NCAA rules state that a student-athlete cannot have a written or verbal agreement with an agent or anyone who will market the student-athlete's athletics ability or reputation. Also, a student-athlete may not agree, verbally or in writing, to have an agent represent them in the future.
Student-athletes and their families may not receive benefits from an agent.
Who is an agent?
An agent is anyone who markets your athletics ability or reputation. Whether or not someone calls themselves an agent, if they perform the functions of an agent under NCAA rules, they are considered an agent. Activities such as these would make someone an agent:
- Negotiating with a professional team
- Contacting a professional team on your behalf
- Arranging tryouts with professional teams
- Sitting in on your negotiations with a professional team
A student-athlete may have an advisor to help them evaluate their professional opportunities, but they must be careful that their advisor does not engage in any activities that would make them an agent under NCAA rules. As a good rule of thumb, an advisor can talk to you and your family, but if they are talking about you to any third parties (professional teams, media, scouts) they have probably crossed the line to being an agent.
NCAA rules regarding agents are below:
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.
126.96.36.199 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.
188.8.131.52 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