Fundamental Fairness in Union Regulation of Sports Agents

54 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2007 Last revised: 3 May 2009


This Article addresses whether the agent regulations unilaterally adopted by the players associations in the four professional sports leagues afford agents a sufficiently fair enforcement process. This issue involves a complicated interplay of multiple bodies of law that govern the competing interests of unions and agents. On the one hand, the union is the exclusive representative of the players under the National Labor Relations Act and, as a private association, the law affords the union great deference to interpret and enforce its own regulations. On the other hand, when the union accuses an agent of misconduct and seeks to take away the agent's livelihood by suspending or revoking the agent's license, the agent is entitled to a fundamentally fair enforcement and adjudication procedure, one that comports with basic notions of due process and affords the level of fairness contemplated by the Federal Arbitration Act. This Article addresses the proper balance of these competing interests throughout the various stages of the agent regulation process.

Keywords: arbitration, dispute resolution, labor, union

Suggested Citation

Karcher, Richard T., Fundamental Fairness in Union Regulation of Sports Agents. Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2007, Available at SSRN:

Richard T. Karcher (Contact Author)

Eastern Michigan University ( email )

318 Porter Building
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
United States
(734) 487-9134 (Phone)

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