The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law

The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law

Edmund P. Edmonds, Notre Dame Law School


Book Chapter

Ed Edmonds, Athlete Representation, in The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law (Michael A. McCann, ed. 2017).

The sports agent performs a critical function as an intermediary between management and athletes by handling contract negotiations, endorsements, financial planning, and other associated activities. This chapter provides a history of athlete representation beginning in the 1920s with the efforts of Christy Walsh and Charles C. Pyle through the increased role of players associations during the final third of last century. In the 1980s, professional associations and state legislatures launched efforts to regulate agent behavior as a reaction to evidence of abuse. In the 2000s, these problems prompted the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to introduce the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, a legislative initiative ultimately adopted by over 80% of states, and the U.S. Congress passed the Sports Agent Responsibility Trust Act. Both initiatives addressed the tension between the NCAA’s amateurism standards and efforts by agents to attract clients before the completion of their eligibility.