NC senate proposes strict sports agent laws
Posted June 8, 2011
Updated June 9, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — A bill advanced unanimously in the Senate Wednesday that aims at curbing improprieties by sports agents in their relationships with college athletes.
The Bill, initially filed on March 3 and sponsored by Sen. Charlie Dannelly (D), calls for sports agents to file for an application in North Carolina, keep extensive records, make those records available to the Secretary of State and refrain from providing benefits to their representing athletes.
The initiation of the bill, Senate Bill 224, stems from an ongoing investigation with the University of North Carolina, part of which involved an NFL agent and a then-player with the school.
Former UNC assistant coach John Blake resigned on Sept. 6 after he and the University met and felt he was becoming a distraction. It was revealed that the investigation into the football program, that began on June 12, had begun to focus on him and his relationship with California based agent Gary Wichard.
After being notified of the investigation involving UNC's football program, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall launched an investigation of her own looking into athletic agents across the state. That investigation, which began July, 22, did not focus on any particular school, but rather the climate of agents in the state as a whole.
In addition to the application and records keeping processes that include notarized contracts be provided to the Secretary of State, the Bill calls for $100,000 be paid by the agent and kept by the state for as long as the agent is registered in North Carolina.
The agent will pay $50,000 in the first year, and $25,000 in each of the second and third years of being an active agent in the state. The bond will be used to satisfy any financial punishments an educational institution is held accountable for due to transgressions by the agent.
Agents also would have to keep five years worth of documents that record all communications between the agent and athletes.
The Secretary of State may issue civil penalties against any agent found to be in violation of any part of the Bill. The penalties may be no less than $10,000 and may not exceed $25,000. Further relief within the realm of the law may also used to ensure the articles of the Bill are upheld.
The measure now goes to the House where, if passed, it will continue to the desk of the Governor. If passed in time, the act will go into effect December 1, 2011.