- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a Senate bill that will allow universities to sue sports boosters and agents who violate regulations.

The bill signed Thursday allows a lawsuit against third parties who trigger penalties and economic losses against universities for breaking a governing body’s rules. It will take effect in November.

Schools have lost revenue from sanctions that have prevented playoff appearances and other missed games, The Oklahoman reported (https://bit.ly/2oIknTv ).

Richard Knapp, executive director of the University of Oklahoma’s Touchdown Club, said unofficial boosters get schools in trouble. He said the new law will help prevent noncompliance with people who don’t coordinate their support through the school or official booster clubs. He said his club is audited by the university and the NCAA.

Universities have compliance departments that help navigate the rules enacted by governing entities like the NCAA.

“They’re quite honestly able to get away with a lot of improper payments, improper benefits because essentially, they believe they won’t be punished,” said Oklahoma City attorney and sports agent Kelli Masters. “Seeing an actual state law that has some teeth, that could be enforceable against bad actors - that’s really the only way to curtail that type of behavior.”

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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