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February 1999

The Interpreter, FSU Office of Compliance

Interpreter Archives

Athlete Agent State Laws

A number of state governments have recently enacted legislation to try and
combat the growing problem of overaggressive athlete agents. Three states
in particular upped the ante for agents and student-athletes acting in a manner that would be detrimental to either the university or the student-athlete.
Alabama amended their agent law currently on the state books by increasing
the surety bond required by agents from $50,000 to $100,000. In addition
they increased the number of requirements that could potentially permit the
Alabama Athlete Regulatory Commission to deny required registration to any
agent. The state of Alabama has made it possible for criminal charges to
be filed against either the agent or the student-athlete if notification is
not given to the athletics director regarding the entering into a verbal or
written contract or the student-athlete’s receipt of an extra benefit from
an agent.

The university would also be allowed to bring civil suit (for actual damages) against either the agent or the student-athlete for failing to provide notification of the signing of an agent contract. Now the state requires agents to maintain records for at least four years. The state of Kentucky established a 13 member Kentucky Athlete Agent Regulatory Commission, which will include eight Kentucky university athletics directors. All agents looking to work in the state must register
with the commission, pay the application fee, and maintain a $100,000 surety bond. The state specified a number of illegal acts regarding contacts with student-athletes, and certain contract provisions that will
be required.

Notice requirements are mandated of both agents and student-athletes, and
failure to do so could result in a student-athlete having to perform 70 hours of community service. They could be charged with misdemeanor criminal penalties, and the university could bring suit against them for any damages resulting from their ineligibility. Additionally agents can be charged with either misdemeanor or felony crimes, depending on the severity, and which provisions are violated. Pennsylvania amended their Athletic and Sports section of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes. Annual registration with the State Athletic Commission is required of all agents. Agents who have been convicted of certain crimes are ineligible to register for up to 10 years. The surety
bond requirement for Pennsylvania agents was set at $20,000. The commission itself is only allowed to impose a civil penalty of $5,000 for
each violation, but they are permitted to use “injuctive relief” to preclude any agent from committing an infraction against the act. More states are planning to enact policies such as these, not only to protect the university, but to protect the student-athletes as well.

12 Hour Rule

As stated in Bylaw 14.4 in the NCAA Manual, to maintain Satisfactory Progress, a student-athlete must make continued progress toward a baccalaureate (or equivalent) degree as required by their institution. Eligibility relies on the student-athlete adhering to institutional, as well as, conference rules regarding eligibility. Specifically each semester at least 12 hours must be taken, for a total of
24 hours each year. Seventy-five percent of these hours must be passed during the fall and spring terms, i.e. only 25% can count towards satisfactory progress during the summer session.
At the beginning of the student-athlete’s third year, they must designate a program of studies leading to a particular degree. After specifying the major, only credits used to meet the degree credit requirements for that major may be used to meet the satisfactory-progress

A student-athlete may change their designated degree program, as long as the required number of credits are degree specific towards the new
degree, and the credits prior to the change were applicable to the old major.

SE Missouri State

The Committee on Infractions recently upheld their penalty levied
against the former head men’s basketball coach at Southeast Missouri State.
The coach appealed on the basis that a procedural error had caused the enforcement staff to not conduct a full investigation. The committee found
that it was the coach’s own responsibility to bring forth evidence favorable to his case, not the investigator’s. The coach remains under a
three year show-cause penalty.

From the Interpretation File

Bylaws Noninstitutional Publication/Recruiting Service/Web
Site. It is not permissible for an institution’s Web site to provide a direct link or make direct reference to either the Web site of a noninstitutional publication that reports primarily on the institution’s athletics program, or a recruiting/scouting service, inasmuch as such activity is considered to be a nonpermissible endorsement of the publication and/or scouting/recruiting service. Bylaw Institutional athletics department staff members may not endorse, serve as
consultants or participate on advisory panels for any recruiting or scouting service involving prospects. However, Bylaw states
that athletics department staff members may write educational articles related to NCAA rules and crowd control for noninstitutional publications
dedicated primarily to reporting on an institution’s athletics activities.

