FAQs General

Can I talk to an agent while I am a prospective or enrolled student-athlete?

You may talk to an agent; however, you will lose your eligibility if:

    • You agree, orally or in writing, to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing your athletic ability or reputation in that sport** (however see rules for Men’s Basketball)
    • An agent provides benefits to you
    • An agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport.

Can I accept any benefits from an agent or any other individual based on my athletic ability?

No. You may not accept benefits from an agent, financial advisor, runner, or any other person associated with an agency. These benefits include, but are not limited to, transportation, money, and gifts, regardless of the value of the benefit or whether it is used.

Can my family and/or friends accept any benefits from an agent or any other individual based on my athletic ability?

No. Your family and/or friends may not accept benefits from an agent, financial advisor, runner, or any other person associated with an agency. These benefits include, but are not limited to, transportation, money, and gifts, regardless of the value of the benefit or whether it is used.

Can I maintain my amateur status if I make an oral or written agreement with an agent or any individual based on my athletic ability?

No. You will lose your amateur status if you make an oral or written agreement to be represented by an agent or any individual based on your athletic ability before your eligibility has ended.

Is it okay for me to make an agreement with an agent that will not transpire until after I have completed my collegiate athletics career?

No. You may not agree, orally or in writing, to be represented by an agent or other individual for representation in professional sports negotiations that would take place after you have completed your eligibility in that sport.

If I am interested in hiring an agent, what process do I need to go through?

The Professional Sports Counseling Panel can provide guidance in screening and selecting agents and negotiating contract terms.

When making an agreement with an agent, you should have a clear understanding of the actual terms and conditions of the agreement. The agreement needs to be clearly expressed in writing, either in written contract form or by retainer letter. Some of the provisions that should be included in an agent’s agreement to provide services include:

  • Stating the duration of the agreement and the renewal provisions;
  • Explaining how disputes will be resolved should they arise;
  • Clarifying whether the agent has an exclusive right to handle all contracts or just the playing contract;
  • Determining how the agent is to be paid (on a contingent fee or hourly basis);
  • Stating whether the agent is to receive a percentage of bonuses, playoff money or awards;
  • Clarifying who is responsible for the agent’s expenses; and
  • Specifying what procedures must be followed if the athlete wishes to terminate the relationship with the agent.

What is a Runner?

  • Runners are used by agents to gain access to student athletes in order to get them to sign a contract.
  • Runners can be anyone: male or female, current or former student, or even an old high school friend.
  • Runners may try to be your friend, and may seem like a good person.
  • Runners may offer rides, meals, and clothing. However, the student athlete will probably be expected to repay these costs when they sign with the agent.

What criteria should I consider when selecting an agent?

  • Look for an agent who will devote time to your interests.
  • Involve your family in the decision-making process, and make sure you feel comfortable and can trust the agent.
  • Determine what services you will need from an agent and the reasonable cost for each service.
  • Consider an agent’s educational background, training and work experience. Verify the credentials of any agent.
  • Determine the agent’s reputation. Check with the players associations, other players, clients and former clients.

Can my coach or anybody else market my athletic ability to a professional sports organization?

No. A coach or other individual may not, directly or indirectly, market a prospective or enrolled student-athlete’s athletic ability or reputation to a professional sports team or organization.

Can I request that a professional athletic organization send me information concerning my professional market value?

Yes. You may request information about your professional market value without affecting your amateur status.

What is a financial advisor and what can he/she do for me?

A financial advisor is an expert in the field of finance, taxes, investments, and law and can provide guidance in these areas.

Should I hire a financial advisor if I decide to pursue a professional sports career?

