Headline Sports Law

Duties of Sports Agents to Athletes and Statutory Regulation Thereof

I was recently published in Volume 7, Issue 3, Fall 2009 of the Dartmouth Law Journal.  The title of the piece is, Duties of Sports Agents to Athletes and Statutory Regulation Thereof.  I think that this will be a good read for anyone who is a regular visitor of this site.

Abstract: The Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act of 2004 (SPARTA) and the Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA) have helped protect student-athletes and educational institutions against the harmful acts of unscrupulous sports agents. Statutory regulations have not adequately enforced agents’ duties to all athletes. Furthermore, while aspects of agency law, such as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, player association regulations, and various Bar Association rules have helped fill some of the gaps, there remains a need for increased supervision over the sports agent profession. This article argues that student-athletes should have a statutory right to enforce the duties of sports agents and that all sports agents should have to be licensed under a federal registration system. In addition, it describes the need for a self-regulatory commission of sports agents to help weed out the unscrupulous agents who fail to fulfill their duties in the representation and solicitation of any athlete.

Click here for the full article and be sure to leave your comments below.

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 “Duties of Sports Agents to Athletes and Statutory Regulation Thereof”

Great article. I know that the contiinuous unethical behavior of some agents is a major reason why students shy away wanting to be an agent just because they don’t want to be linked to that. I liked the idea of a national registry as well. I was curious on what the UAAA regulations on Florida are

Agents have lots of methods for getting around the rules and with so much money on the line in a highly competitive industry, they will continue to outright ignore them or use runners to do the dirty work in-order to sign a player. You can pass all the laws or rules you want, Bill Duffy is still going to have some young guy who thinks he’s learning the business but is really just shielding the actual agent from having to pay O.J. Mayo himself.

Getting certified as an NBPA agent is as easy as having a pulse and a check they can cash… but that doesn’t matter because the real problem is the difficultly of actually being able to sign an NBA player, which is why people will continue to break the rules.

A panel of agents will do nothing… and besides, which agents do you put on it? Nearly all of them talk about integrity but are willing to break the rules in one way or another. A small number of agents will continue to represent the majority of players by using their power, money and relationships with college & youth basketball coaches.

There is little room for honest guys to sign significant talent and make a living full time in the cesspool that is the agent business.

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