Text: H.R.361 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 108-304 (09/24/2004)

 
[108th Congress Public Law 304]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ304.108]

[[Page 118 STAT. 1125]]

Public Law 108-304
108th Congress

                                 An Act


 
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 
Act''.

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 
        contract.
            (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 
        organization.
            (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 
        appropriate.
            (4) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal 
        Trade Commission.
            (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 
        next athletic

[[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.
            (2) Notice.--
                    (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.

    (b) Intervention.--
            (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 
that action.
    (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 
States Code.
    (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 
        conference.
            (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 
or equity.

[[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).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
                                                        Vol. 149 (2003):
                                    June 4, considered and passed House.
                                                        Vol. 150 (2004):
                                    Sept. 9, considered and passed 
                                        Senate.

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