The professionalization threshold

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International Prospective
Student-Athletes &
NCAA DI Amateurism –
The professionalization threshold
© 2005
Kaburakis
Who are they?
The nature of the problem
US v. International Sport Structure
US Intercollegiate
Amateur Sport model
“Clear demarcation
between
intercollegiate and
professional sports”
(NCAA Constitution,
Article 1, Bylaw 1.3.1)
NCAA DI minimizing
relations w/ Pro sports
International Sport
Structure
Federalized club-based
socio-cultural model
One Sport Federation –
All Levels
Direct contact between
professional and
amateur clubs
The nature of the problem
US v. International Sport Structure
US Intercollegiate
Amateur Sport model
“Clear demarcation
between
intercollegiate and
professional sports”
(NCAA Constitution,
Article 1, Bylaw 1.3.1)
NCAA DI minimizing
relations w/ Pro sports
International Sport
Structure
Federalized club-based
socio-cultural model
One Sport Federation –
All Levels
Direct contact between
professional and
amateur clubs
The tip of the iceberg
NCAA DI Amateurism (Bylaws 2.9, 12)
“Participation… motivated by education and
by the physical, mental, and social benefits to
be derived… avocation…”
“Professional athletics team… provides any of
its players more than actual and necessary
expenses” (12.02.4)
“An individual loses amateur status if… ever
competed on any (12.02.4) team… even if no
pay or remuneration for expenses was
received” (12.1.1 & 12.3.2.2)
NCAA Constitution
Amateurism definitions and regulations
 1.3.1: “The competitive athletics programs of member
institutions are designed to be a vital part of the
educational system. A basic purpose of this Association is
to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of
the educational program and the athlete as an integral
part of the student body and, by so doing, retain a clear
line of demarcation between intercollegiate athletics and
professional sports”
 2.9: “Student-athletes shall be amateurs in an
intercollegiate sport, and their participation should be
motivated primarily by education and by the physical,
mental, and social benefits to be derived. Student
participation in intercollegiate athletics is an avocation,
and student-athletes should be protected from
exploitation by professional and commercial enterprises”
Bylaw 12
Amateurism definitions
 12.01.1: “Only an amateur student-
athlete is eligible for intercollegiate
athletics participation in a particular
sport”
 12.01.3: “NCAA amateur status may be
lost as a result of activities prior to
enrollment in college…”
Bylaw 12
Amateurism definitions
 12.02.2 Pay. Pay is the receipt of funds,
awards or benefits not permitted by the
governing legislation of the Association
for participation in athletics
 12.02.3 Professional Athlete. A
professional athlete is one who receives
any kind of payment, directly or
indirectly, for athletics participation
except as permitted by the governing
legislation of the Association
Bylaw 12
Amateurism definitions
 12.02.4 Professional Athletics Team. A professional team is
any organized team that:

a) Provides any of its players more than actual and necessary
expenses for the participation on the team, except as otherwise
permitted by NCAA legislation. Actual and necessary expenses
are limited to the following, provided the value of these items is
commensurate with the fair market value in the locality of the
player(s) and is not excessive in nature:











Meals directly tied to competition and practice held in preparation
for such competition;
Lodging directly tied to competition and practice held in preparation
for such competition;
Apparel, equipment, and supplies;
Coaching and instruction;
Health/Medical Insurance;
Transportation (i.e., expenses to and from practice and
competition, cost of transportation from home to training/practice
site at the beginning of the season and from training/practice site to
home at the end of the season);
Medical treatment and physical therapy;
Facility usage; (Revised: 4/24/03)
Entry fees; and (Revised: 4/24/03)
Other reasonable expenses (Adopted 4/24/03; Revised: 10/28/04)
b) Declares itself to be professional
Bylaw 12
Amateurism
 12.1.1 Amateur Status. An individual loses amateur status and
thus shall be ineligible for intercollegiate competition in a
particular sport if the individual:
a) Uses his or her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in
any form in that sport;
b) Accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received
following completion of intercollegiate athletics participation;
c) Signs a contract or commitment of any kind to play professional
athletics, regardless of its legal enforceability or any
consideration received;
d) Receives, directly or indirectly, a salary, reimbursement of
expenses or any other form of financial assistance from a
professional sports organization based upon athletics skill or
participation, except as permitted by NCAA rules and
regulations;
e) Competes on any professional athletics team (per Bylaw
12.02.4), even if no pay or remuneration for expenses was
received;
f) Subsequent to initial full-time collegiate enrollment, enters into a
professional draft (NFL/NBA/NHL draft exceptions); or
g) Enters into an agreement with an agent
Bylaw 12
Amateurism
 12.3.2.2 Competition with
Professionals. An individual shall not be
eligible for intercollegiate athletics in a
sport if the individual ever competed on
a professional team (per Bylaw 12.02.4)
in that sport.
Amateurism and certification of eligibility–OLD


