H. B. 4037
(By Delegate Webb)
[Introduced January 13, 2000; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]
A BILL to amend chapter forty-seven of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article three, relating to
creating the uniform athlete agents act; definitions;
secretary of state to administer act; registration of
athlete agents; issuance, renewal and revocation of
certificate of registration; registration fee; liability
insurance required; form of contract; notice to educational
institution; student-athlete's right to cancel contract;
prohibited acts; record keeping; civil remedies;
administrative and criminal penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter forty-seven of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article three, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. UNIFORM ATHLETE AGENTS ACT.
§47-3-1. Short title.
This article may be cited as the "Uniform Athlete Agents
(a) "Athlete agent" means an individual who enters into an
agency contract with a student-athlete or who, directly or
indirectly, contacts, recruits, or solicits a student-athlete to
enter into an agency contract, a professional sports-services
contract, or an endorsement contract. The term does not include
an individual acting solely on behalf of a professional sorts
team or organization or an individual acting solely for his or
her spouse, child, grandchild or ward.
(b) "Agency contract" means an agreement in which a
student-athlete authorizes a person to negotiate or solicit on
behalf of the student-athlete a professional sports-services
contract or an endorsement contract.
(c) "Athletic director" means an individual responsible for
administering the overall athletic program of an educational
(d) "Contact" means a communication, direct or indirectly,
between an athlete agent and a student-athlete, to induce or
attempt to induce a student-athlete to enter into an agency contract, professional sports-services contract or endorsement
(e) "Endorsement contract" means a contract under which a
student-athlete is employed or receives remuneration to utilize
on behalf of the other contracting party any value or utility
that the student-athlete may have because of publicity,
reputation, following or fame obtained because of athletic
ability or performance.
(f) "Person" means an individual; corporation; business
trust; estate; trust; partnership; limited liability company;
association; joint venture; government; governmental subdivision,
agency or instrumentality; public corporation; or any other legal
or commercial entity.
(g) "Professional sports-services contract" means a contract
under which a student-athlete is employed or agrees to render
services as a player on a professional sports team or
organization or as a professional athlete.
(h) "Registration" means registration as an athlete agent
pursuant to this article.
(i) "State" means 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.
(j) "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 is not a
student-athlete if the individual is ineligible to participate in
a particular sport unless:
(1) The individual's eligibility to participate in that
particular sport is restored; or
(2) The individual is eligible to engage in, or may be
eligible in the future to engage in, a different intercollegiate
sport, in which case the individual is a student-athlete for
purposes of the different sport.
The secretary of state shall administer this article.
§47-3-4. Registration of athlete agents required.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this
section, an individual may not act as an athlete agent in this
state, or contact a student-athlete who is attending or has
expressed a written intention to attend an educational
institution in this state, before registering with the secretary
(b) An individual who is not registered as an athlete agent
in this state may contact a student-athlete if:
(1) The student-athlete or an individual on behalf of the
student-athlete initiates communication with the individual; and
(2) Within seven days after the contact made by the individual in response to the student-athlete's initiation of
communication, the individual files an application to register as
an athlete agent in this state.
(c) An agency contract resulting from an act in violation of
this section is void and no individual owes any money or other
consideration under the contract. The athlete agent shall return
any money or other consideration received under the contract.
§47-3-5. Registration as athlete agent.
(a) An applicant for registration as an athlete agent shall
submit a written application for registration to the secretary of
state on a form prescribed by the secretary of state. Except as
otherwise provided in subsection (b) or this section, the
application must state or contain:
(1) The name of the applicant and the address of the
applicant's principal place of business;
(2) The name of the applicant's firm or employer;
(3) Any business or occupation engaged in by the applicant
for the five years next preceding the date of submission of the
(4) A description of the applicant's:
(i) Formal training;
(ii) Practical experience; and
(iii) Educational background relating to the applicant's
activities as an athlete agent;
(5) The names and addresses of three individuals who can
(6) The name, sport and last known team of all individuals
represented by the applicant as an athlete agent during the five
years next preceding the date of submission of the application;
(7) The names and addresses of all persons who have a
financial interest in the operation of the business of the
applicant as an athlete agent including partners, associates or
profit-sharers, but not including employees on fixed salaries;
(8) Any crime, other than a minor traffic offense, of which
the applicant has been convicted;
(9) Any administrative or judicial determination that the
applicant has made a false, misleading, deceptive or fraudulent
representation as an athlete agent;
(10) Any instance in which the actions of the applicant
resulted in the imposition of a sanction, suspension or
declaration of ineligibility to participate in an interscholastic
or intercollegiate athletic event on a student-athlete or
(11) Any sanction or disciplinary action taken against the
applicant arising out of misconduct in his or her occupation or
(12) Any denial of an application or suspension, revocation
or refusal to renew the applicant's registration as an athlete agent in any state; and
(13) The applicant's signature under penalty of perjury.
