The Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA) and its 2015 revision regulate the athlete agent marketplace. See “Show Me the Money: The Uniform Athlete Agent Act (UAAA)” foran overview of the UAAA. But who is an “athlete agent” or a “student athlete”? Understanding the UAAA may be confusing without a concrete understanding of these terms.
Who is an athlete agent?
An “athlete agent” is a person who:
Intends to recruit a student athlete into entering an agency contract;
Attempts to procure employment for a student athlete as a professional athlete;
Receives compensation for advising a student athlete on a matter relating to business pursuits, finances, or career management in relation to the student’s participation in athletics;
Receives compensation for managing the business affairs of a student athlete by assisting with bills, contracts, taxes, or payments; or
In anticipation of representing the student athlete, provides him or her with something of value.
A person is an “athlete agent” only if he or she falls into one of the above categories. All athlete agents must register under the UAAA. In Minnesota, athlete agents register here. Individuals who assist an agent to solicit student athletes must also register under the UAAA. However, business entities, such as corporations, do not fall into one of these categories and do not have to register as an athlete agent; however, the individual employees of a corporation who meet the athlete agent definition must register.
Who is a student-athlete?
A “student-athlete” is a person who is eligible to attend an educational institution and is eligible to compete in any interscholastic or intercollegiate sport. This includes any student who is currently enrolled at an educational institution or a student who is not yet in college, such as a high school student, high school drop out, or high school graduates who delayed matriculation to a college.
To be considered a student-athlete under the UAAA, the student must either be currently participating in a sport, eligible to engage in a sport, or potentially eligible to participate in the future. An individual who is permanently ineligible to participate in a specific sport is not considered a student-athlete for that particular sport, but may be considered a student-athlete for a different sport. For example, a two-sport athlete who has exhausted his eligibility for baseball, but is eligible to play one more year of basketball. He is considered a student-athlete for basketball, but not for baseball.
What is an athlete agency contract?
An “athlete agency contract” is an agreement between a student-athlete and another person. The second person is the athlete agent. In the contract, the student-athlete authorizes the athlete agent to negotiate or solicit an endorsement contract or a contract with a professional sports team for the student-athlete.
What is an educational institution?
The UAAA applies to all educational institutions, public or private. An “educational institution” is an elementary school, high school, technical or vocational school, community college, college, or university.
For almost 20 years Kim Lowe has lawyered from the trenches. Kim lawyers from experience, using her knowledge of the law and understanding of how both for-profit and nonprofit business enterprises operate.
Emilee Walters is our first Avisen Legal Fellow alum and a third-year law student at St. Thomas School of Law. Emilee is an Avisen Fellow exploring a legal career in business law.