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History of the Maryland Uniform Athlete Agents Act - Athlete Agents

On October 1, 2003, the Uniform Athlete Agents Act went into effect, replacing the Maryland Athlete Agents Act. At that time, Maryland joined 24 other states and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the adoption of uniform laws to govern the relationship between athlete agents and student athletes at the high school and collegiate levels of sports competition.

The Uniform Athlete Agents Act provides for the uniform registration, certification, and background check of athlete agents seeking to represent student athletes who are or may be eligible to participate in intercollegiate sports, imposes specified contract terms on these agreements to the benefit of student athletes, and provides educational institutions with a right to notice along with a civil cause of action for damages resulting from a breach of specified duties.

The act requires agents to disclose their training, experience, and education, whether they or an associate have been convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude, have been administratively or judicially determined to have made false or deceptive representations, have had their agent's license denied, suspended, or revoked in any state, or have been the subject or cause of any sanction, suspension, or declaration of ineligibility.

Agents are required to maintain executed contracts and other specified records for a period of five years, including information about represented individuals and recruitment expenditures, which would be open to inspection by the state.

While the act imposes significant disclosure, registration, and record-keeping requirements on athlete agents, those who are issued a valid certificate of registration or licensure in one state are able to cross-file that application (or a renewal thereof) in all other states that have adopted the act. This provision of the act simplifies regulatory compliance for agents, while at the same time facilitates the ability of all jurisdictions to obtain verifiable, uniform information on an agent's professional conduct in other states.

Contracts between an athlete agent and a student athlete must be filed with the athletic director of the high school or college or university of the student athlete within 72 hours after the contract is signed. Previously agents had five days to file contracts with athletic directors.

Impact for Maryland Licenses

This act changed the way athlete agents apply for licenses in Maryland and increased the length of the license period to two years. It also required that certain provisions protecting student athletes be included in agent-athlete contracts. A key addition to the licensing of athlete agents was the requirement that each agent agreement contains specific language that advises the student athlete of the consequences of signing a contract with an athlete agent. The language than must be included in an agent contract with a student athlete is as follows:

"WARNING TO STUDENT ATHLETE IF YOU SIGN THIS CONTRACT:
YOU MAY LOSE YOUR ELIGIBILITY TO COMPETE AS A STUDENT ATHLETE IN YOUR SPORT;
IF YOU HAVE AN ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, WITHIN 72 HOURS AFTER ENTERING INTO THIS CONTRACT, BOTH YOU AND YOUR ATHLETE AGENT MUST NOTIFY YOUR ATHLETIC DIRECTOR; AND YOU MAY CANCEL THIS CONTRACT WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER SIGNING IT. CANCELLATION OF THIS CONTRACT MAY NOT REINSTATE YOUR ELIGIBILITY."