SBD/Issue 47/Sports Industrialists

Arbitrator Files Decision On Agents In Case Involving Vernon Davis

Arbitrator Roger Kaplan has struck down a one-year suspension that the NFLPA’s Committee on Agent Regulation & Discipline had imposed on agent Joby Branion, one of the principals of major NFL player rep firm Athletes First.  Kaplan, however, upheld a one-year suspension imposed on agent Zeke Sandhu. The case involved allegations that Branion and Sandhu had solicited 49ers TE Vernon Davis to fire Ethan Lock, a principal of Lock, Metz & Malinovic, as his agent. Davis remains a client of LMM. Sandhu was formerly an employee of LMM, and his name, along with Lock’s, was on Davis’ standard representation agreement. “There is no question that in this case there was interference," said NFLPA General Counsel Richard Berthelsen. “The only issue was whether it was by both Sandhu and Branion or only by Sandhu. The disciplinary committee thought it was both. Kaplan disagreed and said it was only Sandhu and his decision is final.” Sandhu had no immediate comment. Branion did not return a telephone call for comment.

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