It is your decision whether or not to hire a financial advisor; however, be cautious when doing so. If you decide to hire a financial advisor or sports agent, consider the following:

  • All agreements between you and the advisor/agent should be in writing, but before signing an agreement, have an independent attorney review it to make sure it says what it is supposed to say;
  • Make sure the advisor/agent documents and explains his/her financial management and investment philosophies and strategies;
  • Make sure the advisor/agent agrees to an annual independent audit of your financial dealings;
  • Require the advisor/agent to provide regular and written status reports on your finances;
  • Require the advisor/agent to provide proof of coverage for fidelity insurance or bonding to protect you in the event of theft by the advisor/agent;
  • Do not grant the advisor/agent power of attorney to act on your behalf;
  • Make it a contractual obligation of the advisor/attorney to promptly inform you in writing of any potential or actual conflicts of interest as your representative;
  • Make sure the advisor/agent agrees to provide you full access to any financial records in his/her custody; and
  • Make sure that the advisor/agent is available at all times and is committed to your best interest.

What should I consider when reviewing a contract?

You need to consider the following factors when negotiating provisions of a player contract:

  • length of playing contract
  • base salary
  • timing of payments
  • signing bonuses
  • reporting bonuses
  • performance and other bonuses
  • incentives
  • salary guarantees
  • trade provisions
  • additional injury provisions
  • options
  • special benefits
  • personal conduct provisions

Do I have to have an agent to sign a contract?

No. There are several professional athletes who have chosen not to hire an agent.  They hired attorneys, who are paid at an hourly rate.

What percentage of my contract does my agent get if I sign with a professional team?

  • Agent fees are negotiable. The majority range between 2% and 3% a season. The maximum fee is 3% a year.
  • Agents receive fees only as/when/if you earn your salary.
  • Major expenses only can be made with your explicit consent.
  • You must receive a yearly statement from your agent detailing all services and all charges.

Can I seek advice from an attorney or third party regarding a proposed professional contract?

  • You can seek advice from an attorney or third party regarding a proposed professional contract if that attorney or third party does not represent you in negotiations for that contract.
  • An attorney or third party are not allowed to be present during discussions of a contract with a professional team. It is considered representation if an attorney or third party are present during such discussions.
  • An attorney or third party may not have contact with a professional sports organization on your behalf.

What is disability insurance?

Disability insurance is an insurance policy that provides financial protection against the loss of future earnings as a professional athlete due to a disabling injury. There are two types of disability insurance:

  • Permanent total disability insurance pays benefits when an athlete will not be able to participate ever again (unless the policy specifies a shorter period of time) in his or her sport.
  • Temporary total disability insurance pays benefits when an athlete suffers total disability during the policy term and is not able to participate in his or her sport at the time of the designated medical evaluation

Can I obtain disability insurance while in college?

Individuals who qualify for disability insurance are those who anticipate receiving a substantial amount of money as professional athletes.

Who do I talk to about disability insurance?

  • You should contact the Professional Sports Counseling Panel, NC State’s Athletics Director, or the NCAA for information on disability insurance.
  • There are only a few companies that provide disability insurance for athletes, but there are numerous insurance brokers/agents who sell disability coverage.
  • The NCAA sponsors a disability insurance program for elite student-athletes in specific sports.

Can I try out for a professional team without jeopardizing my eligibility?

An enrolled student athlete cannot try out with a professional athletics team in a sport or permit a professional athletics team to conduct medical examinations during any part of the academic year while enrolled in a collegiate institution as a regular student in at least a minimum full-time academic load, unless the student-athlete has exhausted eligibility in that sport.

The student-athlete may try out with a professional organization in a sport during the summer or during the academic year while not a full-time student, provided the student athlete does not receive any form of expenses or other compensation from the professional organization.

What is the Uniform Athlete Agent Act (UAAA)?

The Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA) is a model state law that provides a means of regulating the conduct of athlete agents. In most cases, the UAAA, as enacted, requires an athlete agent to register with a state authority, typically the Secretary of State, in order to act as an athlete agent in that state. During the registration process an athlete agent must provide important background information, both professional and criminal in nature.

North Carolina has adopted the UAAA.