How do you know a Compliance Office really takes pride in its agent policy? It begins its announcement of its new policy with: **NEW**
Brigham Young University (BYU) sent an email out last week to all NFLPA certified Contract Advisors to notify them of changes to the university’s Football Agent Policy. The email included the revised policy, which “requires” any agent desiring to contact a football student-athlete or the student-athlete’s family to first register with the BYU Athletics Compliance Office. It does not indicate what happens to any agent who fails to register with the Compliance Office, but that is probably because the school has no real recourse.
The email continues:
After registering with the BYU Athletics Compliance Office agents may contact the compliance office to schedule in-person meetings with specific student-athletes. All meetings will take place on the BYU campus and must be scheduled in advance through the compliance office. Agent meetings and contacts (including phone contacts) are only permissible during the summer prior to the student-athlete’s senior year and after the last regular season game (see below). Contacting juniors is not permissible. Agents should not send marketing materials of their services directly to the student-athletes; rather they are encouraged to send marketing materials for student-athletes directly to the compliance office. The compliance office will then provide the materials directly to the student-athlete. Finally, it is not permissible to contact BYU student-athletes before or after a game or practice. The compliance office appreciates agent cooperation with this policy and reserves the right to revoke privileges for failure to comply with the aforementioned expectations.
Time Period for Agent / Athlete Contacts:
Prior to the student-athletes senior year (underclassmen) Not Allowed During summer semester prior to the Student-Athletes senior year Allowed During Fall Camp Not Allowed During the Academic Year Not Allowed Exception: After Last Regular Season Game, Prior to Bowl Game Allowed At Bowl Site Not Allowed After Eligibility is Exhausted Allowed
I think my favorite part of the email is the last sentence. All of the agents who ignore the policy also appreciate the compliance office for instituting such rules, which some agents will undoubtedly follow. Further, those agents probably laugh at the line about BYU reserving the right to revoke privileges. BYU’s compliance website adds, “All athletic agents must receive initial permission from the Compliance Office prior to contacting any student-athlete of BYU. Severe repercussions are possible for violation of this rule, both to the agent and to the student-athlete.” I am available in case anyone wants to provide a meaningful suggestion as to what that really means (with regards to the agent).
The compliance department understands that there has been an athlete agent law passed in Utah. In fact, the department links to it on its website. Section 15-9-111 of that law is titled, “Notice to educational institution.” It provides as follows:
(1) Within 72 hours after entering into an agency contract or before the next scheduled athletic event in which the student-athlete may participate, whichever occurs first, the athlete agent shall give notice in a record of the existence of the contract to the athletic director of the educational institution at which the student-athlete is enrolled or the athlete agent has reasonable grounds to believe the student-athlete intends to enroll.
(2) Within 72 hours after entering into an agency contract or before the next athletic event in which the student-athlete may participate, whichever occurs first, the student-athlete shall inform the athletic director of the educational institution at which the student-athlete is enrolled that he or she has entered into an agency contract.
Where is the requirement to inform the educational institution that the agent wishes to speak to a player? What about the rule against contacting underclassmen? Not there.
The result? Add BYU to the list of schools, including but not limited to the University of North Carolina, University of Miami, and University of Washington who just don’t get it. These rules prohibiting conduct between student-athletes and agents do not benefit the athletes. They do not benefit the schools. They do not benefit the hard working agents who follow rules because that is what they have been taught to do since they were born. But they exist for a reason – to insulate the schools in case the NCAA deems something went wrong in “the process.” Smoke and mirrors.