Reminders for Women’s Basketball Student-Athletes with Remaining Eligibility
Six Points to Remember: You will lose your eligibility IF:
1. You agree orally or in writing to be represented by an agent or any individual acting on behalf of the agent (e.g., runner).
2. You accept any benefits from an agent, a prospective agent or any individual acting on behalf of the agent (e.g., runner).
3. You participate in a tryout with a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team that lasts longer than 48 hours, which you have not personally financed.
4. You tryout with a professional team during the academic year and miss class.
5. You enter the draft AND do not take the appropriate steps to withdraw and declare your intention to resume intercollegiate participation.
6. You enter the draft AND are drafted by a professional team.
NCAA Women’s Final Four (Indianapolis, Indiana): April 3 and 5, 2016.
WNBA Orientation: April 11-13, 2016.
WNBA Draft: April 14, 2016.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Who is eligible for the WNBA Draft?
Per WNBA eligibility requirements the following individuals are eligible:
a. An individual who will be at least 22 years old during the calendar year in which such draft is held and she either has no remaining intercollegiate eligibility or renounces her remaining intercollegiate eligibility by written notice to the WNBA at least 10 days prior to such draft;
b. An individual who has graduated from a four-year college or university prior to such draft, or “is to graduate” from such college or university within the three-month period following such draft and she either has no remaining intercollegiate eligibility or renounces her remaining intercollegiate eligibility by written notice to the WNBA at least 10 days prior to such draft; [Note: “Is to graduate” shall mean that such player would graduate from the college or university she is currently enrolled in if she were to successfully complete the coursework she is enrolled in at the time of such Draft and such course load is commensurate with the previous course loads she has successfully completed.] or
c. An individual who has attended a four-year college or university, her original class in such college or university has already been graduated or “is to graduate” within the three-month period following such draft, and she either has no remaining intercollegiate eligibility or renounces her remaining intercollegiate eligibility by written notice to the WNBA at least 10 days prior to such draft. [Note: “Is to graduate” shall mean that the majority of the students in such class would graduate from such college or university upon successful completion of the coursework the members of such class are enrolled in at the time of such Draft.]
d. An individual who is competing in an NCAA season (including any NCAA tournament) during the period that begins 10 days prior to the draft; has remaining eligibility beyond the season in which she is currently competing; and is otherwise eligible for selection in such draft, may make herself eligible for such draft by renouncing her remaining intercollegiate eligibility within the period beginning at the conclusion of her final NCAA game in the season in which she is currently competing and ending 24 hours thereafter (but no later than three hours prior to the draft).
2. Can my college coach assist with the arranging and scheduling of a professional team workout/tryout on or off campus during the academic year?
YES! It would be permissible for a student-athlete’s institutional coach to assist in the arranging for a student-athlete to engage in a professional tryout that occurs on or off campus; however, it would not be permissible for a coach to assist in conducting or be present at such workouts/tryouts. [Note: WNBA guidelines do not permit teams to work out players prior to the WNBA draft.]
3. Can professional teams pay for my private workouts/tryouts?
YES! You may tryout with a professional team if you are enrolled full time as long as you do not miss class. You may receive actual and necessary expenses from the professional team in conjunction with one 48-hour tryout per team. The 48-hour tryout period begins when you arrive at the tryout location. At the completion of the 48-hour period you must depart the location of the tryout immediately in order to receive return transportation expenses. [Note: WNBA guidelines do not permit teams to work out players prior to the WNBA draft.]
4. Can any other individual (e.g., agent, runner or “advisor”) pay for my private workouts/tryouts with professional teams?
NO! Unless a professional team pays for your expenses in conjunction with a private workout or tryout, you and your family are responsible for paying all expenses associated with any tryouts as they are incurred. [Note: WNBA guidelines do not permit teams to work out players prior to the WNBA draft.]
5. Can I pay for my own private workouts/tryouts with professional teams?
YES! 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 you don’t miss class. [Note: WNBA guidelines do not permit teams to work out players prior to the WNBA draft.]
6. What is an “agent” according to NCAA rules?
An agent is any individual who, directly or indirectly: a. Represents or attempts to represent an individual for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation for financial gain; or b. Seeks to obtain any type of financial gain or benefit from securing a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment at an educational institution or from a student-athlete’s potential earnings as a professional athlete.
7. Am I allowed to have any type of agreement with an agent?
NO! You are not permitted to have a written or oral agreement with an agent or anyone who is employed by or acting on behalf of an agent or sports agency (i.e., “runner”) while enrolled at a collegiate institution. Once you have exhausted your collegiate eligibility, you are permitted to have an agreement with an agent.
8. What is an “oral agreement” with an agent?
An oral agreement occurs if you verbally agree to have an agent perform any services (e.g., providing any expenses related to tryouts, arranging disability insurance, etc.) on your behalf OR you have knowledge that an agent is performing such services.
9. Is an agent allowed to contact teams on my behalf to arrange private workouts or tryouts?
NO! You cannot have an agent arrange a private workout/tryout with any professional or WNBA team.
10. Can my family members or other individuals who are associated with me as a result of playing basketball (e.g., high school coach, summer basketball coach, etc.) have an agreement with an agent to perform services on my behalf?
NO! Family members and other individuals are not permitted to enter into any agreements with an agent on your behalf.
11. Am I allowed to have an agreement with an agent if it is for future representation?
NO! You are not permitted to agree to a future representation agreement with an agent.
12. Is an agent allowed to provide me any benefits?
NO! You, your family, or your friends are not permitted to receive any benefits from an agent. Examples of material benefits include money, transportation, dinner, clothes, cell phones, jewelry, etc. However, benefits may also include, but are not limited to, activities such as tryout arrangements with a professional team and coordinating tryout schedules.
13. Am I permitted to have an advisor during this process?
YES! You are permitted to have an advisor provided the advisor does not market you to WNBA or professional teams. However, it is not permissible for the advisor to contact teams on your behalf to arrange private workouts or tryouts. [Note: If you receive assistance from an advisor, you must compensate the advisor in an amount equal to the value of the services he or she provides you; furthermore, you may not receive such services at a free or reduced rate without jeopardizing your eligibility, regardless of whether the advisor does not typically charge clients for such services.]
14. Can an institution cancel my athletics scholarship if I have an agreement with an agent?
YES! An institution is permitted to rescind your athletics scholarship if you have an agreement with an agent.
Jennifer M. Condaras
BIG EAST Conference
The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The BIG EAST Conference, JumpForward, or the Collegiate Sports Group of Bond, Schoeneck, and King. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.