The bill aims to deter sports agents from illegally enticing students to sign with them. A good example of this is the case of former University of Southern California running back Reggie Bush, who accepted gifts from an agent. As a result, USC had to vacate a national championship, and Bush later gave back his Heisman Trophy.
“The illegal actions of a few unscrupulous sports agents, not only hurts athletes and collegiate athletics, but it hurts the fans,” Sanders said during his campaign for state rep.
And that’s one of the points of the legislation. While Arkansas has laws governing agent conduct, the penalties are slight — any violation is only a Class A misdemeanor — which makes the punishments for athletes and schools often more severe.
Sanders’ bill, as outlined in more detail here, would stiffen penalties against agents, raising an offense to a Class D felony punishable by jail time, jacking up fines and causing the agent to lose his or her license for up to five years.
Sanders and Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will discuss the bill on Thursday. ArkansasSports360.com will update this story.