And One is a men’s basketball student-athlete at Ocean State University. And is a junior and is contemplating whether he should enter the NBA draft this year. If And requests information from the NBA regarding his projected draft status, does he jeopardize his amateur status and therefore lose any remaining collegiate eligibility?
No. NCAA Educational Column- 4/4/12- NCAA Bylaw 12.2.4 – Declaration for a Professional League’s Draft (I)- states that NCAA Division I institutions should note that in accordance with NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168, an individual may request information from a professional sports organization about eligibility for a professional-league player draft, or request information about the individual’s market value, without affecting his or her amateur status. Further, pursuant to Bylaws 12.1.2-(f) and 22.214.171.124, subject to the exceptions noted below, an individual loses amateur status and shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if he or she, after initial full-time enrollment, asks to be placed on the draft list or supplemental draft list of a professional league in that sport. This provision remains applicable even if the individual asks that his or her name be withdrawn from the draft list prior to the actual draft, the individual’s name remains on the list but he or she is not drafted, or the individual is drafted but does not sign an agreement with any professional athletics team.
Institutions should note that this provision does not apply to individuals who have never enrolled as full-time students at any collegiate institution. For example, an individual who has graduated from high school but has not yet enrolled in college does not lose collegiate eligibility by merely submitting his or her name to be included in a professional draft.
Additionally, pursuant to Bylaw 126.96.36.199.1.1, an enrolled men’s basketball student-athlete may enter a professional league’s draft one time during his collegiate career without jeopardizing eligibility in that sport, provided the student-athlete is not drafted by any team in that league and declares his intention to resume intercollegiate participation not later than the end of the day before the first day of the spring National Letter of Intent signing period for the applicable year. The student-athlete’s declaration of intent shall be in writing to the institution’s director of athletics.
Similar legislation exists for the sport of women’s basketball. Pursuant to Bylaw 188.8.131.52.1.2, an enrolled women’s basketball student-athlete may enter a professional league’s draft one time during her collegiate career without jeopardizing eligibility in that sport, provided the student-athlete is not drafted by any team in that league and declares her intention to resume intercollegiate participation within 30 days after the draft. The student-athlete’s declaration of intent shall be in writing to the institution’s director of athletics.
In the sport of football, Bylaw 184.108.40.206.3 permits an enrolled student-athlete to enter the National Football League draft one time during his collegiate career without jeopardizing eligibility in that sport, provided the student-athlete is not drafted by any team in that league and declares his intention to resume intercollegiate participation within 72 hours following the National Football League draft declaration date. The student-athlete’s declaration of intent shall be in writing to the institution’s director of athletics.
The legislation described above does not allow any individual (prospective student-athlete, enrolled student-athlete, etc.) to retain an agent without jeopardizing his or her eligibility. Accordingly, a student-athlete who enters a professional league’s draft would not be permitted to reach a verbal or written agreement with an agent without jeopardizing his or her eligibility at a Division I institution. However, an individual is permitted to have an advisor assist him or her in reviewing a proposed professional sports contract, provided the advisor does not represent the individual directly in contract negotiations. In this regard, it is permissible for an advisor to discuss the merits of a proposed contract with an individual and provide suggestions about the type of offer the individual should consider. In order to maintain eligibility at a Division I institution, the advisor may not be used as a link between the individual and the professional sports team or organization. If the advisor makes a direct contact with the professional team, then the advisor shall be considered an agent and the individual will have jeopardized future eligibility at a Division I institution. For example, an advisor may not be present during discussions of a contract offer with a professional team or have any direct contact (e.g., in person, by telephone, by mail) with a professional sports team on the individual’s behalf. In addition, it is important to note that in order to maintain eligibility at a Division I institution, the individual must compensate the advisor at his or her normal rate. Further, pursuant to Bylaw 220.127.116.11, an individual will be ineligible if he or she accepts transportation or any other benefits from any person who wishes to represent the individual in marketing his or her athletics ability. This rule does not prohibit an individual from having a meal with someone who wishes to represent him or her, provided each individual pays for the actual cost of his or her own meal and arranges for separate transportation.
Finally, pursuant to Bylaw 18.104.22.168, a student-athlete may tryout with a professional team at any time provided he or she does not miss class. The student-athlete may receive actual and necessary expenses in conjunction with one 48-hour tryout per professional team. The 48-hour tryout period begins at the time the individual arrives at the tryout location, and the individual must depart the location of the tryout immediately at the completion of the 48-hour period in order to receive return transportation expenses. A tryout may extend beyond 48 hours if the individual self-finances additional expenses, including return transportation. A self-financed tryout may be for any length of time, provided the individual does not miss class.
[References: NCAA Bylaws 12.1.2 (amateur status), 22.214.171.124 (tryout after enrollment), 126.96.36.199 (tryout after enrollment), 188.8.131.52 (draft inquiry), 184.108.40.206 (draft list), 220.127.116.11.1 (exception — basketball — four-year collegiate student-athlete), 18.104.22.168.1.1 (men’s basketball), 22.214.171.124.1.2 (women’s basketball), 126.96.36.199.3 (exception — football), 12.3.1 (use of agents — general rule) and 188.8.131.52 (benefits from prospective agents)]
Notice about Educational Columns: Educational columns and hot topics are intended to assist the membership with the correct application of legislation and/or interpretations by providing clarifications, reminders and examples. They are based on legislation and official and staff interpretations applicable at the time of publication. Therefore, educational columns and hot topics are binding to the extent that the legislation and interpretations on which they are based remain applicable. Educational columns are posted on a regular basis to address a variety of issues and hot topics are posted as necessary in order to address timely issues.