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College Sports, Division I

NCAA Division I Educational Column: Defining an “Agent”

On July 5, 2012, the NCAA released an educational column regarding the definition of an “agent” under NCAA legislation. Specifically, the column noted, pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 12.02.1, an agent is “a person who directly or indirectly represents or attempts to represent an individual for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation for financial gain or seeks to obtain any type of financial gain or benefit from securing a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment at an educational institution.” The column also answered several common questions regarding the definition of an agent. Important points to consider include:

  • An individual who organizes showcase events for prospective student-athletes to be evaluated by college coaches and receives a payment for participation at the event is not an agent if the individual did not seek or obtain a benefit from securing a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment at an educational institution;
  • This legislation does not apply to a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians or high school and nonscholastic coaches unless they are seeking a financial gain for placing the prospective student-athlete at a particular school; and
  • An individual is permitted to have an advisor assist him or her in reviewing a proposed professional sports contract, provided the advisor does not represent the individual directly in contract negotiations. The advisory may discuss the merits of a proposed contract with an individual and provide suggestions about the type of offer the individual should consider. The advisor cannot make direct contact with the professional team or be present during discussions of a contract offer with a professional team.

This educational column referenced NCAA Division I Bylaws 12.01 (definition of an agent) 12.02.1 (agent) 12.02.1.1 (application), 12.3.1 (use of agents), 12.3.1.2 (benefits from prospective agents), 12.3.3. (athletics scholarship agent) and 12.3.3.1 (talent evaluation services and agents).

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About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

Bar Admissions (North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee) Practice Area (College Sports Law)

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