Colleges Headline Sports Law

Tennessee Experiencing A Surge In Athlete Agent Registrations

There have been 22 new athlete agent registrations in the State of Tennessee since July 1, 2011, which is about double the average number of registrations the state typically receives every year.  That date just happens to be when The Athlete Agent Reform Act of 2011 went into effect.

The Athlete Agent Reform Act of 2011 falls in line with new athlete agent laws of other states, including Texas, which are either trying to scare agents with potential heavy jail sentences, appeasing their constituencies who continue to read about sports agent atrocities in the news, and/or trying to protect colleges from being sanctioned by the NCAA.  However, Tennessee’s new law also addresses recruiters like Will Lyles, parents like Cecil Newton, runners, and financial planners, even if it fails to provide any punishment for athletes and/or universities who are involved in the illegal activities.

Like the new Act or not, this post is not about its efficacies.  Instead, I am wondering whether it is the Act that should be given credit for the rise in athlete agent registrations.

I am taking no credit away from the men and women who stood behind the Athlete Agent Reform bill in Tennessee’s House and Senate, but perhaps credit for the rise in registrations should be given to Collegiate Sports Advisors (CSA), which assisted in organizing and running The University of Memphis’ first ever Agent Day on December 3, 2011 as well as the creation of the university’s first Professional Sports Counseling Panel.  I distinctly recall a conversation I had with Andrew Dodd, athlete agent registrar in the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office, who told me about the rise in registrations leading up to that particular event.  If the state wants to get even more registrations, it should implore other schools within its borders to hire CSA.  And if other states wish to mimic Tennessee’s success, they should follow suit.

Disclosure: The author of this post is a co-founder of the aforementioned Collegiate Sports Advisors

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.