The Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA) definition of sports agents recently broadened to include financial advisors. The re-drafting and vote to amend the UAAA model act concluded this week at the Uniform Law Commission’s meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia. If adopted by States, the significance of the Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act expansion of the definition of “athlete agent” means that financial advisors who offer money or other enticement to student-athletes would be subject to the provisions of the UAAA including disclosure, registration, record and notice requirements. Additionally, anyone included as an athlete agent would be prohibited from making false or deceptive statements and be subject to criminal penalties. The purpose is to protect the eligibility of student-athletes and the educational institutions they attend. (Steinberg, 2015)
What is the Uniform Law Commission?
This group drafts model acts as a service to State Governments to adopt in part or in full as law. Without uniformity across the 50 States variations in laws can result in injustice and unfair or unpredictable outcomes. The Commission cannot pass any laws directly. States are free to ignore the Uniform Law Commission but in some areas uniform laws are highly persuasive. The membership on the Uniform Law Commission include some of the most prominent national legal scholars who are distinguished and thus hard to ignore. For example, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is the most widely influential of the uniform laws in all States and regulates commercial matters including many contracts and other commercial paper. In sports, the UAAA was drafted in 2000 and according to the Commission has been adopted into the Codes of more than 40 States.
Why were these changes to the UAAA implemented?
Since the UAAA was passed in 2000 there are many examples of “brokers, insurance agents, bankers and other types of financial advisers often contacting athletes who are promising pro prospects” and athletes losing assets such as signing bonuses in exchange for gifts. Most student-athletes know not to talk to agents, but financial advisors may gain access because the narrow definition of an agent. The revised UAAA addresses this concern and will hopefully be adopted nationally and protect more student players. (Steinberg, 2015)
Steinberg, J. (2015, July 15) Law Commission Votes to Revise Sports-Agent Act to Cover Financial Advisers. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/law-commission-votes-to-revise-sports-agent-act-to-cover-financial-advisers-1437011042
Robert Hudson Rob Hudson, JD, Ed.S, Assistant Professor, United States Sports Academy, is the Academy Director of Library and Archives. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.