Text: H.R.361 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 108-304 (09/24/2004)
[108th Congress Public Law 304]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[[Page 118 STAT. 1125]]
Public Law 108-304
To designate certain conduct by sports agents relating to the signing of
contracts with student athletes as unfair and deceptive acts or
practices to be regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. <<NOTE: Sept.
24, 2004 - [H.R. 361]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Sports Agent Responsibility
and Trust Act. Education.>> assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. <<NOTE: 15 USC 7801 note.>>
This Act may be cited as the ``Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS. <<NOTE: 15 USC 7801.>>
As used in this Act, the following definitions apply:
(1) Agency contract.--The term ``agency contract'' means an
oral or written agreement in which a student athlete authorizes
a person to negotiate or solicit on behalf of the student
athlete a professional sports contract or an endorsement
(2) Athlete agent.--The term ``athlete agent'' means an
individual who enters into an agency contract with a student
athlete, or directly or indirectly recruits or solicits a
student athlete to enter into an agency contract, and does not
include a spouse, parent, sibling, grandparent, or guardian of
such student athlete, any legal counsel for purposes other than
that of representative agency, or an individual acting solely on
behalf of a professional sports team or professional sports
(3) Athletic director.--The term ``athletic director'' means
an individual responsible for administering the athletic program
of an educational institution or, in the case that such program
is administered separately, the athletic program for male
students or the athletic program for female students, as
(4) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal
(5) Endorsement contract.--The term ``endorsement contract''
means an agreement under which a student athlete is employed or
receives consideration for the use by the other party of that
individual's person, name, image, or likeness in the promotion
of any product, service, or event.
(6) Intercollegiate sport.--The term ``intercollegiate
sport'' means a sport played at the collegiate level for which
eligibility requirements for participation by a student athlete
are established by a national association for the promotion or
regulation of college athletics.
[[Page 118 STAT. 1126]]
(7) Professional sports contract.--The term ``professional
sports contract'' means an agreement under which an individual
is employed, or agrees to render services, as a player on a
professional sports team, with a professional sports
organization, or as a professional athlete.
(8) State.--The term ``State'' includes a State of the
United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United
States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession
subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
(9) Student athlete.--The term ``student athlete'' means an
individual who engages in, is eligible to engage in, or may be
eligible in the future to engage in, any intercollegiate sport.
An individual who is permanently ineligible to participate in a
particular intercollegiate sport is not a student athlete for
purposes of that sport.
SEC. 3. <<NOTE: 15 USC 7802.>> REGULATION OF UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE ACTS
AND PRACTICES IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONTACT BETWEEN AN
ATHLETE AGENT AND A STUDENT ATHLETE.
(a) Conduct Prohibited.--It is unlawful for an athlete agent to--
(1) directly or indirectly recruit or solicit a student
athlete to enter into an agency contract, by--
(A) giving any false or misleading information or
making a false promise or representation; or
(B) providing anything of value to a student athlete
or anyone associated with the student athlete before the
student athlete enters into an agency contract,
including any consideration in the form of a loan, or
acting in the capacity of a guarantor or co-guarantor
for any debt;
(2) enter into an agency contract with a student athlete
without providing the student athlete with the disclosure
document described in subsection (b); or
(3) predate or postdate an agency contract.
(b) Required Disclosure by Athlete Agents to Student Athletes.--
(1) In general.--In conjunction with the entering into of an
agency contract, an athlete agent shall provide to the student
athlete, or, if the student athlete is under the age of 18, to
such student athlete's parent or legal guardian, a disclosure
document that meets the requirements of this subsection. Such
disclosure document is separate from and in addition to any
disclosure which may be required under State law.
(2) Signature of student athlete.--The disclosure document
must be signed by the student athlete, or, if the student
athlete is under the age of 18, by such student athlete's parent
or legal guardian, prior to entering into the agency contract.
(3) Required language.--The disclosure document must
contain, in close proximity to the signature of the student
athlete, or, if the student athlete is under the age of 18, the
signature of such student athlete's parent or legal guardian, a
conspicuous notice in boldface type stating: ``Warning to
Student Athlete: If you agree orally or in writing to be
represented by an agent now or in the future you may lose your
eligibility to compete as a student athlete in your sport.
Within 72 hours after entering into this contract or before the
[[Page 118 STAT. 1127]]
event in which you are eligible to participate, whichever occurs
first, both you and the agent by whom you are agreeing to be
represented must notify the athletic director of the educational
institution at which you are enrolled, or other individual
responsible for athletic programs at such educational
institution, that you have entered into an agency contract.''.
SEC. 4. ENFORCEMENT. <<NOTE: 15 USC 7803.>>
(a) Unfair or Deceptive Act or Practice.--A violation of this Act
shall be treated as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or
deceptive act or practice prescribed under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the
Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)).
