An Advisers Life – Be Careful Taking Advice From Self Appointed Experts

Yesterday I was forwarded an article written by a self appointed expert.  This person was going into great depth as to what he believed were important steps for players and parents to take when seeking out an NCAA opportunity.  (no, it was not from a similar site as TJHN)

I read this article with great interest.  Its always a good thing to gather information, to be more informed and keep an open mind as to what others may be thinking and saying in the marketplace.

That said, by the time I was done reading the article, I was so completely shocked, I had to take a few hours to digest the information.

The first major red flag was when the “expert” tried to tell players that they needed to use an NHLPA Certified Agent.  Yes.  The person who was talking about playing college hockey was telling players and parents to hire an agent.

NCAA Rules clearly state:

  • 12.3.1 General Rule. An individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she ever has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport. Further, an agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport.

To paraphrase; You can not hire an Agent without losing your Amateur status.

  • 12.3.1.1 Representation for Future Negotiations. An individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she enters into a verbal or written agreement with an agent for representation in future professional sports negotiations that are to take place after the individual has completed his or her eligibility in that sport.

To paraphrase; You must pay the Adviser for his services if you chose to hire an Adviser.

The writer goes on to try to explain that players and parents that are not good enough to be represented by an NHLPA certified agent do not need an adviser.

It is exactly the opposite that is true.  Its the bubble, or fringe NCAA candidate player that needs the adviser.  Blue chip players do not need an adviser.  Some have them because they want them, and that’s alright too.

Advisers are for serious players.  Advisers are for families who don’t understand how things work.  Advisers are for families that need help finding real opportunity, and deciphering between unsolicited opportunity from teams.

That said, an adviser should be able to prove that he has a track record of success.  Success is measured by assisting families find higher level opportunity.  Moving from pay to play to free to play, moving from junior to NCAA, or moving from AAA to junior are some examples of finding higher opportunity.

Now please keep in mind that the writer I am talking about, has no history of ever playing the game at any level that can be found.  He has never worked in hockey for a team, for a league or for any other recognized organization that can be found either.

Yet, this writer holds himself out to be an expert and in that capacity, and gives advice that clearly violates the most basic NCAA rules.

This is why it is our mission throughout every company we have within Hockey Holdings Group, to educate and inform parents.  The presentation of the truth, whether it generates income for our companies or not, will always be paramount in everything we do.

Please be careful with what you read and who you believe.  Inquire with multiple sources to get answers to your questions.  Make sure though that those sources actually have the working credentials established over the course of years.  An easy rule of thumb is if they never played, never worked at a high level, and never helped a player get to NCAA hockey; they are not an expert.

Joseph Kolodziej

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