Joe Nocera for The New York Times: The North Carolina Five

November 25th, 2013

The New York Times
by Joe Nocera
November 25, 2013

The Uniform Athlete Agents Act was a bill drafted 13 years ago at the urging of the N.C.A.A. The drafters were members of something called the Uniform Law Commission, whose job it is to propose model legislation that the states can then adopt if they so choose. Today, 41 states have the law, or some variant of it, on their books.

The law essentially criminalizes most contact between sports agents and college athletes — something that heretofore had merely been a violation of N.C.A.A. rules. Agents who give athletes money are now violating the law. “Runners” who act as go-betweens for agents are violating the law. Agents who don’t announce to the university that they want to talk to an enrolled athlete are violating the law. It is a measure of how good a job the N.C.A.A. has done in brainwashing the country that the simple act of handing money to — or giving advice to — a college student is now against the law in most of the country when the recipient happens to play a sport.

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