Sep
01

No Qualms With NCAA Baseball Questionnaire?

I have to admit that I am a little surprised at the lack of responses to my publishing of the Prospective Baseball Student-Athlete Questionnaire.  There is no way that you all have no issues with future student-athletes receiving such a document immediately after they choose to not sign with the professional teams that drafted them.  All of the questions seem Kosher?  That is highly doubtful.

The first thing that I think of when reading it is: Who is the NCAA trying to protect? It is obviously aiming to create a situation where the student-athlete reveals that he had assistance from an advisor who may have been overstepping his bounds in adhering to the NCAA’s no-agent rule.  The distribution of the questionnaire only further complicates matters for advisors.  They must contemplate whether it is in their best interests to go along with the NCAA regulation and abandon their advisees at a critical time or risk jeopardizing advisees’ student-athlete eligibility, but at least promise to competently represent the advisee (even if it also means ignoring the no-agent rule).

In Banks v. NCAA, 977 F. 2d 1081 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 908 (1992), the no-agent rule was challenged under the Sherman Antitrust Act.  The claim was that the no-agent law had an anticompetitive effect.  The claim failed, and it was deemed at the no-agent rule was in furtherance of the idea of amateurism.  There was a fear that the focus of college football (the sport discussed in the case) would shift from educating the student-athlete to creating a ‘minor league’ farm system out of college football that would operate solely to improve players’ skills for professional football in the NFL.  Judges should start watching college football, and all college sports for that matter, more often.  Their fear has been true for quite a while now, and the no-agent rule had no role in delaying that reality.

This remains to be my favorite line from the Oliver v. NCAA case:

For a student-athlete to be permitted to have an attorney and then to tell that student athlete that his attorney cannot be present during the discussion of an offer from a professional organization, is akin to a patient hiring a doctor but the doctor is told by the hospital board and the insurance company that he (the doctor) cannot be present when the patient meets with a surgeon because the conference may improve his patients decision-making power.

  • BMcG

    Do you see any issues with privileged information being disclosed if the advisor is an attorney?

    • http://sportsagentblog.com Darren Heitner

      The holder of attorney-client privilege is the client. It may not even apply if it is deemed that the attorney is not acting primarily as an attorney, but as an advisor who is not giving legal advice. Anyhow, it is not the attorney that is disclosing anything in this instance. So the basic answer to your question is no.

  • Erik Averill

    As a former student-athlete and current wealth manager to athletes my experiences will the NCAA have left me scratching my head about who they really care about. Over my 3 years at a major d1 program where 10 guys are drafted every year never did the NCAA take the time to educate and equip us to make decisions that would affect us for the rest of our lives. I hope this will change. I met a former Tennessee football player who now works for the NCAA Amateurism department and he assured me we finally have an advocate on the inside. I hope he has a loud voice.

    • http://sportsagentblog.com Darren Heitner

      Interesting ending to your comment. I will admit that I know quite a few people in the NCAA that are very intelligent and understand that changes are necessary. But it is a big institution with a lot of red tape.