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Title 59 - Education
ATHLETE AGENTS AND STUDENT ATHLETES
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Agent contract" means a contract or agreement pursuant to which a student athlete authorizes an athlete agent to represent him in the marketing of his athletic ability or reputation in a sport.
(2) "Athlete agent" means a person who, directly or indirectly, recruits or solicits a student athlete to enter into an agent contract, or who for a fee procures, offers, promises, or attempts to obtain employment for a student athlete with a professional sports team or as a professional athlete.
(3) "Student athlete" means an athlete who practices for or otherwise participates in intercollegiate athletics at a college or university that is located in this State.
Registration of athlete agents; notification of change of business address required; penalties for operating as agent without registering.
(A) Each athlete agent shall register biennially with the Department of Consumer Affairs on forms to be provided by the department and, at the same time, pay to the department a registration fee of three hundred dollars, for which the department shall issue a certificate of authority entitling the holder to operate as an athlete agent for two years. The department may revoke or suspend the registration of an athlete agent for cause or for a violation of any provision of this chapter.
(B) When the business address of an athlete agent operating in this State is changed, the agent shall notify the department within thirty days after the change of address.
(C) It is unlawful for a person to operate as an athlete agent unless he is registered as provided in this section. A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine of five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for five years, or both.
Notification requirements when student athlete executes agent contract; notice requirements in contract; penalties for failure to give notice; athlete's right to rescind contract; postdating contracts prohibited; penalties.
(A) A student athlete who is subject to the rules and regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics, or the National Junior College Athletic Association, who has not completed his last intercollegiate contest including postseason games for the applicable sport, and who enters into an agent contract with an athlete agent or a contract pursuant to which an athlete is employed as a professional athlete, shall notify the athletic director or the president of the college or university in which he is enrolled and the Administrator of the Department of Consumer Affairs that he has entered into such a contract. Written notification of entering into a contract must be given before practicing for or participating in an athletic event on behalf of a college or university or within seventy-two hours after entering into the contract, whichever occurs first. A student athlete who fails to provide this notification is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine of one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for one year, or both.
(B) An athlete agent who enters into an agent contract with a student athlete who is subject to the rules and regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics, or the National Junior College Athletic Association shall notify the athletic director or the president of the college or university in which the student athlete is enrolled and the Administrator of the Department of Consumer Affairs that the student athlete has entered into such a contract. Written notification of the contract must be given before the student athlete's practicing for or participating in an athletic event on behalf of a college or university or within seventy-two hours after entering into the contract, whichever occurs first. An athlete agent who fails to provide this notification is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine of five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for five years, or both.
(C) A student athlete or athlete agent who enters into a contract before October 1, 1990, is subject to the notification requirements of this section as of October 1, 1990. Thereafter, they are subject to these notification requirements immediately in the manner required by this section.
(D) An agent contract between a student athlete and an athlete agent must have a notice printed near the space for the student athlete's signature which must contain the following statement in ten-point bold-faced type:
"WARNING: IF YOU AS A STUDENT ATHLETE SIGN THIS CONTRACT, YOU MAY LOSE YOUR ELIGIBILITY TO COMPETE IN INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS. PURSUANT TO SOUTH CAROLINA LAW, YOU SHALL NOTIFY THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR OR PRESIDENT OF YOUR COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY AND THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS IN WRITING BEFORE PRACTICING FOR OR PARTICIPATING IN AN ATHLETIC EVENT ON BEHALF OF A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY OR WITHIN SEVENTY-TWO HOURS AFTER ENTERING INTO THIS CONTRACT, WHICHEVER OCCURS FIRST. FAILURE TO PROVIDE THIS NOTICE IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE."
(E) An agent contract entered into between a student athlete and an athlete agent who fails to provide the notification required by this section is void and unenforceable.
(F) A student athlete or athlete agent who enters into an agent contract and fails to provide the notification required by this section is liable for damages to the college or university in which the student athlete is enrolled that result from the student athlete's subsequent ineligibility. In addition to damages, if any, awarded pursuant to this section, damages may be assessed in an amount equal to three times the value of the athletic scholarship furnished by the institution to the student athlete during the student athlete's period of eligibility.
(G) Within ten days after the date on which the contractual relationship between the athlete agent and the student athlete arises or after notification of the contractual relationship is received by the athletic director or president of the college or university in which the student is enrolled and the Administrator of the Department of Consumer Affairs, whichever occurs later, the student athlete has the right to rescind the contract or any contractual relationship with the athlete agent by giving notice in writing of his intent to rescind. The rescission is effective upon repayment by the student athlete to the athlete agent of any monetary amounts paid to the student athlete by the athlete agent, exclusive of travel, lodging, meals, and entertainment, or reimbursement for these items, furnished by the athlete agent to the student athlete. The student athlete may not effect a waiver of his right to rescind, and an attempt to do so is prohibited and unenforceable.
(H) Postdating of agent contracts is prohibited, and a postdated contract is void and unenforceable. Execution of a postdated contract is a violation of this chapter, and an athlete agent committing the violation is subject to the penalty provisions of Section 59-102-20(C). A student athlete committing the violation is subject to the penalty provisions of Section 59-102-30(A).
Prohibited acts of agents.
An agent may not:
(1) publish or cause to be published false or misleading information or advertisements nor give any false information or make false promises to an athlete concerning employment;
(2) accept as a client a student athlete referred by an employee of or a coach for a college or university located in this State in exchange for the rendition of free legal services, the rendition of legal services for a reduced fee, or any other consideration;
(3) enter into an agreement, written or oral, by which the athlete agent offers anything of value to an employee of or a coach for a college or university located in this State in return for the referral of student athlete clients by that employee or coach;
(4) offer anything of value to induce a student athlete to enter into an agreement by which the agent will represent the student athlete. Negotiations regarding the agent's fee is not considered an inducement;
(5) conduct business as an athlete agent if his registration is suspended.
Department of Consumer Affairs to promulgate regulations.
The Department of Consumer Affairs may promulgate regulations necessary to implement and enforce this chapter.