WMU News

WMU official to testify on sports agent legislation

Feb. 25, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Two athletic department officials from WMU are expected to travel to the state capital of Lansing on Tuesday morning to support legislation to control the activities of professional sports agents.

Jeffrey A. Stone, associate athletic director for compliance and academic services, is scheduled to testify at 9 a.m. Feb. 26 before the Commerce Committee of the Michigan House of Representatives. Stone will support passage of HB 4857, also known as the "Athlete Agents Licensure Act" and the "Uniform Athlete Agent Act." Paul DeVries, the WMU athletic department's director of compliance, is expected to accompany Stone to the hearing.

Says Stone, "The Uniform Athlete Agent Act is designed to establish similar regulations across all states governing the conduct of sports agents. It mainly provides for registration of agents and establishes penalties for violations."

Earlier this month, WMU President Elson S. Floyd wrote a letter to members of the state legislature supporting enactment of the athlete agents legislation.

In his testimony, Stone is expected to note that there are 12 universities in Michigan that sponsor Division I sports, creating a large pool of potential professional athletes relative to most other states. Five Michigan universities play Division I-A football, and three of those schools--Michigan, Michigan State and Western Michigan--also sponsor Division I men's basketball, baseball and ice hockey, all sports with considerable professional influence.

"The NCAA has encouraged individual states to pass this kind of legislation," says Stone, "and I suspect that every Division I university in the state will come out in support of this bill."

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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