Oklahoma Law Will Hold Boosters Accountable | Athletic Business

Oklahoma Law Will Hold Boosters Accountable

Last Thursday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law Senate Bill 425, which allows a provision for universities to bring suit against boosters whose actions result in penalties for the school. The law goes into effect November 1.

The purpose of the law is to protect schools from significant revenue loss due to third party donors who flout the guidelines set by the NCAA or other governing bodies. In the past, revenue loss has come in the form of canceled playoffs or other games.

Richard Knapp, executive director of the University of Oklahoma's Touchdown Club, told The Oklahoman that he believes the law will be a help in preventing noncompliance by people working outside of the university system.

However, the law also has the potential to dissuade donors from offering support out of a fear of accidentally breaking the rules. OU booster Wallis March asked, “If we're giving money to the university assuming everyone was following the rules, are we entitled to get our money back?”

Attorney and sports agent Kelli Masters said that the current system allows a great deal of improper payments. “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,” she said. 

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