14.01.1: “An institution shall not permit a studentathlete to represent it in intercollegiate athletics
competition unless the student-athlete meets all applicable
eligibility requirements, and the institution has
certified the student-athlete's eligibility”
14.1.2: “As a condition and obligation of membership,
it is the responsibility of a member
institution to determine the validity of the information
on which the eligibility of a student-athlete is based.”
NCAA internal mechanism – OLD

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
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MI = Main Actor implementing amateurism
rules and initiating process
ISA questionnaire
Agents, Gambling, and Amateurism (AGA) staff
contribution
NCAA DI form 04-10a completion
Institutional eligibility certification decision – SA
Reinstatement (SAR) staff contribution
NCAA internal mechanism

Important policy notes – dates




Summer 2003 – Standard of SAR review shift [intent to
professionalize (subjective) – reasonable person (objective)] –
Executive Committee memorandum on “less bureaucratic – more responsive”
initiative (err on the side of the student – “SA-first” philosophy) –
Staff restructuring – SAR staff authority – Decrease in SARC
appeals (5,5% - 3,5%) – In spite of concerns about MIs “riding the
SA-first wave” ManCo unanimously passed the policy change…
2002 – 2004 lobbying and discussion among membership for
finding a “competitive equity – institutional control – SA
welfare balance” – Seeds for an Amateurism Clearinghouse
Props 2004-60 – 2005-37 promoting Clearinghouse
Spring 2005 – Key staff restructuring – Task force
Student-Athlete Reinstatement Process
Initial Recruitmentevaluation,
questionnaire,
scholarship offer
Institution receives
Eligibility Center (EC)
decision and abides
by EC and any appeals
decisions – Once SA
competes, institution
continues to monitor
SA status
Ineligible
SAR staff appeal and
info collection, AGA
staff contribution
Eligible
SAR staff review
Eligible
Conditions
(repayment, withheld
from contests)
Ineligible
SAR Committee Appeal
Student-Athlete Amateurism Certification Process
Initial
Recruitment
Division
I & II
ACP staff factfinding process
1
2
Register with NCAA Eligibility Center –
online questionnaire & student release form
Membership Services
staff applies rules
3
Division III
Certification by
institution
Amateurism FactFinding Committee
request if dispute ACP
Amateurism Cabinet
appeal – Final
determination of facts
Ineligible
ACP decision –
Certified
If conditional
certification,
triggering SAR
Legislative
Review/Interp.
Process
No
Certification
Certified w/
conditions
Appeal to SAR
Committee
Eligible w/
conditions
Eligible w/o
conditions
SAR conditions on professional
competition amateurism violations
Present
Prior to first opportunity to enroll
(e.g. pre-HS graduation)
After first opportunity to enroll
(e.g. post-HS graduation)
2for1, no max*
1for1, 1year max
Permanently ineligible
Past
1for1, 1year max
* e.g.: exhausting remaining eligibility if total of pro games played ≈ 56
(56 X 2 = 112, approximate total of four reg. seasons of college basketball)
SAR Decision Making Philosophies and
Withholding Conditions Structure
Philosophy
Intent to
Professionalize
Intent
Revised
Reasonable
Person
Less Restrictive
Year
Through 2000
2001
2002-2005
2006-
Prior to First
Opportunity
to Enroll
1 for 1
withholding
20% withholding
8 games max
1 for 1
1 for 1
withholding
withholding
1 season max 1 season max
After First
Opportunity
to Enroll
1 for 1
withholding
20% withholding
8 games max
INELIGIBLE
2 for 1
withholding
No max
National
ISFs
Club
Continental
Federations
NFs-NGBs
Regional Associations
Senior Clubs
Junior Clubs – Rec & School Programs
World Championships & Olympics
Continental (e.g. European) Championships
National teams
Regional select teams
ISFs
CFs
NFs NGBs
Regional
Assoc.
Senior Clubs
Jr. Clubs, Rec,
& School
ISFs
FIFA/UEFA, FIBA/FIBA Europe
Champions League,
Euroleague
CFs
Professional Leagues Associations (ULEB, G14)
NFs &
NGBs
Regional
Assoc.
Professional Clubs Associations (EPL, ESAKE)
Senior Clubs
Jr. Clubs, Rec,
& School
Top (pro) competition (Super Leagues, A1, A2)
Lower levels (amateur or pro-am; Divisions
II, III, IV, V, etc.) + Promotion and relegation
Promotion
to
First team
Junior Clubs (U12, U14, U16, U18)
High School and College
competitions
Summary of key findings from
international sport governance structure
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Top club level competition in MW BB = pro
Junior clubs may compensate IPSAs
IPSAs may be promoted to senior pro clubs
IPSAs may be urged to participate in pro clubs
IPSAs may participate in pro competition w/o
compensation or contracts
IPSAs level of NCAA DI Amateurism knowledge is
low
Certain federation administrators’ and coaches’ level
of NCAA DI Amateurism knowledge is high –
Insurance practices to prevent athletes from fleeing
to the US
Summary of key findings from
international sport governance structure

