Bill could make penalties stiffer for lawbreaking agents in Oklahoma
Legislation that would hit agents with stricter penalties for breaking the law passed the Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday.
“Athlete agents need to have skin in the game,” said President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, who co-authored HB 1586. “Currently, agents breaking the rules have little more than a slap on the wrist while there have been many cases where an agent has ruined the student athlete’s college career.”
The bill will allow the Secretary of State or the Attorney General to issue subpoenas for materials relevant the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, which require agents to register with the Oklahoma Secretary of State and university of the student-athlete before contacting the student-athlete.
The bill will return to the House for consideration of Senate amendments.
If passed, first infractions will be a misdemeanor subject to fine’s of no less than $10,000 and second infractions will be felonies subject to fines no less than $50,000. Agents would be required to register a bond with the Secretary of State as a condition to remain eligible to represent athletes.
Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder and Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione both issued statements Tuesday praising the Senate.
“We thank Sen. Bingman for his leadership on this important issue and we are pleased to see legislation that will restrict the actions of sports agents and their representatives,” Holder said. Through the implementation of these increased restrictions and penalties, the commitment by the Secretary of State’s and Attorney General’s office, and the assistance of athletic departments, the state of Oklahoma should experience greater control over those individuals in the sports agent industry that put the well-being and eligibility of our student-athletes at-risk.”
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