Contest Questions

1) Prospective student-athletes may have their picture taken by the institution for publicity and promotional activities.

a) True

b) False

2) A student-athlete who has been accepted to an institution, but who has

not enrolled yet, may participate in preseason practices.

a) True

b) False

Please submit your answers to the Compliance Office by February 28.

……In the News

Currently the United States Department of Education is in the middle of an
ongoing investigation of the financial aid records of 22 NCAA member institutions. Under investigation is whether Pell Grants had been overawarded to certain students, whose parents had fraudulently underreported family income to gain higher grant awards. The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that they will hear the Smith v. NCAA case on January 20, 1999. This case will determine whether
Title IX applies to the NCAA. The question is whether the NCAA through receipt of funds from member institutions, is a recipient of federal funds.
The NCAA appealed a lower court decision that they should be held to Title
IX standards since they receive dues from their members, who are recipients
of federal funds.

Once again, the New Mexico State University basketball team is under investigation for improprieties, concerning allegations of academic fraud
from roughly three years ago. Former basketball coach Neil McCarthy, who
was removed as coach in late 1997, recently received $835,000 in settlement
of a lawsuit with the university. The court documents show that the university has accused McCarthy of professional incompetence due to two players receiving alleged fraudulent academic credits with the help of an
assistant coach. The university accused McCarthy of professional incompetence for failing to monitor the assistant coach. New Mexico State’s men’s basketball program just completed three years of
NCAA probation in August for similar accusations. Athletics Director Jim
Paul stated that, “Because of all those circumstances, I think if there are
any violations, the NCAA will look on this university with compassion.” From the Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse, a few things to keep in mind;
The 1999 National Testing Dates for the ACT and SAT are; ACT: February 6, April 10, and June 12, 1999 SAT: March 20, May 1, and June 5, 1999.
Also, it is allowable for a prospective student-athlete to tryout with a
professional sports team (Bylaw 12.2), as long as, it is at their own expense and they are just practicing, not participating against outside competition. They are also permitted to receive expenses (actual and necessary) from the professional organization. However, they may only visit each organization one time, and the visit may not last longer than 48
hours. Prospective student-athletes may also receive a fee for teaching a
lesson in their particular sport prior to enrollment at the university (Bylaw
NCAA Executive Director Cedric Dempsey recently gave his State of the Association address and he touched on a few subjects regarding the future
of the NCAA.

One of his main focuses were the many lawsuits that have been filed recently against the NCAA, including the Restricted Earnings finding. His
concern was whether settlement talks were progressing and the budget cuts
to be made to help pay this fine. This has led to three other antitrust suits being filed. And lastly, Mr. Dempsey touched on the growing gambling

Video Conference

The NCAA membership services staff will be conducting a video conference at Noon on Feb. 23 for high school administrators and coaches.
It will focus on frequently asked questions related to initial eligibility
and recruiting. Agent issues will also be discussed.

Legislative Changes

Legislation approved at the last quarterly meeting (October 27th, 1998) of
the Division I Board of Directors.


No. 98-19 – Committees – Division I Women’s Basketball Specifies that the nine-member Division I Women’s Basketball Committee include two members from each of the four Division I women’s basketball regions and one member selected at large. Effective Date: August 1, 1999

No. 98-99 – Conference – Student-Athlete Advisor Committees Requires each Division I conference to establish a conference student-athlete advisory committee as a condition and obligation of Division I membership.
Effective Date: August 1, 1999

No. 98-100 – Division I Governance Structure – Committee Representation Deletes for specified committees the requirement that no subdivision of Division I shall have more than 50 percent representation and establishes
other subdivision representation requirements. Effective Date: Immediately


No. 98-24 – Playing and Practice Seasons – Contest Limitations Permits and institution to exempt informal practice scrimmages from the maximum contest limitations in the sport of basketball, as specified. Effective Date: August 1, 1999

No. 98-25 – Playing and Practice Seasons – Contest Exemptions Exempts on an annual basis the National Wrestling Coaches Association all-star meet from the maximum contest limitations in the sport of wrestling
Effective Date: August 1, 1999