(b) Actions by the Commission.--The Commission shall enforce this
Act in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same
jurisdiction, powers, and duties as though all applicable terms and
provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.)
were incorporated into and made a part of this Act.
SEC. 5. ACTIONS BY STATES. <<NOTE: 15 USC 7804.>>
(a) In General.--
(1) Civil actions.--In any case in which the attorney
general of a State has reason to believe that an interest of the
residents of that State has been or is threatened or adversely
affected by the engagement of any athlete agent in a practice
that violates section 3 of this Act, the State may bring a civil
action on behalf of the residents of the State in a district
court of the United States of appropriate jurisdiction to--
(A) enjoin that practice;
(B) enforce compliance with this Act; or
(C) obtain damage, restitution, or other
compensation on behalf of residents of the State.
(A) In general.--Before filing an action under
paragraph (1), the attorney general of the State
involved shall provide to the Commission--
(i) written notice of that action; and
(ii) a copy of the complaint for that action.
(B) Exemption.--Subparagraph (A) shall not apply
with respect to the filing of an action by an attorney
general of a State under this subsection, if the
attorney general determines that it is not feasible to
provide the notice described in that subparagraph before
filing of the action. In such case, the attorney general
of a State shall provide notice and a copy of the
complaint to the Commission at the same time as the
attorney general files the action.
(1) In general.--On receiving notice under subsection
(a)(2), the Commission shall have the right to intervene in the
action that is the subject of the notice.
(2) Effect of intervention.--If the Commission intervenes in
an action under subsection (a), it shall have the right--
(A) to be heard with respect to any matter that
arises in that action; and
(B) to file a petition for appeal.
[[Page 118 STAT. 1128]]
(c) Construction.--For purposes of bringing any civil action under
subsection (a), nothing in this title shall be construed to prevent an
attorney general of a State from exercising the powers conferred on the
attorney general by the laws of that State to--
(1) conduct investigations;
(2) administer oaths or affirmations; or
(3) compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of
documentary and other evidence.
(d) Actions by the Commission.--In any case in which an action is
instituted by or on behalf of the Commission for a violation of section
3, no State may, during the pendency of that action, institute an action
under subsection (a) against any defendant named in the complaint in
(e) Venue.--Any action brought under subsection (a) may be brought
in the district court of the United States that meets applicable
requirements relating to venue under section 1391 of title 28, United
(f) Service of Process.--In an action brought under subsection (a),
process may be served in any district in which the defendant--
(1) is an inhabitant; or
(2) may be found.
SEC. 6. PROTECTION OF EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION. <<NOTE: 15 USC 7805.>>
(a) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Notice Required.--Within 72 hours after
entering into an agency contract or before the next athletic event in
which the student athlete may participate, whichever occurs first, the
athlete agent and the student athlete shall each inform the athletic
director of the educational institution at which the student athlete is
enrolled, or other individual responsible for athletic programs at such
educational institution, that the student athlete has entered into an
agency contract, and the athlete agent shall provide the athletic
director with notice in writing of such a contract.
(b) Civil Remedy.--
(1) In general.--An educational institution has a right of
action against an athlete agent for damages caused by a
violation of this Act.
(2) Damages.--Damages of an educational institution may
include and are limited to actual losses and expenses incurred
because, as a result of the conduct of the athlete agent, the
educational institution was injured by a violation of this Act
or was penalized, disqualified, or suspended from participation
in athletics by a national association for the promotion and
regulation of athletics, by an athletic conference, or by
reasonable self-imposed disciplinary action taken to mitigate
actions likely to be imposed by such an association or
(3) Costs and attorneys fees.--In an action taken under this
section, the court may award to the prevailing party costs and
reasonable attorneys fees.
(4) Effect on other rights, remedies and defenses.--This
section does not restrict the rights, remedies, or defenses of
any person under law or equity.
SEC. 7. LIMITATION. <<NOTE: 15 USC 7806.>>
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit an individual
from seeking any remedies available under existing Federal or State law
[[Page 118 STAT. 1129]]
SEC. 8. SENSE OF CONGRESS. <<NOTE: 15 USC 7807.>>
It is the sense of Congress that States should enact the Uniform
Athlete Agents Act of 2000 drafted by the National Conference of
Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, to protect student athletes and the
integrity of amateur sports from unscrupulous sports agents. In
particular, it is the sense of Congress that States should enact the
provisions relating to the registration of sports agents, the required
form of contract, the right of the student athlete to cancel an agency
contract, the disclosure requirements relating to record maintenance,
reporting, renewal, notice, warning, and security, and the provisions
for reciprocity among the States.
Approved September 24, 2004.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 361:
HOUSE REPORTS: No. 108-24, Pt. 1 (Comm. on Energy and Commerce) and
Pt. 2 (Comm. on the Judiciary).
Vol. 149 (2003):
June 4, considered and passed House.
Vol. 150 (2004):
Sept. 9, considered and passed