Contract Negotiation Sports Law

SPARTA – not the Greek city

Greece...has nothing to do with this post

SPARTA stands for “The Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act,” and along with the UAAA (Universal Athlete Agent Act), it is an important document to become accustomed to.

Of SPARTA’s three primary objectives, I find the second objective to be the most important. Its second objective places violations of the act under the jurisdiction of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). This is important, because many of the regulations in SPARTA are general regulations that are seen within the UAAA. By establishing the FTC as a regulating agency, power is transfered to a federal bureau for regulation instead of leaving all issues up to the players’ unions. Agents should feel more threatened from action by the FTC over a slap on the hand from a union.

Theoretically, SPARTA should have achieved great gains in regulating Sports Agent activity, but those gains have still not been realized. Many existing state and federal laws actually implement strict penalties that would supercede FTC involvement, but even those Acts are often not applied often when they should be.

The FTC maximum civil penalty is $11,000…and that is after a warning is offered to an Agent. For moderately successful Agents, the $11,000 fine is certainly not enough money to deter one from using illegal practices to obtain clients (that is, of course, if one were inclined to do so…which is not a smart idea in the first place).

So as an ethical and law-abiding Sports Agent, you may be at a disadvantage when entering this business. That is why it is your responsibility to help pave the way for increased oversight and stricter regulations on Sports Agents at a federal level. If the playing field is leveled, and those who gain an unfair advantage are prosecuted for their crimes, the actual Superstar Sports Agents will reign, and players, Universities, and professional teams will benefit. The image of the Sports Agent will rise as well.

[tags]sparta, sports agent, ftc[/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.

2 replies on “SPARTA – not the Greek city”

[…] Ethical attorney agents have had a competitive disadvantage in signing clients because of their bar-mandated ethical obligations that they must adhere to (if they actually do). As I have stated in a post all the way back on February 15th, SPARTA (The Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act) has attempted to change that and treat all agents alike. SPARTA implements attorney-like regulations for all Sports Agents. […]

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