Athlete-Agent Act Signed Into Law

Sept. 25, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C> - President George W. Bush Friday signed into law a measure that makes it illegal for sports agents to sign student-athletes into representational contracts with bribes or misleading information.

The Sports Agent and Responsibility Trust Act was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tennessee, and was created in conjunction with U.S. Rep. Tom Osborne, R-Nebraska, and former University of Nebraska, Lincoln, head football coach. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, sponsored the measure in the U.S. Senate.

The bill also forbids agents from providing anything of value to the student-athlete or anyone associated with the athlete. Agents also must tell student-athletes in writing that they may lose their NCAA eligibility after signing an agency contract. Pre- and post-dated contracts also are forbidden.

These provisions already are outlawed by the NCAA and some individual states, but 17 states have no such laws. The Federal Trade Commission's unfair and deceptive acts and practices will hold jurisdiction over sports agents.

The law also requires both the sports agent and the student-athlete to notify the athletics director at the athlete's school within 72 hours of signing the contract or before the athlete's next sporting event.

Schools could seek civil remedies for damages suffered through violations of the law.

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