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FYI: The NCAA is still trying to screw amateur athletes

Sep 14, 2010, 10:04 AM EDT

Despite the fact that it had once been held to be illegal and will likely be held to be illegal again when someone else challenges it, the NCAA’s rule prohibiting amateur athletes from having an attorney make direct contact with a pro sports team is still on the books. This means that if you’re a 17 year-old draftee and you want to negotiate with the New York Yankees, you have to do it yourself rather than have a lawyer or agent do it unless you want to lose all college eligibility.

Because that’s really fair and everything.

I’ve been railing against this rule for years, but today Jordan Kobritz takes a nice vitriol-filled swipe at it over at the Biz of Baseball which is worth your time.  The occasion: apparently the Pirates, the Padres and other clubs have complained that they had to talk to skilled lawyers rather than 17 year old ballplayers while trying to negotiate contracts during the signing period that recently ended. If those complaints go anywhere, the students in question could be disqualified from playing college ball.

I’d quote Vonnegut and suggest that the NCAA can do something with respect to a rolling doughnut, but this is a family site and I’d prefer not to use that kind of language.

  1. Tim's Neighbor - Sep 14, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    Ok. That’s not a specific solution. Everyone rails on the NCAA but doesn’t have a solution here. Let’s here solutions instead of pure complaining. I don’t think this issue is as easy as it seems.
    And AJ Green did that to himself. Sorry. I had to pass clearinghouse when I was a student-athlete. It’s VERY obvious what is right and wrong. And we were told multiple times if we had any questions to immediately ask compliance. If the kid is smart enough to be in school, he’s smart enough to know not to sell things to agents and if that’s too confusing, he’s smart enough to pick up a phone and ask.

  2. walk - Sep 14, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    If they are disallowed to play ball at college and lose their scholarship then the team should be forced to pay their way through college if they bomb out in the minors. It is entirely unfair for anyone not just the young to negotiate against a lawyer and not be allowed counsel. Thats why if you cant afford one when you get in court one is appointed for you. Your only fallback position, going to school to recieve an education, should not be denied to you just for recieving proper advice. If you get low balled and competent counsel reccomends you walk then that athlete should be allowed to attend school and play ball there.

  3. Kevin S. - Sep 14, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    No, I did have a solution – drop this “players can’t talk to agents” bullshit. Just because you were okay with having some of your rights as an American stripped away so that you could play college sports doesn’t mean everybody else should be. Part of my complaint with Green is that he did something – selling a possession to help his out-of-work father – that would be praiseworthy in any other context, but the other part of my issue was the additional length to his suspension because the jersey deal was with an “agent.” Chris Hawkins is not an agent. Chris Hawkins isn’t anything remotely resembling an agent.

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