But it also requires agents to provide athletes with written information up front about how their college eligibility would be affected by signing a representation agreement and requires athletes who are still in school to notify their athletic director within 72 hours of doing so. It also allows athletes to back out of any agreement within 14 days, although they might still lose eligibility.
“We worked with the NCAA, everyone in the junior colleges and the universities here, and also members of the NFL Players Association and sports agents themselves from inside and outside the state,” Hosemann said. “(The law is designed) to protect young men and women in their contractual obligations for professional sports, and also to protect the universities and colleges finding out that they had to forfeit games or something went amiss. It’s not been talked about a lot, but I think that it is going to put Mississippi in the forefront.”
The issue has become heated, and Alabama coach Nick Saban went as far as to compare unscrupulous agents to “pimps” in comments at last summer’s SEC Media Days.
Mississippi State became embroiled in controversy surrounding the eligibility of Cam Newton, Auburn’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. Newton was also heavily recruited by the Bulldogs, with former MSU player Kenny Rogers — who has ties to sports agents — saying publicly that he helped broker meetings between Newton’s father and school representatives at which the elder Newton asked for money to secure his son’s signature on a national letter of intent.
Rogers met with Hosemann’s office in December, but the secretary of state’s findings have not been made public.
Mississippi State also has not been notified of any formal NCAA investigation in the Newton case. But Hosemann is looking to head off any future controversies before they happen.