Contract Negotiation Sports Law

UAAA Contract Question

I like license plates

I forgot that reader Sokki Chen asked me two questions for a long time, but somehow remembered today that I never got around to answering the 2nd question.

If you are interested in reviewing the post that I made concerning Sokki’s first question, Can Olympic/Student Athletes Obtain Endorsements?, you may do so by clicking the link.

Sokki’s second question was:

I am a sport management student in MA where the UAAA has not
been passed, at least not yet. Would/could I violate the rule if I
recruit someone from, say, Texas but sign the agreement in the state of Massachusetts?


The answer is provided in Section 4 of the UAAA (Uniform Athlete Agents Act). Under the comments in Section 4, this is mentioned:

The intent of this section is to make the registration requirement as broad as constitutionally permissible consistent with the minimum contacts theory of International Shoe Company v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945). Agents must register in each State in which they have established minimum contacts. For example, an individual in State A contacting a student-athlete in State B is acting as an athlete agent in both States and is therefore required to register in both States.

So this means that even if you were to be in Massachusetts (a state that has not yet adopted the UAAA), you must register as an athlete agent in Texas, and thus will be subject to the rules within the UAAA.

The rules in regards to registration are very tricky. If more Sports Agents would read up on the rules (which are available for free on the internet), there would be less violations, fines, and bad press.

[tags]uaaa, athlete agent, sports agent, uniform athlete agents act[/tags]

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

5 replies on “UAAA Contract Question”

I-shoe brought back memories of my first year of law school. It actually put the question into perspective for me though

After contacting both the NCAA and NFLPA, I keep running into this cyclical issue of one person pointing the finger at another for who has the answer.

Upon reading the legislation, my understanding it that the UAAA, only applies to student-athletes, which the UAAA, and various NCAA compliance officers, state is a title that ceases to denote these students upon the completion of their final athletic game/event their senior year.

So practically speaking….Once say a senior football player from Texas finishes with the national championship game, then according to the UAAA, he is no longer a student-athlete since he has permanently exhausted his eligibility, and is no longer governed by the UAAA.

Also, accordingly, since the state he is in, is controlled by the UAAA, then any agent who wants to pursue him, is NOT required to register in that state? However, if the agent pursues the athlete or contacts him in any fashion prior to him exhausting his collegiate eligibility, then that agent MUST register in that state?

Is this correct or am I missing something? Thank you

I just wrote a long paper on this that I am trying to get published in a law review, so I should be able to answer your questions.

-The UAAA only applies to student-athletes (if we are only looking at the category of athletes). Obviously, it also applies to educational institutions and sports agents.
-Upon the final athletic game, they are no longer student-athletes. At that point, they are free to sign a contract or orally agree to be represented by an agent.
-Also, be careful, because the UAAA (or a derivative of it) has not been adopted by all 50 states. It is a uniform act that stresses states to adopt it (or a variation thereof).
-Your last paragraph seems correct as well.

Great, Thank you for the response. This will require additional research on my part, but since you appear to be one step ahead in the game, perhaps you can assist me.

It’s my understanding that there are some states that have adopted the UAAA, BUT also have additional state legislature that requires agents to register if they represent any professional athletes. I was told by the NFLPA that Pennsylvania is one if these such states. Are you aware of this being the case in Pennsylvania as well as other states?

Essentially, state legislation that is similar to CA that requires registration for all contact and representation of professional athletes, despite having adopted the UAAA?

Also, are you aware of any movement to create one unifying registration body for sports agents? Or perhaps convincing the SLA to pick up the case to try and create a universal set of requirements and then govern them so that agents aren’t forced to jump through all these individual state hoops?

Yes, some states have adopted the UAAA in its suggested form, and some have made modifications to it when they adopted their own state laws. I am aware that California requires registration for athlete agents who wish to represent professional players (See Cal. Business & Professional Code ยง 18895-897.9). I have not investigated the state of Pennsylvania’s law yet.

You bring up a very interesting question about “one unifying registration body.” I am a huge proponent of this idea. The SLA may not be the proper body to pick up the cause, but a new initiative (like ARPA, which you can learn more about by searching for it on this website), could definitely create a universal set of requirements where agents as a community regulate themselves. Jumping through the state hoops is nonsense. In the article that I wrote (which I referenced in my response to your first comment), I said:

There are also problems with registration. All states that have adopted the UAAA have registration requirements for sports agents who wish to recruit student-athletes within their states. However, many sports agents fail to register in states in which they recruit, and there has been little enforcement of registration requirements by Secretaries of State. Additionally, in the majority of states, there is no requirement that sports agents register if they plan on contacting or representing a non-student-athlete (a professional). In other professions, one must be qualified and certified before he is able to practice in those professions. Thus, some have called for a federal registration system required for all sports agents in all states. This registration system would be mandatory for sports agents recruiting student-athletes and/or representing professional athletes. A prerequisite to a sports agent signing an agency contract with an athlete, student or professional, would be listing on the national registry. If unregistered, a sports agent would forfeit all commissions earned from the representation of any athletes. I believe that this system is practical and effective. It truly brings national uniformity to the registration process, holds all agents accountable no matter the state in which they reside or recruit, makes it affordable for smaller agents to register, and would protect all athletes.

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