As the House and Senate go back and forth in budget talks, Senate budget chief JD Alexander said he's uncomfortable with the House plans to deregulate gyms, dance studios and sports and talent agents. He said a young woman he knew was almost taken advantage of by a talent agent.
And, he noted, athletes can be abused by sports agents -- a subtle reference to some of the old scandals at universities, notably Florida State University.... er... Free Shoes University, which received a spot of bad press in the 1990s when an unregistered sports agent took some FSU players on a shopping spree. Then there was the University of Miami, where players were incentivized by rap star Luther Campbell to make big hits. Campbell is now a candidate for Miami-Dade mayor.
Alexander said UF athletic director Jeremy Foley called him to lobby against the deregulation of sports agents.
"I really have some angst on talent and sports agents being de-regged," Alexander said. "I think there are real abuses there de-regging on. I’m just very hesitant to deregulate this particular one."
On gyms: "Historically, before regulation, I’m told there were ongoing recurring credit card charges where people couldn’t get them stopped. When we regulated it, all of a sudden, we got our hands around it."
He said older people used to be taken advantage of by some dance studios. But reports of those problems are in the past. At least for now. "Some of that is the result of regulation there that kept things we have heard about on the front pages of papers," Alexander said.