According to Liz Mullen of SBJ, the NCAA’s Power Five conferences have passed a rule that will allow high school baseball players who are drafted to hire an agent to represent them in contract negotiations with professional baseball clubs. This would take place before the student athlete enrolls in college and will not affect their NCAA eligibility.
This proposal easily passed by a vote of 75-2 with three abstentions last month at the NCAA Convention. The rule goes into effect immediately for the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12 and Southeastern Conference. Other Division I conferences may adopt the rule if they so choose.
High school draftees must pay the agent’s commission and may not receive any additional benefits. If they do not sign, they must terminate their relationship with the agent prior to enrolling in college. Players will therefore, get the benefit of having a professional represent them in contract negotiations without putting their potential collegiate careers and eligibility at risk.
Agents around the game have been in support of this change. Francis Marquez of Magnus Sports said, “I think it’s a positive step. Institutions of higher learning should be the ones that appreciate the most a young man’s right to seek council.” David Meter, CEO of Sports Meter, believes the new rule will work well for everybody. Teams will get to negotiate with someone who has experience in those settings, rather than a family going through the process for the first time. “That part of it does cause parents and student-athletes a great deal of stress,” he said. “This should alleviate the pressure they feel in negotiating a deal as well.”
This rule will only affect high school baseball players. College players with eligibility remaining will still not be allowed to use an agent in contract negotiations without jeopardizing their eligibility.