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What the NCAA Really Means

Draft Express has posted a nifty memo the NCAA sent out to various media outlets as well as people to whom it actually applies concerning the NBA draft and the dos and do nots for those players who decide to "test the waters." As a former student athlete I am glad to provide a translation of what the NCAA really meant in the memo:

TO: Men's Basketball Student-Athletes with Remaining Eligibility.

FROM: Rachel Newman Baker
Director of Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities[and that is the only time you will ever see those three words together]

Steve Mallonee
Managing Director of Membership Services/Division I Governance Liaison

SUBJECT: Information Regarding the 2007 NBA Draft, Agents, and Tryouts[and how to make sure you do not end up being suspended for 14 games to start the season].

We understand that you may have remaining intercollegiate eligibility[Assuming you have not been driving a booster's car for the past three years], but may also have a desire to "test the waters" as it relates to your pursuit of a potential professional basketball career. You will attempt to gauge your readiness for competition at the next level through a variety of methods, including tryouts with professional teams and you will undoubtedly rely on a number of individuals to assist in the decision-making process.[as well as some family members and friends who want their own piece of the pie]

At the end of this process, you may in fact reach the conclusion that it is not in the best interest to pursue a professional career at this time,[then again most of you will make the egregious mistake of staying in the draft] but rather to continue athletics participation at the intercollegiate level while pursuing your academic degree.[which means actually going to class or at least taking the exams]

Involvement in activities during this process can affect your intercollegiate eligibility. The following information is designed to help you protect your eligibility while you "test the waters."[not that we expect you to read the whole freaking thing]

Five Points to Remember:

You will lose your eligibility IF:

1. You agree orally or in writing to be represented by an agent or any individual acting on behalf of the agent [e.g., runner].
[You so much as talk to an agent we are going to nail you to the wall]
2. You accept any benefits from an agent, a prospective agent or any individual acting on behalf of the agent [e.g., runner].
[You so much as pick up a Wheat Thin dropped by an agent we are going to nail you to the wall. In fact Mike Conley, Jr better make darn sure his mother does all the cooking at home and paying for dinner when they go out. If we catch Mike Sr making waffles on Saturday morning, Junior is finished]
3. If you do not pay for all expenses in conjunction with a professional team tryout as they are incurred.
[This "testing the waters" thing is kind of expensive]
4. If you tryout with a professional team during the academic year.
[Of course we have this in there to prevent you from missing class for a tryout even though we have you miss ridiculous amounts of class time for dumb things like media availability at the NCAA Tournament. Let it never be said that we are not anything but controlling]
5. If you enter the draft AND are drafted by a professional team.
[Which would mean you were not "testing the waters" but actually diving into said waters. Then again if you do not care for the team that drafts you then you can always do what Danny Ferry did and go to Europe]

Key Dates:

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Portsmouth, Virginia): April 4-7, 2007
Early-Entry Candidate Application Deadline: April 29, 2007
NBA Pre-Draft Camp (Lake Buena Vista, Florida): May 29-June 4, 2007
[You may only go to Disney World if you won the NCAA Championship]
NBA teams can attend and host workouts involving draft eligible players: June 5-28, 2007
Early-Entry Withdrawal Deadline: June 18, 2007
NBA Draft (New York, New York): June 28, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Am I allowed to enter the NBA draft early?

YES! [by all means] You may enter a professional basketball league's draft one time during your collegiate career without jeopardizing your eligibility, provided you are not drafted by any team and you declare your intention to resume intercollegiate participation within 30 days after the draft.[because this worked so well for Randolph Morris] This declaration must be in writing to your director of athletics.[because computers are evil I tell you...EVIL!!!]

2. Am I allowed to participate in the NBA pre-draft camp in June?

YES![it is so exciting!] If you are invited, you may attend the pre-draft camp and accept actual and necessary expenses from the NBA to participate in the NBA pre-draft camp.[because we all know the NBA has your best interest at heart]

3. Can I participate in private workouts/tryouts with NBA teams if school is still in session?

NO! You may not tryout with an NBA team during the academic year if you are enrolled full-time.[because during the school year you belong to US, you got that!] You may tryout with an NBA team during the summer.[or take a job at a local car dealership where you can spend hours playing Playstation if you choose]

4. Can my college coach arrange and schedule a professional team workout/tryout on or off campus during the academic year?

NO! It would not be permissible for a student-athlete institutional coach to organize and be present during a professional tryout that occurs on or off campus.[just in case your perception of your coach is that he is above the rules or your coach is Bob Huggins we thought we should address the issue again]

5. Can NBA teams pay for my private workouts/tryouts?

NO! In order to be able to participate in the tryout, you must pay for all expenses to attend the tryout (as they are incurred) on your own.[we hear Capital One has good rates] It is not permissible for the NBA team to initially pay for the expenses for you with the condition that you would repay the NBA team after the tryout.[two words for you: Randolph Morris]

6. Can any other individual (e.g., agent, runner, or "advisor") pay for my private workouts/tryouts with NBA teams?

NO! You and your family are responsible for paying all expenses associated with any NBA team tryouts as they are incurred.[however since we have absolutely zero subpoena power there are undoubtedly any number of creative ways around this one which we would be totally powerless to investigate]

7. How do I withdraw my name from the draft?

The NBA has requested that all underclassmen who submitted their early-entry declaration need to submit a written statement by 5 p.m. Eastern time, June 18, 2007, indicating the following:

"I, {Student-Athlete, of name of NCAA college/university}, officially notify the NBA of my request to withdraw my name from consideration in the 2007 NBA Draft [because there is no way on earth I am going to the freaking Memphis Grizzlies in the second round]" In addition to the above information, please include contact information and date of submission.

