Ryan Murray(Greensboro Sports Examiner) has a follow-up, to his part one interview with Mike Baker, of the MBi Sports Management and to read all of Ryan Murray’s work on this subject, just go to www.examiner.com….
The business of athlete representation is widely regarded as an extremely competitive environment that can lead to rather unethical behavior as agencies try to sign “the next big thing”. Couple that with pages of rules and regulations from both the NCAA as well as state laws that are about as clear as peanut butter, and it’s no wonder that rules get broken either intentionally or unintentionally.
“Sure, it’s challenging, but it’s no more challenging than say, being a realtor,” Mike Baker, Owner/Agent of MBi Sports Management said in a recent interview. “Tough times tend to weed out those that aren’t qualified or aren’t in it for the long run.”
MBi Sports Management, located in Greensboro, was founded by Mike Baker and focuses on baseball. Having played baseball professionally, Baker knows the ins and outs of athlete representation from both sides of the equation and the company “was founded under the premise that every athlete’s career is unique and deserving of quality, professional and personalized representation,” according to the organization’s website.
“The most challenging aspect is trying to advise parents at the most pivotal point in their child’s life, when we’re all unsure about how that is viewed by the NCAA,” Baker said. “Do they have a right to counsel? If so, who says when and where this is appropriate?”
In North Carolina, athlete agents must adhere to the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agents Act set forth by the NC Secretary of State. The Act goes into a litany of black, white and gray about what an athlete agent can and cannot do.
“The Act is not very clear to the parents when they read the document, if they take time to read it at all and the players don’t read it,” Baker said when asked about the Act. “There needs to be very clear cut timing and actions for all to understand.”
In addition to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, Baker was also asked if he felt there was a better way where all parties involved can work more closely to prevent harmful situations to all.
“The NCAA should designate a time to choose agents,” Baker said. “Agents should then be allowed to visit during certain dates and be allowed to leave the family or player their information. Let the player decide. Anything else is a clear violation and with accountability because the accountability lies with the NCAA and the agents.”
The responsibility does lie with the NCAA and sports agents. However the current system is so unclear that it makes it difficult for agencies that do follow the rules (like MBi Sports Management) to understand what can and cannot be done. And for those entities that do not follow the NCAA’s current murky regulations, it gives an easy out to pass the blame on to someone else.
What are your thoughts and opinions on the NCAA, agents and athletes? Please feel free to leave a comment.