To: NCAA Divisions I, II and III Directors of Athletics
From: William S. Saum
NCAA Director of Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities
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
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
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.