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Compliance Corner: Student-Athletes and Agents

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    There have been numerous national media reports about agents having impermissible encounters with collegiate student-athletes. The actions of an agent are governed by the professional players’ associations (NFLPA, MLBPA, etc.) so NCAA rules primarily outline what a student-athlete may do in relation to an agent. Below are some frequently asked questions so you may gain a basic understanding of the NCAA rules in this area.

    Q: Would prospective or enrolled student-athletes jeopardize their amateur status and become ineligible for intercollegiate athletics if they retain an agent?

    A: YES. The basic rule is that student-athletes are ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if they have ever agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing their athletic ability or reputation in that sport.

    Q: How would the NCAA find out if a student-athlete did sign with an agent?

    A: Information comes to the NCAA from a variety of sources. For example, it may come from the student-athlete or the institution, the student-athlete’s ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, a disgruntled teammate, or a competing agent or runner. If the NCAA receives credible information that suggests that a violation may have occurred, it will investigate.

    Q: What benefits can agents provide to enrolled or prospective student-athletes without jeopardizing their amateur status?

    A: NONE. Any benefits (i.e., cash or other gifts or services) that agents or their firm or agency provide to student-athletes would constitute compensation for their athletic talent and abilities, regardless of the value of the benefit or whether the benefit is used.

    Q: Can an agent send a gift to a student-athlete’s mother or girlfriend?

    A: NO. A student-athlete’s friends or relatives cannot receive any benefit that would be an impermissible benefit if received by the student-athlete, without jeopardizing the student-athlete’s amateur status.

    Below are additional guidelines for athletics department staff members:

    • No athletics department staff member of a member institution may serve as an agent, or represent, directly or indirectly, any individual in the marketing of athletic ability or reputation to a professional sports team or a professional sports organization, unless that staff member is acting in his or her capacity as a member of the institution’s professional sports counseling panel.
    • An athletics department staff member may not receive benefits for facilitating or arranging a meeting between a student-athlete and an agent, financial advisor, or a representative of an agent or advisor.

    Maintaining compliance is essential to the success of the University’s athletics programs and the UM Athletics Department asks for your help in making sure the U is operating within the rules. As always, your efforts to help the University maintain a culture of compliance are greatly appreciated.

    For more compliance information, follow the UM Athletics Department on Twitter (@UCompliance), like them on Facebook (, or contact them via email,

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