NBA union to crack down on agents breaking rules

National Basketball Players Association passed new regulations regarding agents and their players.

National Basketball Players Association player representatives voted at All-Star Weekend in Toronto to increase player-agent dues and the increase will begin with the 2016-17 season, according to an NBPA memo obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

The increase is significant, especially for agents who represent 10 or more players. The current rate for agents is $1,500 per season, but even for agents who represent as few as nine players, that yearly fee will increase to $2,500.

For agents with 10-19 players, the fee will be $5,000, and for agents with more than 20 players, annual dues will be $7,500.

In the memo sent on Monday, the NBPA also said “the regulation prohibiting an Agent from representing both an NBA player and a coach/GM will now be strictly enforced. There will be a six-month grace period (August 22, 2016) to allow agents to transition clients to another agent.”

However, “Agents at the same agency may separately represent a player and a coach/GM so long as notice is provided to the player,” creating a loophole for agents, especially those agents who work for larger agencies.

The NBPA informed agents in the memo that Monetary fines, up to a maximum of $100,000, will now be part of the list of potential penalties for agents. The range of penalties will now be: public reprimand, fine, suspension, decertification. Please note that the NHLPA, NFLPA, and MLBPA all have the right to levy fines against Agents without limitation.”

The crack down on agents representing players and coaches/GMs follows extensive reporting by CBS Sports, which also reported last week the memo would be sent soon.

The NBPA also detailed other changes in the memo:

  • An agent’s certification will expire if he/she hasn’t represented a player in a five-year period.
  • Agents must disclose use of paid recruiters/runners.
  • Agents must disclose if they refer players to financial advisors and their process for selecting advisors
  • New agents will need to pass a written examination to become certified.
  • Applications will be accepted only from April 1-June 1 each year.
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