In short, the odds of becoming a professional athlete from high school and up are less than one percent, but the rewards can be enormous for some. Top stars (the one percent of the one percent) get multimillion-dollar annual salaries, often with lucrative endorsement and advertising deals.
Once an athlete is eligible and ready to enter professional sports, he or she likely will face what is called Draft Day, when all the teams in one sporting league select players from the amateur ranks. This is when and where the services of a professional sports agent come quickly – and dramatically – into play.
If you are in search of professional and trustworthy sports representation for a career in professional basketball or football, contact K.E. Bradley & Associates, located in Missouri City, Texas. As an experienced sports agent certified to represent athletes pursuing a career in the NBA or the NFL, our firm is proud to work with both aspiring athletes and those who are looking to take their professional careers to the next level.
The Regulation and Duties of Sports Agents
An amateur athlete cannot employ a sports agent and continue to participate in college athletics, so once these amateurs have decided to “declare for the draft,” their college sports days are behind them.
Making the decision to go pro can be a momentous occasion — and timing can be everything. If you enter the draft too early, the competition may be too tough, sending you into the lower echelons of draftees, where both the pay and service guarantees are often reduced. Thus, many college athletes often decide to return to college for another year in an effort to increase their draft stock and further their earning potential.
Conversely, if you wait too long, you could fall off the draft charts altogether and become an “undrafted free agent” — leaving you to wait for a big-league team to sign you to a non-guaranteed, lower-paying minor league, developmental league, or practice squad contract.
This is where having an experienced sports agent on your side can make a huge difference. Two laws oversee or regulate the role of sports agents. The first was passed in 2000 and became known as the Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA), an act passed to provide regulations to deal with issues of eligibility, loss of scholarships, and financial penalties as athletes left school. The second law was passed in 2004 when Congress enacted the Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act, or SPARTA.
SPARTA’s requirements are fairly basic, limiting sports agents to three essential duties:
- A duty to be truthful
- A duty of disclosure
- A duty to refrain from “buying” an athlete.
This limited focus is one reason that most states have jumped into the fray with their own laws and regulations, usually requiring an application process, licensing fees, and a certification that recognizes official sports agents.
In addition, each professional league enforces its own code of conduct and other responsibilities for agents representing their athletes. Many leagues often license or certify the agents in an attempt to hold them accountable to the league’s ethical standards.
The Role of the Sports Agent
The primary function of a sports agent is to secure the best contract possible, not only in terms of entry into the professional ranks but every time that the athlete’s contract comes up for renewal – and sometimes earlier if the athlete excels and deserves more than the initial agreement.
Through the years, the role of a sports agent has evolved as agents have taken on more responsibility, including guidance and even management of the athlete’s financial affairs. Securing endorsements and other advertising deals figures prominently as well. National and local marketing and advertising opportunities may be available, and all commercial engagements require a certain level of legal expertise to help protect the best interests of the athlete.
Why Choose K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law?
As the founder and Managing Attorney for K.E. Bradley & Associates, I am proud to represent clients who are facing complex legal challenges in Missouri City, Texas. I have spent years practicing employment law throughout the state of Texas after serving ten years in the United States Army.
Recently, I decided to extend my services to athletes. I have been certified as a player agent by the National Basketball Players Association and am currently in the process of being certified by the National Football League as well. Though I am based in Texas, I hope to offer my dedication and professional services to athletes from around the country so I can continue to help athletes young and old realize their dream of playing the sport they love professionally.
I am proud to offer the highest level of devotion and dedication to athletes who have been working their entire lives to achieve one goal — to play professional sports. I am just as proud of this work as I am to provide many of the other services that I provide to my community, including pro bono mediation services for the Houston community and my efforts to advocate for disabled individuals, veterans, and minorities.
No matter what your circumstances may be, I am someone who will always act with your best interests in mind, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands when it comes to helping you navigate the sports landscape and work toward achieving your dream. Don’t face this challenge on your own. Call my office today to find out how I can help you take your sports career to the next level.