Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing the theme that “it is the decisions that a player makes that will move him closer, or further, away from his dreams”.

We have recently received a number of very interesting emails from players and families who have shared their stories with us.

None was more impactful than the message written by the mother from the west coast who wrote to say….”…. “my son was a very good hockey player who had received a verbal commitment from a very prestigious college to play hockey. He wanted to graduate with a business degree. While going through their final Eligibility Center checklist, the college realized that my son had violated an obscure rule, and the college team decided not to go forward with having him play on their team. We thought that he would receive a free education while playing hockey. He is still getting that education, but he is not playing hockey, and my husband and I are reaching into our jeans for a quarter of a million dollars”.

This is not the first time, we have heard of this type if scenario.

She then went on to say that she had originally hired an advisor to help with the process, when her son was 17 years old.

Because the Advisor had her son’s picture and name to on his own website, promoting the advisor’s services, the college later decided not to allow her son play for them.

We are familiar with another player whose name was once simply listed as a client, in a long list by an advisor, who was bypassed for (what was explained to be) the same reason.

There are thousands of pages of rules, and regulations and bylaws that govern the NCAA.

One of those rules, NCAA Bylaw, states (in part) that an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual: (a) Accepts any remuneration for, or permits, the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind.

The mother explained that her son was not paid for the endorsement. It did not matter. He simply permitted the use of his name and picture.

Being in the advisory business for as long as we have, we have seen this sort of thing before. These sorts of situations have arisen in the past.

Student-athlete are not permitted to make any endorsement, expressed or implied, of any commercial product or service.

Seven years ago, Wisconsin freshman Nic Kerdiles was suspended for one full season by the NCAA. The Badgers later appealed that suspension, and had it reduced to 10 games.

At the time, Nic was about to enter the NHL Draft, and while carrying on, innocently, while at the Combine this photo was snapped.

The photo was of Kerdiles, along with two other draft prospects holding BioSteel sports recovery drink, at the NHL Combine. The photo, which was posted on Twitter, violated the NCAA’s rules on athletes using their image to promote products.

As we head into the summer, we remind players that there are important things to keep in mind.

There will be opportunities for athletes to work at summer camps, which they are permitted to do. However, there are some restrictions on what they can do and say, and/or permit their names or photograph or college logo to appear.

NCAA Bylaw regarding Camps states that an institutional or privately owned camp may use a student-athlete’s name, picture and institutional affiliation only in the camp counselor section in its camp brochure to identify the student-athlete as a staff member. A student-athlete’s name or picture may not be used in any other way to directly advertise or promote the camp.

I recently observed a poster and website of a private school promoting that they were the place where a certain NCAA hockey player developed his hockey skills. This is a clear violation of the rules, and would make that player ineligible for play.

There are hundreds of applicable rules that athletes should be aware of. Are you familiar with them?