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Senate Approves Turner Bill to Punish Those Who Lure Student-Athletes

TRENTON – The Senate today gave final approval to a bill that would fine sports agents or recruiters up to $10,000 if they bestow gifts on high school athletes to lure them into professional contracts or agreements for college scholarships.

“High school student-athletes should be off-limits to the pervasive influence of big-money sports contracts and other enticements which could ruin their amateur status,”said Senator Shirley K. Turner, Senate sponsor of the bill, S-1634/A-899.

“The sports agents and the high-pressure college recruiters should be held accountable if they give money or illegal trips to high school students,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer.

The measure would impose a civil penalty of from $1,000 to $10,000 on any person who gives a gift, service, favor, job or any thing of value to a student-athlete with the knowledge that it would jeopardize the student’s amateur athlete status.

“Grownups should know better than to break the rules and shower students with tempting, but illegal offers of goods and services,” Senator Turner said. “In fact, it’s a disgrace what adults will often do to attract young people to colleges or to professional teams.”

The bill would require its provisions to be circulated among student athletes throughout the State by local school boards and administrators.

It passed 39-0 and now awaits action by the Governor.

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