SBJ/April 29 - May 5, 2002/Labor Agents
Investigators: Huyghue signed at least 2 early
Published April 29, 2002
A report filed by investigators for the state of Florida says that agent Michael Huyghue signed at least two Florida student athletes before he received his agent's license.
Florida law prohibits anyone from conducting business as a sports agent without a license.
"I think, if anything, there was a misunderstanding," said Huyghue, a former senior vice president with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He said the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which regulates agents, provided him with incorrect information about when he could contact athletes.
In a March 13 letter to Florida investigator Richard Cook, Huyghue wrote that, in November, "I was told that I would be notified of when I would sit for the exam by letter but could provisionally speak to athletes."
The letter was included in the 48-page report, along with copies of contracts signed before Huyghue received his license. The report will be turned over to attorneys in the department, said spokeswoman Lonnie Parizek. Penalties for violating laws governing agents range from a letter of guidance to license revocation.
The investigation found that Huyghue signed University of Florida player Bennie Alexander on Jan. 4 and Florida State University player Atrews Bell on Jan. 15. Huyghue applied for a Florida agent's license and posted a $2.5 million surety bond in November, but did not sit for the required exam until Jan. 17. He passed the exam that day.
When asked if he signed the athletes before receiving his license, Huyghue said, "I am very confident that anyone would see that I did not unjustly enrich myself." He said he did not negotiate any NFL contracts before receiving his Florida license and NFL Players Association certification.