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Frequently Asked Questions
The 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Agents
We highly suggest reading this excerpt from the book MONEY PLAYERS: A Pro Athlete's Guide to Success in Sports, Business & Life by Marc Isenberg http://moneyplayers.typepad.com/MPxcerpts.pdf
1. When Can I Sign With An Agent?
The NCAA Rules governing amateur status are straight-forward: “An individual loses amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the individual…(g) enters into an agreement with an agent.” (NCAA Legislation 12.1.1). Based on this rule alone, it is evident that the best time to sign with an agent is when you have exhausted your NCAA eligibility (i.e., after your last athletic competition).
For baseball players contemplating the professional ranks, these eligibility standards take on a unique “twist.” Baseball players are permitted to have “advisors” – those individuals who advise a player and his family on whether or not the player should sign a professional contract. NCAA Rule 12.3.2 provides that “(s)ecuring advice from a lawyer concerning a proposed professional sports contract shall not be considered contracting for representation by an agent under this rule, unless the lawyer also represents the individual in negotiations for such a contract.” Based upon this language, it appears that the advisor is not permitted to act as a direct link between the player and the club, but can review a proposed contract and offer advice.
2. What Should I Look For in An Agent?
This is perhaps the most pressing question facing an athlete in need of an agent. Some athletes prefer to sign with the larger conglomerate firms that have 100+ clients, while other athletes prefer to affiliate with a smaller firm that has anywhere between 10 and 30 clients. The difference between the larger and smaller firms ultimately comes down to personal service and attention to the athlete. Both types of agencies have their plusses and minuses, so the fundamental decision comes down to which factors are most important to each individual athlete.
3. Does An Agent have To Be A Licensed Attorney?
No. In fact, a number of agents are not attorneys. The benefits of dealing with an agent who is a licensed attorney, however, include valuable experience gained through legal negotiations, governance by a strict code of ethics, a thorough understanding of the laws that may affect you most, and immediate access to legal consultation and guidance.
4. Can I Speak To Some Of your Current Clients About Your Agency?
Yes. It a good idea for prospective clients to speak with a firm’s clientele.
5. Who Negotiates The Contract?
MBI uses our attorneys, registered agents and those with contract negotiation experience. MBI also offers a unique alternative to being a full service provider by offering a fee based contract review by our attorney(s) as well as independent financial advice, if an athlete does not desire full services.
6. How and When is The Agent Paid?
Typically, agent fees are deducted from the athlete’s contractual negotiations, whether they include an athletic services contract (i.e., with a professional team) or an endorsement deal. MBI typically does not receive any fees for services rendered until the athlete is compensated.
7. What Happens if The Athlete is Waived From His Team?
The athlete will only be responsible for those fees that he actually received from the agent’s services. Accordingly, the agent will also be entitled to payment based upon those fees. For example, if a baseball player receives a signing bonus of $100,000 and a base salary of $350,000, but he is waived prior to the beginning of the season, then he will be responsible for paying the agent’s fee on the $100,000 signing bonus only (i.e., $3,000). For baseball players, the contracts are typically guaranteed so termination of a player's contract is not a significant issue.
8. What is The Duration of The Player-Agent Agreement?
Agreements between MBI and its athletes are valid until either party terminates that Agreement pursuant its terms. Typically, termination is made pursuant to written notice by the terminating party.
9. What if The Athlete Wants to Terminate The Agreement?
Termination provisions are provided for in the Agreement. For football players, the Standard Representation Agreement (“SRA”), which must be signed by both the agent and the athlete pursuant to the NFLPA, outlines the requirements for termination. Under the SRA’s terms, termination occurs 5 days after written notice is sent from one party to the other.
10. Do You Limit The Number of New Clients?
Not at this time. However we desire to represent "Quality Kids" to receive the highest level of attention.