NCAA: High School MLB Draftees will be Allowed to Hire Agents

High School MLB Draftees will be Allowed to Hire AgentsHigh School MLB Draftees will be Allowed to Hire Agents

When it comes to any of the four major American sports, hiring an agent is important. Sports law experts are certified to represent athletes and ensure they have fruitful, long-lasting careers are an important part of any sports star’s story. For young baseball players, hiring an agent just became a little less complicated. Recent NCAA rule changes will allow high school baseball draftees to work out deals with agents without impacting their college eligibility. 

What this means is that high school baseball players who are drafted by a Major League Baseball team will be permitted by the collegiate athletic association to hire an agent to negotiate a deal with the drafting organization. In sports like football, this sort of contact with an agent will nullify college eligibility. However, recent moves by the NCAA indicate that it is working to ease the path to professional sports for some athletes – such as the decision to allow basketball players to remove their names from the NBA draft after the league’s combine, rather than before.

In the case of high school MLB draftees, should their agents fail to work out a contract with the organization, then the students will be allowed to play for a college team. The rule will go into effect immediately, and applies to potential freshmen in the Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Pac 12, the Big 12 and the Big Ten. Other conferences are expected to follow in the aforementioned conferences’ footsteps. There will be limits on what the high school baseball player will be allowed to receive from his agent though. The individual will be required to pay the agent’s standard fees, and will not be permitted to receive anything from the representation other than negotiating services.

College baseball players still barred from hiring agents

While the NCAA has opened up the hiring of agents to high school students, college baseball players are still barred from doing so. Instead college baseball players will be required to rely on “advisors” allowed by the association. This, according to NCAA Bylaw 12.3.2.1, excludes lawyers. The collegiate athletics association bars lawyers from working as a go-between when a student is negotiating with a team. College athletes will be required to seek out advice from someone who is not a lawyer or an agent if they are offered deals by professional baseball clubs.

Even back in 2011, the idea of re-shaping agent representation restrictions was being tossed around. While athletes playing for their college baseball teams may still deal with restrictions when it comes to negotiating with MLB organizations, the NCAA evidently has finally decided it is time for a change regarding high school MLB draftees. Whether the organization does the same for college students in the near future remains to be seen.

If you have a question about representation in any of the four major sports, speak with an experienced sports law attorney for help.

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Anthony R. Caruso is a business transactional attorney in New York and New Jersey with experience in structuring, negotiation and completion of legal deals involving business, entrepreneurs, athletes and performers.

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