For Immediate Release: April 25, 2017
NASHVILLE – A bill designed to protect student athletes by ensuring that sports agents keep their activities above board passed the Tennessee Legislature and is expected to the be signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam. The Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act (RUAAA), SB 565, was sponsored by Sen. Doug Overbey (R-Maryville), and is based on the Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act, drafted by the Uniform Law Commission in 2015.
“This legislation modernizes the Uniform Athlete Agents Act for the ever-evolving sport commercial marketplace to deter improper activity between athlete agents and student athletes,” said Sen. Overbey. “An athlete agent’s recruitment of student athletes while they are still enrolled in an academic institution may cause substantial eligibility or other problems for both the student athlete and the academic institution.”
SB 565 updates an earlier version of the act which was enacted in Tennessee in 2001. The Uniform Athlete Agents Act governs the relationships between student athletes, athlete agents, and academic institutions. The revision provides enhanced protection for student athletes and educational institutions, and simplifies the regulatory environment faced by legitimate athlete agents.
SB 565 makes numerous changes to present law, including
(1) expands the definition of “athlete agent” to include an individual who, for compensation or the anticipation of compensation, serves the athlete in an advisory capacity on a matter related to finances, business pursuits, or career management decisions; or manages the business affairs of the athlete by helping with bills, payments, contracts, or taxes.
(2) adds new requirements to the signing of an agency contract by requiring that an agency contract include a statement that the athlete agent is registered as an athlete agent in this state, and requires the agent to list any other state in which the agent is a registered athlete agent. This bill also requires that the agency contract be accompanied by a separate record signed by the student athlete, or a minor student athlete’s parent or guardian, acknowledging that signing the contract may result in the loss of the athlete’s eligibility to participate in the athlete’s sport.
(3) expands notification requirements relative to an athlete agent providing notice to a student’s educational institution and athletic director prior to initiating contact with a student athlete and giving notice regarding an agency contract. This bill adds certain notice requirements regarding athlete agents who have a preexisting relationship with a student prior to the student enrolling in a particular educational institution. This bill also adds notice requirements for situations when the student athlete is the initiator of a communication with an athlete agent.
(4) provides for reciprocal registration between states.
Further information on the Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act can be found on the ULC’s website at www.uniformlaws.org.