Headline Recruiting Sports Business

Name, Address, And Number, Please

Marc Isenberg, author of Money Players (a fantastic read), wrote a piece last week that discussed summer basketball tournament organizers’ power over NCAA basketball coaches.  The organizers not only make nice profits from the tournaments they host, but also from selling contact information of players who enroll to play.  Contact information is valuable information, especially when that information is not available to the public.

In a sport like baseball, you can get high school player information from sites like Baseball America’s Prospect Plus Scouting Service (for a small fee).  If a high school athlete is on Facebook, you can usually pull his contact information by becoming his friend.  It would be shady if a college coach friended a high school recruit on Facebook, but schools have very large University Athletic Associations.  I think that an intern in the UAA might be able to friend a recruit under the radar.

But what if there is a top basketball talent that a coach just cannot get information on?  That’s when these tournament organizers can make a killing.  As Isenberg notes, some coaches refuse to spend a dime in this information.  Others spend ruthlessly.  And coaches are not the only people spending money on this information.

Contact information is also worth a lot of money to sports agents.  The earlier that an agent can connect with a top talent, the better chance he/she has at forging a strong relationship with that player and eventually serving as the player’s agent/advisor.  Tournament organizers most certainly find strong clients in agents, who want that information before their competitors gain access to it.  Is it illegal?  Not unless the tournament organizer promises not to sell players’ contact information.  Is it unethical?  You be the judge.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.