Wednesday, July 21, 2010

State of N.C. has not prosecuted an agent yet

The state of North Carolina has the power to prosecute rogue agents for athletes, but has not done so yet, according to a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office.

Under the current statute, passed in 2003, sports agents can be convicted of a felony for furnishing “anything of value” to an athlete in North Carolina. There were laws regulating sports agents before the current law was passed, according to Liz Proctor of the Secretary of State’s office.

However, Proctor said no agents have been prosecuted yet. “There have been inquiries but nothing that was found actionable,” she said Wednesday afternoon.

While the NCAA has met with some players at UNC, Proctor said that no formal complaint has been filed with the Secretary of State’s office. She said the Secretary of State’s office can initiate an inquiry if it wishes.

Later Wednesday, after questions from the media, the Secretary of State's office reported it would be looking into the issue. Both The News and Observer and WRAL reported that, quoting a different Secretary of State officer, George Jeter.

Proctor said the local district attorneys are the ones who prosecute if the state finds evidence that an agent broke the law. The statute allows for an agent to be convicted of a Class I felony, which is a lower-level felony but one that does have the potential for jail time.

The fact that no agent has been convicted might sound surprising, but Proctor made an important point – when the law was passed, the department received no funding, so it has no staff specifically dedicated to the issue.

1 comment:

  1. Capital Sports first wrote about this issue on Tuesday, and The N&O is now reporting the Secretary of State's office will investigate. Here's the link from The N&O on Wednesday: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/accnow/nc-secretary-of-state-starts-agent-probe