This written statement can be faxed to:

Mr. David Stern
Commissioner[and Supreme Ruler of the] National Basketball Association
Attention: Erika Ruiz
645 5th Avenue
Facsimile: primary fax: XXX/XXX-XXXX or secondary fax: XXX/XXX-XXXX
New York, New York 10022

Contact Erika Ruiz at the NBA offices directly if you have further questions at XXX/XXX-XXXX .\

[Text messaging this is not permitted]

8. What is an "agent" according to NCAA rules?

An individual would be considered an "agent" if the individual markets your basketball skills to any NBA team or other professional teams (e.g., contact NBA teams to discuss your skills, set up tryouts with NBA teams).[yeah we know that is an utterly simplistic definition which makes it sound like your mother is your agent but what are you going to do?]

9. Am I allowed to have any type of agreement with an agent?

NO! You are not permitted to have a written or oral agreement with an agent, or anyone who is employed by or acting on behalf of an agent or sports agency (i.e., "runner").[Wow we really are redundant since we covered this already]

10. What is an "oral agreement" with an agent?

An oral agreement occurs if you verbally agree to have an agent perform any services (e.g., providing any expenses related to tryouts, arranging disability insurance, etc.) on your behalf OR you have knowledge that an agent is performing such services.[But if your father is an agent for say, Greg Oden and while talking to other teams about Oden he mentions your name then obviously there is not a darn thing we can do about that]

11. Is an agent allowed to contact teams on my behalf to arrange private workouts or tryouts?

NO! You cannot have an agent arrange a private workout/tryout with an NBA team.[You see we are strong proponents of the use of repetition in hopes that whoever reads this memo will get the message if we keep pounding the same point again and again]

12. Can my family members or other individuals who are associated with me as a result of playing basketball (e.g., high school coach, summer basketball coach, etc.) have an agreement with an agent to perform services on my behalf?

NO! Family members and other individuals are not permitted to enter into any agreements with an agent on your behalf.[Get jobs with an agent while their son is in school? Sure. Enter into an agreement with them? Not so much]

13. Am I allowed to have an agreement with an agent if it is for future representation?

NO! You are not permitted to agree to a future representation agreement with an agent.[Since we lawyers wrote this worthless memo we wanted to use fancy lawyer terms like "quid pro quo" or something like that to really wow you but since our secretary made this the 13th question here it is not likely many people would make it this far and it would be a total waste of the Latin]

14. Is an agent allowed to provide me any benefits?

NO! You, your family, or your friends are not permitted to receive any benefits from an agent.[Again, not that we could prove it if they did so if you could kindly follow the honor system on this one we would appreciate it] Examples of material benefits include money, transportation, dinner, clothes, cell phones, jewelry, [Hummer, membership in a Jelly of the Month club] etc. However, benefits may also include, but are not limited to, activities such as tryout arrangements with a professional team and coordinating tryout schedules.[Yeah this is like the billioneth time we made this point so you might want to pay attention to it]

15. Am I permitted to have an advisor during this process?

YES, provided the advisor does not market you to NBA teams. However, an advisor will be considered an agent if they contact teams on your behalf to arrange private workouts or tryouts.[We just ask one thing and that is please pick someone who will tell you to get yourself out of the draft before you end up going undrafted and playing your next season in Turkey]

16. Can an institution cancel my athletics scholarship if I have an agreement with an agent?

YES! An institution is permitted to rescind your athletics scholarship if you have an agreement with an agent.[We also wanted to see if we could have your dining hall priveleges canceled as well but could not quite sneak that one past the rules committee]

Helpful Tips:

• You should keep your head coach and compliance coordinator informed of all activities during this process.[And if you are at Duke and your coach is no longer speaking with you and has erased you fingerprint from his biometric lock on his office then we suggest just staying in the draft]

• Be careful who you associate with during this process.[Go rent Jerry McGuire if you are unsure what this kind of person looks like] Do it all yourself or work through your head coach.[Of course had you attended North Carolina this would be a piece of cake] You may receive the assistance of your family members, provided they are not working with any individual who is marketing your athletics ability (e.g., contacting NBA teams, setting up tryouts with NBA teams).

• If you do not have knowledge of who arranged your tryout, you have a responsibility to find out who did.[Welcome to adult world where someone goes out there and does something which could potentially screw you over and it is your responsibility to clean up the mess. Then again indirect guilt is like candy for the enforcement division]

• The NBA has a committee of general managers who will provide a confidential projection evaluation of a potential draftee's likely draft position.[And given that this committee likely includes Billy King, Kevin McHale, and half a dozen other GMs who could not build a team with four first round draft picks and a Hall of Fame coach I would probably take this projection with a grain of salt] The committee is overseen by Stu Jackson of the NBA. If you are interested in obtaining a draft projection from the committee, please contact Ned Cohen with the NBA at XXX/XXX-XXXX..

• You should remain in school and complete your academic courses while you "test the waters."[Given the fact you are testing the waters and not coming straight out means you might have need for that degree after all]

• If you have questions regarding this information, please contact the NCAA agent, gambling, and amateurism activities staff at 317/917-6866 or[You send a text message we will absolutely nail you to the wall]