Definition of “Sports Agent” Expanded in Tennessee

A new state law broadens the definition of a “sports agent” to even include fathers of athletes in some instances.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett helped write the new rules, which were signed into law by the governor last week.

In the past, Hargett says agents have used so-called “runners” to contact amateur athletes.

“He hides under that description because he’s not an agent under the old law but now under this new law he is an agent. He can’t say he’s not an agent without quite frankly just lying about it.”

Student-athletes can already get in trouble for working with these informal agents under NCAA regulations. Hargett says now the agents will be held accountable too, with fines of as much as $25,000.

Tennessee’s new agent restrictions are similar to those in North Carolina and not quite as strict as some in Texas. Hargett says they will help protect institutions from costly NCAA sanctions, which could lead to being blocked from post-season play.

The Secretary of State has a list of registered sports agents in Tennessee.

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