House Representative

Dutton Jr., Harold V.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/20/2011

REP. DUTTON'S BILL HALTS ABUSE BY ATHLETE-AGENTS

AUSTIN, TX – A Texas House Committee has passed legislation regulating the conduct of athlete-agents who often prey on student-athletes, causing student-athletes to lose scholarships and their universities to suffer sanctions from the NCAA. Rep. Harold V. Dutton, Jr. (Houston) stated: "when the athlete-agent encourages violations of NCAA rules, the student-athlete and the university suffer but the athlete-agent simply walks away untouched. HB-1123, however, clamps down on rogue athlete-agents and provides the strongest protections for student-athletes in the nation."

Among its significant provisions, HB-1123 mandates that athlete-agents: (1) register with the Secretary of State; (2) deposit a $50,000 bond before speaking with a student-athlete. (3) be certified by a National Professional Sports Association; (4) report all criminal convictions greater than Class C misdemeanors to the Secretary of State. Also an athlete-agent is prohibited from offering or furnishing anything of value to a student-athlete’s family before the student-athlete completes the last season of collegiate sports and sharing fees with or receiving compensation from a representative or employee of a college or university is strictly prohibited. Corporations are prohibited from registering as athlete-agents and violating any of HB-1123’ provisions subjects the athlete-agent to punishment under a third degree felony (2 to 10 years in prison).

There was no opposition to HB-1123 and among the witnesses supporting this bill was the world-renowned Dr. Jerry Argovitz, former owner of the Houston Gamblers and highly respected former athlete-agent. Dr. Argovitz stated: "Texas needs to get ahead of the curve and prevent unscrupulous athlete-agents from causing havoc in our college sports programs. HB-1123 does just that and will make Texas the model for the rest of the nation in protecting its student-athletes".

HB-1123 is currently awaiting action in the Texas House after being reported favorably out of the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures.



CONTACT: Stephanie Russell
(512) 463-0510