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Sports Academies’ IPSAs = amateurs
First opportunity to enroll varies –
Dependant upon graduation age or mandatory
military duty
Difficult for MIs – NCAA staff – ICs to verify records
and document amateurism violations
Some IPSAs are sponsored by corporate partners of
their federations – Creation of US pro sports
leagues’ farm system
M>W BB per amateurism violations
Notable areas of controversy
Institutional contribution – Truth & Dare
Whistle-blowing – Random distribution
Balance Institutional control – SA welfare –
Competitive Equity principles
Decision-making consistency & flexibility
Treatment and sanctions pre and post-1st
opportunity to enroll (e.g. new “2 for 1”
withholding condition policy, w/o max. limit)
Staff experience & handling of cases
Legal ramifications and policy extensions?
Constitutional issues
Case Law

NCAA v. Lasege and
University of
Louisville, 53 S.W.3d
77 (S. Ct. Ky. 2001)
NCAA v. Yeo, 171 S.W.3d 863,
48 Tex. Sup. J. 1016 (Tex. 2005)

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Most recent case
Demonstrating trend in
(lower) courts decisions
(challenging Associations’
dominant positions)
Amateurism-Eligibility
Due Process-Property
Interest confirmed
NCAA Intervention
State S. Ct. reversed –
No right to participate =
Privilege
What about interscholastic sports?
High Schools
Difficult to participate in
HS sport but for
US State Dept. and
CSIET accredited
Exchange Programs
Direct placements are
problematic (think EdVille, Bloomington)
HSAAs rules’ challenges
Prep Schools
Authorized to issue
SEVIS docs for visas
Athletic recruiting &
financial aid rationale
Compromising
educational standards
(see video)
Accreditation problems
NCAA monitoring
What do we learn?
Litigation is not the answer
Policy evolution works
Balancing NCAA constitutional principles – Certain
way to fail = Trying to please everyone all the time
It is difficult to interpret and apply Amateurism in 21st
Century competitive and commercialized sport
If you want to change the system, you need to work
from within, through membership, legislative
proposals, policy analysis and meaningful research
yielding feasible recommendations
Lobbying via approaching & appreciating both sides –
Mid-majors have made a difference re: policy drafting
Turnover in NCAA and institutional staff is a problem
Why care? Two Greek cents
Jobs
Frequency of investigations and needs in
Compliance create Athletic Dept. openings
Policy evolution = NCAA staff positions’ creation
Lack of knowledge and applicable research skills
(IU, SIUE courses service)
Law firms and Compliance consulting groups in
need of specific tool sets – Knowledge costs ≈
$500/hr
Other avenues (scouting, recruiting consulting,
academic services, transition & procedure care)
Times of extremes – Call for balance
Serve NCAA and US Constitutional principles
Case in point
Zoe: 17, Sr. in HS (GR)
Played 3 years in A1
(pro) competition in
Greece alongside and
against WNBA players
No contract, agent, or
impermissible benefits
UConn Compliance?
Thoughtfully deal with this case,
as if you were in charge of
institutional compliance
and recruiting strategies
© 2008 Kaburakis
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