Recently, Texas and Oklahoma revamped their respective athlete-agent laws to include more stringent penalties. In Oklahoma’s version of the reform package, athlete-agents are 1) required to post a $250,000.00 surety bond; 2) subject to a misdemeanor offense with a fine of up to $250,000.00 for the first infraction; and 3) subject to a felony offense with a fine of up to $500,000.00 and three years in prison for a second infraction. Now, Oklahoma has taken prosecution a step further. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has announced that he has created a special prosecution team led by an attorney within the Attorney General’s office, and will also include outside investigators.
Over the course of the last year, several states have stepped up their protection of student-athletes and institutions of higher learning. Texas and Oklahoma have codified legislation that makes it a felony to violate their respective athlete-agent acts. Also, Alabama prosecuted an athlete-agent for alleged nefarious acts. In light of the scandals that erupted on the Atlantic Coast, it appears states all across the country are willing to more forcefully legislate and investigate these matters to prohibit the same things from happening within the confines of their borders.