SBD/May 9, 2013/Labor and Agents

Did NFLPA Amend Its Rules To Prevent Jay-Z's Agency From Signing NFL Clients?

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Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports reportedly is in talks with Jets QB Geno Smith
The NFLPA has enacted an amendment to its rules "tightening undergraduate and post-graduate degree requirements" for agents representing players, according to Mike Freeman of CBSSPORTS.com. The rule states that agents "must come from an accredited college but there's no question that if you don't have one, this rule would prevent you from recruiting players." It is believed that Roc Nation Sports Founder Jay-Z may not "possess the academic credentials to pass union certification." The NFLPA requires "only certified agents be involved in the recruiting of athletes." Some agents said that the rule was "passed to close loopholes but other agents say it was aimed mostly at making sure there wasn't a feeling that Jay-Z could skirt the rules because he's ... one of the most famous people in the world." One agent believes that this amendment will "crush Jay-Z's attempt to sign NFL clients." But another said that there are "still ways around it" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/8). Meanwhile, PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio cited a source as saying that Jets draftee QB Geno Smith has "wrapped up two days of meetings" with potential agents, and Jay-Z' Roc Nation Sports was one of the agencies interviewed. CAA, which is partnering with Jay-Z on the venture, "wasn't involved in the process," and Roc Nation's presentation "came from a certified NFLPA agent who works for the agency." This could cause rival agents "to wonder whether and to what extent Jay-Z was or will be personally involved" in the efforts to land Smith (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 5/9).

TALKIN' BASEBALL: In N.Y., King & Davidoff cite a source as saying that Jay-Z is “closing in on being a certified agent” by the MLBPA. He is “expected to be certified by the union within weeks” (N.Y. POST, 5/9).
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