(b) An individual who has filed an application to be an
athlete agent in another state, in lieu of filing an application
in this state, may file a copy of the application from the other
The secretary of state shall accept the application from the
other state as an application for registration in this state if
the application from the other state:
(1) Was filed in the other state within the next preceding
six months or the applicant certifies the information contained
in the application is current; and
(2) Contains information substantially similar to or more
detailed than that required in an application filed in this
§47-3-6. Issuance, denial, suspension, revocation of, or refusal
to renew certificate of registration.
(a) The secretary of state shall issue a certificate of
registration to an individual who has complied with subsection
(b), section five of this article and submits satisfactory proof
that the individual is licensed or registered in the state in
which the application submitted pursuant to subsection (b),
section five was filed and the secretary of state determines the
requirements for licensure or registration in the other state are substantially similar to or more stringent that those of this
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this
section, the secretary of state shall issue a certificate of
registration to an individual who complies with subsection (a),
section five of this article.
(c) The secretary of state may refuse to issue a certificate
of registration if the secretary of state determines that the
applicant has engaged in conduct that has a significant adverse
impact on the applicant's credibility, honesty or integrity and
ability to serve as an athlete agent. In making the
determination, the secretary of state may consider whether the
(1) Been convicted of a crime which, if committed in this
state, would be a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral
(2) Knowingly made a materially false, misleading, deceptive
or fraudulent representation as an athlete agent or in the
(3) Engaged in acts that would disqualify the applicant from
serving in a fiduciary capacity;
(4) Committed any act prohibited by section fifteen of this
(5) Had a registration suspended, revoked or denied or been refused renewal of registration in any state; or
(6) Taken action that resulted in the imposition of a
sanction, suspension or declaration of ineligibility to
participate in an interscholastic or intercollegiate athletic
event on a student-athlete or educational institution.
(d) In making a determination under subsection (c) of this
section, the secretary of state shall consider:
(1) The period between the conduct and the application;
(2) The nature of the conduct and the context in which it
(3) Any activity of the applicant since the conduct which
demonstrates that the conduct is unlikely to recur.
(a) An athlete agent may apply to renew a registration by
filing an application for renewal in a form prescribed by the
secretary of state.
(b) An individual who has filed an application of renewal in
another state, in lieu of filing an application for renewal in
this state, may file a copy of the application for renewal from
the other state.
The secretary of state shall accept the application for
renewal from the other state as an application for renewal in
this state if:
(1) The application from the other state was filed in the other state within the next preceding six months or the applicant
certifies the information contained in the application is
(2) The application for renewal from the other state
contains information substantially similar to or more detailed
than that required in an application for renewal filed in this
§47-3-8. Suspension, revocation or refusal to renew registration.
The secretary of state may suspend, revoke or refuse to
renew a registration for any reason that would have justified
denial of a registration under subsection (c), section six of
§47-3-9. Temporary registration.
The secretary of state may issue a temporary certificate of
registration while considering an application for registration or
§47-3-10. Registration fee.
An application for registration or renewal of registration
must be accompanied by a fee in the following amount:
(1) [$100] for an initial application for registration;
(2) [$100] for an application for registration based upon a
certificate of registration issued by another state;
(3) [$50] for an application for renewal of registration; or
(4) [$50] for an application for renewal based upon an application for renewal filed in another state.
§47-3-11. Liability insurance.
(a) An application for registration must be accompanied by
evidence of errors and omissions liability insurance applicable
to the activities of an athlete agent in the amount of one
hundred thousand dollars or equivalent security.
(b) If an athlete agent fails to provide evidence of errors
and omissions liability insurance or equivalent security to the
secretary of state within thirty days after receipt of a notice
of cancellation issued by an insurer, the secretary of state
shall suspend the certificate of registration issued to that
athlete agent until the athlete agent provides evidence of errors
and omissions liability insurance or equivalent security.
§47-3-12. Form of contract.
