SBJ/May 26 - June 1, 2003/Labor Agents

Boras: Law should require $1M bond from sports agents on campus

Baseball agent Scott Boras told a House Judiciary subcommittee that sports agents should be required to post a $1 million bond before being allowed to recruit student athletes.

Boras, testifying before the panel earlier this month on the Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act, said requiring the bond would make it possible for student athletes to collect up to $1 million in damages from agents who cause them to lose their eligibility or college scholarship, according to a transcript of his prepared testimony.

He also suggested that professional sports team employees' conduct should be monitored and that scouts should be required to report any meetings with student athletes and agents.

Boras

"I think he raised some good issues," Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., one of the authors of the bill, told SportsBusiness Journal last week. "I think there is an interest in having what you would call a civil remedy for the student against the agent."

The bill was sent to the full House Judiciary Committee and could be voted on by the full House before July, Gordon said. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who introduced a companion bill last year that was derailed, is expected to introduce another one in the Senate soon, Gordon said.

Gordon said some of Boras' suggestions could be included later in the process.

Boras acknowledged to SportsBusiness Journal that requiring a $1 million bond to recruit could create difficulties for small, independent agents, but he said that was not the important issue.

"The issue is not how you become an agent. It is how do you protect the student athlete?" he said. "Can you protect the person you desire to represent from your own malfeasance?"

Boras said there is a problem with some pro scouts and their relationships with agents. "Some professional sports teams go out and actually recommend agents [to student athletes]," he said.

Boras said teams that send representatives onto college campuses should be required to tell athletes the facts about their chances of making it in the big leagues if they leave college.

Gordon did not indicate there was interest in monitoring professional sports teams' contact with student athletes.

BROTHERS SIGNS NBA PLAYERS: Basketball and football agent Raymond Brothers has signed NBA players Zack Randall, Qyentel Woods and Jason Terry for representation.

Brothers, who worked in the sports division at Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz's Artists Management Group before it closed last year, has opened his own firm, IAM Sports, in Atlanta.

With the new signings, Brothers represents nine NBA players and five NFL players, including Pro Bowl wide receiver Marty Booker.

BABBY SIGNS RIDNOUR: Sports agents Lon Babby and Jim Tanner have signed highly rated University of Oregon guard Luke Ridnour for representation in the NBA draft.

Ridnour, the 2003 Pac-10 Conference player of the year, was ranked No. 11 last week on the nbadraft.net mock draft list. Babby and Tanner are attorneys at the Washington, D.C., law firm Williams and Connolly LLP.

CSMG SIGNS NBA PROSPECTS: Chicago-based sports agency CSMG

CSMG’s Henry Thomas (standing) with Dwyane Wade (left) and Robert Jackson.
has signed Marquette University players Robert Jackson and Dwyane Wade for representation in this year's NBA draft.

Henry Thomas, executive vice president and agent in charge of the basketball division, will represent the players. Wade is ranked No. 13 on the nbadraft.net mock draft list. Jackson is not on that list of projected NBA draft picks.

Contact Liz Mullen with labor and agent news at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

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