Professional sports hold drafts to distribute exclusive rights to new players amongst its teams. Before you declare yourself eligible for the NBA draft, you should understand some important ramifications of doing so. Certain actions will affect your eligibility in NCAA sports.

Can I Declare my Eligibility without Jeopardizing my NCAA Eligibility?

Whether you are an enrolled or prospective student-athlete at a collegiate institution, you may enter a professional sports league draft one time during your collegiate career. However, you must:

  • Not be drafted by any team in the league
  • Declare within 30 days after the draft that you will be returning to intercollegiate athletics in writing to your school¿s director of athletics
  • Not have an oral or written agreement with an agent to represent you (future or present)
  • Not have received benefits from an agent (you or your family)

Do I Have to Have an Agent in Order to Declare Eligibility for the NBA Draft?

No.

Are There Other Ways of Becoming a Professional Athlete Besides the Draft?

Yes. If an individual is not drafted, then he is considered a free agent immediately following the primary draft of his draft year. Since this varies depending on the circumstances, you should contact the NBA or a sports lawyer.

Can I Seek Advice from an Attorney or Third Party Regarding a Proposed Professional Contract?

As long as you, the student athlete, are not represented by the attorney or third party in negotiations for a professional contract, then you can seek advice from an attorney or third party.

What Counts as Representation by an Attorney or Third Party?

It counts as representation when:

  • An attorney or third party is present during negotiations with professional teams
  • An attorney or third party contacts professional sports teams on your behalf

Can I Request that a Professional Athletics Organization Send Me Information Concerning my Professional Market Value?

Yes. An individual may request information about professional market value without affecting his or her amateur status.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Remember, you can consult with or receive information from a sports lawyer or agent regarding a contract. However, he cannot represent you in negotiations if you plan on retaining your NCAA eligibility. If you have a dispute regarding your NCAA eligibility, consulting a business lawyer familiar with eligibility rules can help you. If you are sure of your desire to join an NBA team, then contacting a lawyer skilled in the art of negotiation could be advantageous.