Sahl, John P.


The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the primary governing body for intercollegiate athletics, promulgated its “No Agent Rule” in 1974 prohibiting advisors of student- athletes from communicating and negotiating with professional sports teams. As part of a core principle of amateurism, the NCAA adopted this rule, in part, to delineate between professional athletes and student athletes. However, through economic and societal evolution, this policy is antiquated and detrimental to the personal and professional development of college athletes. This Article argues in favor of expanding the recent Rice Commission’s recommendation, adopted by the NCAA, to grant an exception from the No Agent Rule for Men’s Division I elite basketball players to all college sports and levels of competition. The NCAA’s landscape for governing college athletics has undergone many recent changes, some of which strengthen the notion that all student-athletes would benefit from earlier access to agent advice and assistance. The Changing Landscape of Intercollegiate Athletics—The Need to Revisit the NCAA’s “No Agent Rule” discusses this need by first detailing the evolution of NCAA governance, followed by an analysis of the Gatto decision and its impact on the Rice Commission’s report promoting an exception to the No Agent Rule for Division I Men’s elite basketball players. Finally, this article recommends that because of the changed and ever-evolving landscape of college sports, the NCAA should abandon its No Agent Rule in favor of a Modified Agent Rule (MAR). The MAR would enable all student-athletes to contract with sports agents subject to some NCAA oversight to protect student-athletes from agent abuse and to support the NCAA’s commitment to amateurism. The MAR promises to alleviate some of the stress and challenges that hinder all student- athletes, especially gifted athletes, when assessing how and by what means to enter the professional sports level.

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