No. 98-123 – Exempted Contests – Prepayment of Travel Expenses In Division I sports other than football, prohibits sponsors from requiring
participating institutions to make deposits or payments prior to the dates
of the competition in excess of $2,500; further, precludes sponsors of such
events from charging a late fee for a deposit not timely received. (Provided confirmation from legal counsel is that this legislation is not
in conflict with certain state laws.)
Effective Date: Immediately

No. 98-125 – Contest Exemptions – Event Management In Division I sports other than football, deletes the requirement that the
member institution managing the event also must compete in the event. Effective Date: Immediately

No. 98-126 – Contest Exemptions – Sponsorship Fee – Division I Sports other
than Football and Basketball
In Division I sports other than football and basketball, requires sponsors
of exempted contests to pay a fee of $100 upon receipt of certification of
the event.
Effective Date: Immediately

No. 98-127 – Contest Exemptions – Sponsorship Fee – Division I Basketball
Requires sponsoring agency of an exempted basketball event to pay a fee upon receipt of the certification of the event, as specified. Effective Date: Immediately

No. 98-128 – Contest Exemptions – Certification Permits the Championships/Competition Cabinet to certify an exempted event
for a two-year period, provided the event has been certified for five consecutive years and that audited financial reports and other documents required by the Championships/Competition Cabinet Subcommittee on Exempted
Contests continue to be submitted on an annual basis. Effective Date: Immediately

No. 98-129 – Contest Exemptions – Multisport Classification Permits NCAA institutions located in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands that have classified a sport in Division I to utilize the contest exemption legislation set forth in Bylaw 30.10. Effective Date: Immediately

No. 98-130 – Contest Exemptions – Reimbursement of Expenses Increases the expense guarantees for men’s and women’s basketball events,
as specified in the legislation.
Effective Date: Immediately


No. 98-18 – Practice Expenses – Women’s Rowing – Weather Exception Permits intercollegiate teams in the sport of rowing to travel up to 200 miles, if outside the institution’s state, to engage in practice activities
that occur during an institution’s academic term when necessitated by weather conditions.
Effective Date: Immediately


No. 98-98 – Financial Aid – Division I Membership Requirements Provides greater flexibility for Division I institutions to meet the minimum financial aid requirements for Division I membership, as specified.
Effective Date: August 1, 1999


No. 98-16 – Playing and Practice Seasons – Skill Instruction Permits a maximum of four student-athletes to participate at any one time
with their coaches during the two hours of skill-related instruction that
may occur during the permissible eight hours of weekly countable athletically related activities that may occur outside the playing season
during the academic year.
Effective Date: Immediately

No. 98-22 – Preseason Off-Campus Practice Activities Precludes institutions from conducting preseason off-campus practice activities that are publicized in advance at any site not normally used by
the institution to conduct its practice activities. Effective Date: August 1, 1999


No. 98-124 – Accident-Medical Insurance

Increases the basic accident-medical insurance for participating student-athletes in college football and basketball all-star games and postseason bowl games to an amount equal to the deductible of the current
NCAA catastrophic-injury insurance policy. Effective Date: Immediately

Recruiting Calendar


Men’s Basketball

November 19 – March 15, 1999; Quiet period except for 40 evaluation days
selected at the discretion of the institution and designated in writing in
the office of the director of athletics; institutional staff members shall
not visit a prospect’s high school on more than one day per week during this period.

Women’s Basketball
October 8 – February 28, 1999: Quiet period except for 40 evaluation days
selected at the discretion of the institution and designated in writing in
the office of the director of athletics; institutional staff members shall
not visit a prospect’s educational institution on more than one day per week during this period.

February 1 – February 4, 1999

Dead Period

February 3 – April 1, 1999

Signing Period

February 5 – February 28, 1999

Quiet Period


Mr. Bob Minnix

Associate Athletic

Director for Compliance and Legal Affairs

Ms. Pennie Parker

Director of Compliance Services

Mr. Brian Battle

Compliance Coordinator

The Interpreter is published by John Lata. All comments should be directed
to The Interpreter, P.O. Drawer 2195, Tallahassee, FL 32316, phone (850)
644-4390, or by e-mail at: JWL5393@ garnet.acns.fsu.edu

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