Brick is a men’s basketball student-athlete at Ocean State University. Brick is a junior and likely to be drafted by the NBA after the 2012-13 academic year. Brick is going to participate in permissible tryout opportunities after the season and has been approached by several agents. Brick has informed the agents that he cannot enter into any type of verbal or written agreement with them without jeopardizing his eligibility. Several of the interested agents would like to give Brick a new pair of sneakers to use for the tryouts. Is this permissible? If not, is it permissible to provide the sneakers to Brick’s siblings instead?
No, it is not permissible to provide any benefits to Brick or any of his friends and/or family members. NCAA Bylaw 184.108.40.206 states that an individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she (or his or her relatives or friends) accepts transportation or other benefits from: (Revised: 1/14/97)
(a) Any person who represents any individual in the marketing of his or her athletics ability. The receipt of such expenses constitutes compensation based on athletics skill and is an extra benefit not available to the student body in general; or
(b) An agent, even if the agent has indicated that he or she has no interest in representing the student-athlete in the marketing of his or her athletics ability or reputation and does not represent individuals in the student-athlete’s sport. (Adopted: 1/14/97)
A very useful document to assist men’s basketball student-athletes with eligibility remaining is the 2013 NBA Draft memo from the NCAA Staff. This document can be found on NCAA.org.