My Beef with the Uniform Athlete Agents Act

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Friday, December 16, 2016

I wrote this post last month, but did not get around to posting it until now.  It deals with athlete agent laws, specifically the Uniform Athlete Agent Act.  Agents are required to register in a majority of states across the country if they wish to recruit potential athletes to sign when the season is over. This requires the agent to fill out an application and submit a fee. The fee in the state of Iowa is $500.00, and that amount varies state to state.

Most of the states follow what is called the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, which is standardized across a great number of states.  It lists requirements for the agent – who the agent can talk to, who the agent needs to notify when signing a client, what conduct is prohibited, and what the penalties are for violating the Act.

As an agent, I understand the need for regulation on the industry. My issue comes with the application of the Act itself, at least in my home state of Iowa.  Specifically, the state of Iowa requires a $500.00 application fee every two years, which according to the Act, is used to “offset expenses incurred in the administration of this chapter as established by the secretary of state.” Outside of receiving a paper certificate and maintaining a list of registered athlete agents, I am unaware of what “administration” is actually done by the state.

I say this because any enforcement or “administration” of the Act is non-existent.  I am personally aware of several agents that are not registered in Iowa that have recruiting players located in state, and ended up signing them, all without every registering and paying a fee.  The information is not that difficult to find – it is often right out in the open.

Now, I do not like paying a fee, just like any agent. But if I am going to follow the rules, and pay to follow the rules, I expect the rules to be enforced. While there are some states that do enforce their rules, a majority (including Iowa, in my opinion) just see agent fees as a cash grab. And it makes it more difficult for independent agents like me to compete.

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