(a) An agent contract must be in writing, signed by the
student-athlete and, if the student-athlete is a minor, by a
parent or guardian of the student-athlete, and a copy must be
furnished to the student-athlete at the time of signing.
(b) An agency contract must state or contain:
(1) The amount and method of calculating the consideration
to be paid by the student-athlete for services to be provided by
the athlete agent under the contract and any other consideration
the athlete agent has received from any other source for
obtaining the contract or will receive for providing the contractual services;
(2) The name of any person not listed in the application for
registration who will receive a portion of the compensation;
(3) A description of the services to be furnished to the
student-athlete agrees to reimburse;
(4) A description of the services to be furnished to the
(5) The duration of the contract.
(c) An agency contract must contain, in close proximity to
the signature for the student-athlete, a conspicuous notice in
boldface type in capital letters stating:
WARNING TO STUDENT-ATHLETE: IF YOU SIGN THIS CONTRACT, YOU
WILL LOSE YOUR ELIGIBILITY TO COMPETE IN YOUR SPORT. BOTH YOU
AND YOUR ATHLETE AGENT ARE REQUIRED TO TELL YOUR ATHLETIC
DIRECTOR IF YOU SIGN THIS CONTRACT. IF YOU SIGN, YOU MAY CANCEL
THIS CONTRACT WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER SIGNING IT. CANCELLATION OF
THE CONTRACT MAY NOT REINSTATE YOUR ELIGIBILITY.
(d) An agency contract that does not conform to this section
is voidable by the student-athlete.
§47-3-13. Notice to educational institution.
(a) Within seventy-two hours after entering into an agency
contract or before the student-athlete participates in the next
scheduled athletic event, whichever comes first, the athlete
agent shall give written notice of the existence of the contract to the athletic director of the educational institution at which
the student-athlete is enrolled or the athlete agent has
reasonable grounds to believe the student-athlete intends to
(b) Within seventy-two hours after entering into an agency
contract or before the student-athlete participates in the next
athletic event, whichever occurs first, the student-athlete shall
inform the athletic director of the educational institution at
which the student-athlete is enrolled that he or she has entered
into an agency contract.
§47-3-14. Student-athlete's right to cancel.
(a) A student-athlete may cancel an agency contract by
giving written notice to the athlete agent of the cancellation
within fourteen days after the contract is signed.
(b) A student-athlete may not waive the right to cancel an
(c) If a student-athlete cancels an agency contract, the
student-athlete is not obligated to pay any consideration to the
athlete agent and the student-athlete is not required to return
anything of value received from the agent to induce the signing
of the contract.
§47-3-15. Prohibited acts.
(a) An athlete agent may not do any of the following to
induce a student-athlete to enter into an agency contract:
(1) Give any false or misleading information or make a false
promise or representation;
(2) Furnish anything of value or benefit to a
student-athlete before signing an agency contract with the
(3) Furnish anything of value or benefit to any individual
other than the student-athlete before signing the agency contract
with the student-athlete.
(b) An athlete agent may not:
(1) Postdate any agency contract, professional
sports-services contract or endorsement contract;
(2) Do business as an athlete agent without complying with
(3) Contact a student-athlete before being registered under
this article; or
(4) Refuse or willfully fail to maintain or permit
inspection of the records required by section sixteen of this
§47-3-16. Record keeping.
(a) An athlete agent shall maintain a copy of any agency
contract entered into between the athlete agent and a
student-athlete for a period of five years.
(b) Information required by subsection (a) of this section
to be maintained is open to inspection by the secretary of state during normal business hours.
§47-3-17. Civil remedies.
(a) An athlete agent who violates this article is liable for
damages caused by the violation and for reasonable attorney's
(b) Damages of an educational institution include damages
incurred because, as a result of the activities of an athlete
agent, the educational institution 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 to mitigate sanctions.
(c) This article does not restrict rights, remedies or
defenses under the common law.
(d) A claim under this section does not accrue until the
educational institution discovers or by the exercise of
reasonable diligence would have discovered the alleged violation
by the athlete agent.
§47-3-18. Administrative penalty.
The secretary of state may assess a civil penalty not to
exceed twenty-five thousand dollars for a violation of this
§47-3-19. Criminal penalty.
A person convicted of violating the provisions of section fifteen of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon
conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than ten thousand
dollars, or imprisoned in the county or regional jail not more
than one year, or both fined and imprisoned.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for the
registration and regulation of sports agents who represent
collegiate student athletes in professional contract
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.