Overview of NCAA Bylaws Governing Athlete Agents
A student-athlete or prospective student-athlete (any individual who currently participates in or who may be eligible in the future to participate in intercollegiate athletics) may not agree verbally or in writing to be represented by an agent in the present or in the future for the purpose of marketing the student-athlete's athletics ability or reputation. If the student-athlete enters into such an agreement, the student-athlete is ineligible for intercollegiate competition. The term "agent" includes actual agents, runners (individuals who befriend student-athletes and frequently distribute impermissible benefits), attorneys, and financial advisors.
Also, a student-athlete may not accept transportation or other benefits from an agent. This prohibition applies to the student-athlete and his or her relatives or friends.
It is not a violation of NCAA rules if a student-athlete merely talks to an agent (as long as an agreement for representation is not reached) or socializes with an agent. For example, a student-athlete could go to dinner with an agent and no NCAA violations would result if the student-athlete provided his/her own transportation and paid for his/her meal.
What happens if a violation occurs?
Example: A men's basketball student-athlete is befriended by a runner for an agent. The student-athlete is unaware of the connection between the runner and agent. The runner gives the student-athlete long-distance calling cards and pays for meals, articles of clothing and a new car stereo. The student-athlete never asks why the runner is providing him with these items.
The student-athlete's educational institution becomes aware of the runner's identity and the provision of benefits to the student-athlete. The institution must declare the student-athlete ineligible for intercollegiate competition and request reinstatement of the student-athlete's eligibility from the NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement.
At a minimum, the student-athlete will be required to repay the value of the impermissible benefit(s) and will be withheld from a certain number of contests, based on NCAA case precedent.
NCAA Rules Concerning Agents
Agency Contracts: 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 particular sport or sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport.
Prospective Agreements: An individual shall be ineligible for further intercollegiate athletics competition 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.
Benefits from Prospective Agents: An individual shall be ineligible if he/she (or his/her relatives or friends) accepts transportation or other benefits from:
For more information on this topic visit the NCAA's website on Agents.
Utah Agent Law
Utah state law and University of Utah policy place significant restrictions on the terms and conditions under which a prospective agent may interact with a University of Utah student-athlete.
First, all agents wishing to communicate in any way with a student-athlete with remaining intercollegiate athletics eligibility are required to hold an Athlete Agent License (hereinafter “License”) in the state of Utah. Prior to obtaining a License, an individual may not communicate with a student-athlete with remaining intercollegiate athletics ability in any manner designed to recruit or solicit the student-athlete to enter into an agency contract.
Second, the University of Utah requires that all agents wishing to communicate in any way with a student-athlete with remaining intercollegiate athletics eligibility notify either the student-athlete’s head coach or the University of Utah’s Compliance Office prior to such contact. In addition, in order to safeguard the integrity of its intercollegiate athletics programs, the University of Utah respectfully requests that inquiries regarding student-athletes with remaining intercollegiate athletics eligibility not be made during the competitive playing season.
For more information regarding the Utah Uniform Athlete Agents Act and University of Utah policy please contact the Compliance Office at the University of Utah.