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North Carolina And NCAA Fighting Over Access To Documents

On July 29, 2011, North Carolina’s Secretary of State Elaine Marshall issued a subpoena, which asked for documents and records from the NCAA regarding findings from the NCAA’s investigation of past NFLPA agent activity on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s campus. Most people choose to digitize these kinds of documents these days, as many are learning how to scan large documents to help preserve them for legal needs. The NCAA’s investigation has undoubtedly focused on names like former UNC associate head coach John Blake, the late NFLPA Contract Advisor Gary Wichard, and former UNC defensive tackle (and current New York Giant) Marvin Austin, but there are certainly many other athletes and agents that have been examined since the NCAA stepped foot on UNC’s campus in June 2010. The State of North Carolina started its own investigation, not specifically tied to UNC-Chapel Hill, on July 22, 2010.

Elaine Marshall’s office wants access to transcripts of the interviews that the NCAA conducted at Chapel Hill in the past year, a copy of John Blake’s credit report, and other relevant material, but the NCAA has not cooperated up to this point in time. Last week, Marshall’s office filed a petition for an order to compel the NCAA to release those documents, but not without the NCAA objecting to that request on jurisdictional grounds, claiming that Marshall should have filed the petition in Indiana (the NCAA’s principal place of business) instead of North Carolina. A hearing on the petition is currently scheduled for November 28, 2011 in the Wake County, North Carolina Superior Court. According to Ken Tysiac and J. Andrew Curliss of the News & Observer, Elaine Marshall’s makes sure to point out in its filing, that the NCAA has historically petitioned hard for states to pass the Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA), but will not comply with the UAAA’s mandates.

This bewilders me. A state actually seems to be making an attempt to enforce its athlete agent laws, which the NCAA has fought tooth-and-nail for states to adopt (to retain “amateurism” and tax benefits), but the NCAA does not want to provide pertinent information that has a strong likelihood of benefiting the state in its own investigation?

NC Sec of State App for order to compel

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.