SBJ/June 16 - 22, 2003/Labor Agents

Move to regulate sports agents takes 2 steps forward in Congress

Federal legislation that would regulate sports agents took two major steps forward earlier this month, when the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Sports Agent and Responsibility Trust Act and an identical bill was introduced into the U.S. Senate.

The Senate version, introduced by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, has been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee, but a hearing date has not been set.

The House bill was introduced by Reps. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., and Tom Osborne, R-Neb., the former University of Nebraska football coach.

The measures are meant to protect universities and student athletes from unscrupulous agents. They set a minimum standard for agent regulation and provide regulation in 17 states that currently do not have laws governing sports agents. The bills would prohibit agents from:

Providing false or misleading information to a student athlete in order to sign the athlete to a contract.

Providing anything of value to a student athlete or anyone associated with the athlete.

Failing to disclose in writing that the student would lose NCAA eligibility by signing a contract.

Predating or postdating contracts with student athletes.

Congressional staffers indicated that proposals by baseball agent Scott Boras would likely not be included. Boras recommended that the bill include a provision authorizing students to sue agents who damage their careers and another requiring that agents post a $1 million bond to become agents, so students who sue could collect damages.

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Related Topics:

Colleges, Labor and Agents, NCAA

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