Sports agent investigations: NC prosecutor hopes more states pursue agent cases
In Mississippi, officials updated the agent law a little more than two years ago to broaden what can be considered compensation and allowing the Secretary of State's office the power to conduct background checks on anyone applying to become an agent. Violators can be punished with up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
"We spent hours with the NCAA, all the universities in Mississippi and with the athlete agents themselves so we could address these issues," Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said last month. "I think the result is a much clearer path for us to regulate athlete agents."
Hosemann's comments came after Yahoo Sports reported that five Southeastern Conference players from Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi State received improper benefits during their college careers.
Woodall said there will be a "learning curve" in prosecuting his cases. He's deputizing three attorneys — two from the Secretary of State's office and one from the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys — to serve as assistant district attorneys in a case involving "hundreds to thousands" of pages of material such as bank, financial and phone records.
"You always want to get it right," Woodall said. "We will probably make some mistakes along the way. We may have to go back and redo some things, you never know. But compared to a homicide case, compared to a sexual assault case, there is no pressure."
AP Sports Writers David Brandt in Jackson, Miss., Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tenn., and John Zenor in Montgomery, Ala., contributed to this report.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap
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