Canadian professional football. The institution argued that the agent intentionally misrepresented the matter, thus making the agreement void. Members of the Council noted that the student-athlete clearly had signed the agreement and that the fact that he may have been misled by the agent would be a mitigating factor to be considered by the Subcommittee on Eligibility Appeals in determining whether to restore eligibility.
It was VOTED
"That the staff interpretation be upheld."
Agent with no agreement to represent obtained application for draft for student-athlete
Interpretation: Agreed that no agent relationship existed in a situation in which an agent obtained an application for the professional basketball hardship draft for a student-athlete but did not enter into an agreement with the student-athlete and did not represent him in any other manner.