The major league baseball amateur draft occurs every year in June and amateur athletes must decide whether to participate in collegiate or professional baseball. The following questions and answers have been developed to assist you and your parents in the decision-making process.
1I have been contacted by agents who wish to represent me. Can I reach an agreement with an agent to represent me without jeopardizing my eligibility at an NCAA school?
Although there have been some recent developments regarding the use of an advisor, neither you nor your parents should reach a verbal or written agreement with an agent regarding representation. This will jeopardize your eligibility at an NCAA school.
2Is it permissible to have an advisor but not an agent, and what is the difference between an advisor and an agent?
It is permissible to have an advisor (but not an agent) without jeopardizing your eligibility at an NCAA school. Under NCAA regulations, you and your parents are permitted to receive advice from a lawyer or other individual(s) concerning a proposed professional sports contract, provided the advisor does not represent you directly in negotiations for the contract. It is permissible for an advisor to discuss with you the merits of a proposed contract and give you suggestions on the type of offer you should consider. In order to maintain your eligibility at an NCAA school, you may not use the advisor as a link between you and the professional sports team. If you use the advisor as a direct contact with a professional team, the advisor may be considered an agent, and you will have jeopardized your eligibility at an NCAA school. An advisor may not be present during the discussions of a contract offer with a professional sports team (e.g. in person, by telephone, e-mail or mail) on your behalf. If you receive assistance from an advisor, you might be required to pay that advisor at his or her normal rate for such services.
3May I receive any benefits from an agent or advisor without jeopardizing my eligibility?
You will be ineligible if you accept any transportation, meals, or other benefits from any person who wishes to represent you in the marketing of your athletic ability. This rule does not prohibit you from having a meal with someone who wishes to assist you in your negotiations, provided you each pay for the actual cost of your meals and arrange for transportation separately.
4May an advisor visit my home to discuss the possibility of advising me?
An advisor may stay in touch by phone or text without restriction as to the number and frequency of such contacts, and may render advice and counsel in such contacts. There are also no limits on the number of times an advisor may visit you or your family in person or watch you play prior to the draft.
5Am I permitted to negotiate directly with a professional sports team?
NCAA Rules were changed in 1992 to allow you and your parents or legal guardians to negotiate directly with a major league team and a recent court decision may affect the changes in the advisor-player relationships and may allow a player more hands-on advice from an agent/advisor.
6Am I permitted to reach any kind of agreement for a contract with a major league team and still retain my eligibility?
If you reach a written or verbal agreement for any portion of the terms of a professional contract, you will have jeopardized your eligibility at an NCAA school. NCAA regulations strictly prohibit you from reaching a written or verbal agreement for the terms of a contract.
7What happens to my eligibility if a professional team offers to fly me and my parents to its city to watch a baseball game? Is the team permitted to take me or my parents to dinner or entertain us in any other way?
In order for you to retain your NCAA eligibility, you would not be permitted to receive any kind of entertainment expenses from the professional team. This includes a representative of the professional team purchasing a meal for you or your parents or paying expenses for you to visit the city of the major league team.
8Can I accept any items of value from the major league team that drafted me without jeopardizing my NCAA eligibility?
The receipt of any items of value will jeopardize your baseball eligibility at an NCAA school.
9Is it true that I can receive an expense-paid tryout to the city of a major league team?
Yes. If you have not yet enrolled in a collegiate institution (including a two-year college), NCAA rules do permit, prior to collegiate enrollment, a student athlete to receive an expense paid tryout with a major league team. Such a visit may not exceed 48 hours and any payment or compensation in connection with the visit may not be in excess of actual and necessary expenses. You may receive an expense-paid visit from a professional team, provided you participate in tryout activities that allow that club to evaluate you. You may receive such a visit prior to or subsequent to the Major League Baseball draft. Additionally, you may try out at your own expense with the team for any length of time, provided no tryouts occur after you become a full-time student at any NCAA school.