Player Agents

...about Player Agents

One of the biggest controversies with the draft and amateur athletes is the use of agents. There have been many cases of college athletes consulting or hiring an agent prematurely in direct violation of NCAA rules. The NCAA came up with the “no agent rule” as a result of this for what they say was to benefit their amateur athletes.

This law stated that a college player is unable to hire an agent or even a lawyer in order to assist them in negotiating a contract with a professional team. The rule states that “[a]n individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport”.

Representation of an agent is considered to be any direct contact with the professional team during the contract negotiations. This contact can be made many different ways, whether through direct conversation, via mail or through the telephone. This rule is strongly enforced by the NCAA and has harsh consequences if broken.

A sports agent procures and negotiates employment and endorsement contracts for an athlete. In return, the sports agent generally receives between 4 and 10 percent of the athlete's playing contract, and 10 to 20 percent of the athlete's endorsement contract, though these figures vary.

An NFL agent is not allowed to receive more than 3% of his client's playing contract, and an NBA agent is not permitted to receive more than 4% of his client's playing contract.

A sports agent helps market athletes or products associated with that athlete to promote an athlete's career. Agents are responsible for communications with team owners, managers, coaches, and other individuals. Primarily, agents are used to broker and negotiate contracts for their clients. Also, they are responsible for making recommendations in regards to the athlete's options. In addition to finding income sources, agents often handle public relations matters, deal with all aspects of a client's finances from investment to filing taxes.

Sports agents may be relied upon by their clients for guidance in all business aspects, and sometimes even more broadly.

Due to the length and complexity of contracts, many sports agents are lawyers or have a background in contract law. Agents are expected to be knowledgeable about finance, business management, and financial and risk analysis, as well as sports. It is important for a sports agent to follow trends in sports.

Other skills an agent must possess are excellent communication and negotiation skills. Agents must be highly motivated, willing to work long hours, and have the ability to multitask. It is very common for agents to be in negotiations on behalf of several clients at one time. Some agents are part of large companies, and some are on their own.

The number of clients an individual agent can handle and how many clients his or her employing agency can handle in total are interdependent variables.

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