As of right now, there are 9 states and one territory that do not have any laws intended to regulate the practice of sports agents. They are: Alaska, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Vermont, and Virginia. With increasing public scrutiny of agent practices, at least 1 of those states will be wiped off of that list at the beginning of next year. Illinois has passed a bill, which will go into effect on January 1, 2011. The new law will require all sports agents who wish to contact a college athlete to first register and become licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The new law will make Illinois the 39th state to adopt the Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA), or a variation thereof. In fact, the short description of the bill passed in Illinois is: UNIFORM ATHLETE AGENTS ACT.
Uniformity across all 50 states and U.S. territories is a noble goal. However, I continue to believe that the most effective sports agent regulation will come in the form of a national regulating body under a federal licensing system. I have no doubt that it could be justified under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. A federal licensing system will save agents money (which will also increase the likelihood that agents actually register), cut down on questions based on slight variations of law from state to state, cut down on questions regarding which states an agent has to register in, and potentially allow for better enforceability. Once I am done with the Bar Exam, this is something that I may want to sit down and write a full note about. However, maybe some ambitious law student/professor is reading this right now and wishes to take on the chore him/herself.
No word on the fee to register in Illinois. That will eventually be set by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.