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Hosemann touts changes to sports agent law

JACKSON — New revisions to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, or laws which govern sports agents operating in Mississippi, provide greater protection to our student athletes, according to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

“Recent events in the media regarding relationships with student athletes and sports agents have prompted the need for more attention to the laws which govern contact and compensation with student athletes in Mississippi,” said Hosemann.

The new law: broadens the definition of compensation to a student athlete to include “anything of value;” requires sports agents register with the secretary of state before signing a contract with a student athlete; requires a sports agent agree to a criminal background check before applying for registration as a sports agent in Mississippi; requires sports agents to notify the university or junior college before soliciting a student athlete; requires a sports agent to disclose to the state any litigation he/she may be involved in, as well as list other states they are currently licensed to conduct business; subjects athlete agents who solicit student athletes for college scholarships in exchange for compensation to  both civil and criminal penalties; and, clarifies the responsibilities and authority of the secretary of state in the investigation and enforcement of the Uniform Athlete Agents Act.

“These revisions have been a joint effort between Mississippi universities, current sports agents registered in the state, national regulatory agencies, state legislators and our agency,” said Hosemann.  “We have tremendous athletic talent in our state. Our goal is to protect not only the eligibility, but also the future of our student athletes.”

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