Since I started writing this column a few years ago, rather randomly I might add, I have gotten a lot of questions emailed to me. While I would like to help many of you, I simply cant, do to time management constraints, and my clients needs come first.
Those things said though, I can answer a few questions for you regarding the hiring process of an Adviser. We have gotten several emails regarding the rules of paying an Adviser. People are asking if they have to pay, when, why, and can I have a payment plan? Is there such a thing as a “one time fee”?
I will address these questions here.
Yes. Under NCAA Rules you MUST pay your Adviser. IF you do not, you are receiving an Improper Financial Benefit. That would make you INELIGIBLE to play NCAA Hockey. There is no wiggle room here. If an Adviser does not charge you, he is an Agent working for future earnings and you are breaking NCAA rules.
How much? You must pay your Adviser EQUAL to the value of services rendered. How is that value of services rendered arrived at? It must be spelled out in an agreement. If the Adviser charges you $2000 per year, he must charge all clients $2000 per year. All players must be treated the same in order to maintain their amateur or NCAA status. Special deals are Improper Financial Benefits.
When do you pay? You pay the Adviser at the time of making the agreement. You CAN NOT go on a payment plan. A payment plan would make the Adviser someone who is then working for FUTURE EARNINGS, which by Law and NCAA definition makes your Adviser an Agent. An amateur or NCAA athlete can not have an Agent.
The mythical “one time fee”.
The people practicing the “one time fee” Adviser services are violating the very premise of Improper Financial Benefit Rules.
Lets say “Ben” pays the Adviser $2000 as a twenty year old. At the end of the season “Ben” commits to attend an NCAA program. That’s great for “Ben”.
What if his younger brother “Jerry” pays $2000 as an eighteen year old, and at the end of his twenty year old season he also commits to an NCAA program? “Jerry” paid the same amount as his brother “Ben” but there is a big problem.
“Jerry” got the same results as “Ben” but used three times the amount of Adviser services for the same amount of money. This by virtue of simple math allows “Jerry” to pay just over $680 a year for what “Ben” paid $2000 a year to achieve. By definition under that scenario, “Jerry” has received improper financial benefits.
Do people break these rules? Of course they do. They do all the time.
Do people get caught? Yes. When they do, the result is the same all the time. The player loses his eligibility or has to pay the improper benefit amount back to a charitable organization before he is cleared to pay.
If you are willing to risk your entire college career on breaking the rules now, maybe you need to re-examine what it is you’re doing. Besides, if it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is too good to be true.
Feel free to email your general information questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser