SBJ/September 19 - 25, 2005/Labor Agents

Rosenhaus goes to union seeking fees from ex-client

NFL player agent Drew Rosenhaus has filed a grievance against a former client, Denver Broncos cornerback Lenny Walls, claiming that Walls owes fees from a contract that has not been completed.

Rosenhaus has asked the NFL Players Association’s arbitrator to award him $19,200 for work Rosenhaus says he did on “the attempted negotiation of Walls’ contract extension and/or upcoming 2006 free agent contract.”

“I don’t know if there has been such a case before,” said Richard Berthelsen, NFLPA general counsel. “Under the regulations, a contractor cannot claim payment for services until or unless a contract by a player is signed relatable to those services.”

Walls fired Rosenhaus in August and hired agents Peter Schaffer and Lamont Smith.

“Lenny Walls doesn’t feel he owes any fees, and we will be vigorously defending this frivolous action to the full extent of the rules and regulations provided by the NFL Players Association,” Schaffer said.

Rosenhaus did not return repeated telephone calls.

Rosenhaus originally signed Walls as a client in June 2004 and negotiated a one-year contract for him for the 2005 season in April.

Rosenhaus claims he is owed $200 an hour for 96 hours of work he said he did between April and August on Walls’ future deal.

FORMER BHSC EMPLOYEES FORM AGENCY, SIGN CHAVEZ: Two former employees of baseball agency Beverly Hills Sports Council have started their own firm and signed about 30 baseball clients, including Oakland A’s star third baseman Eric Chavez.

Eric Chavez is among about 30 baseball clients at the new All Bases Covered agency.
Scott Leventhal and Damon Lapa have formed All Bases Covered Sports Management and also have signed San Francisco Giants pitcher Noah Lowry, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan, Oakland pitcher Joe Kennedy and about 25 minor leaguers. The agency has offices in Los Angeles and Scottsdale, Ariz.

Leventhal and Lapa left Beverly Hills Sports Council in September 2003.

Beverly Hills Sports Council sued the two a few weeks later, claiming that they solicited clients to join their new firm. The lawsuit was dismissed in April 2004. All four of All Bases Covered’s major league clients were former clients of Beverly Hills Sports Council.

Chavez apparently was delayed in signing with Leventhal, as the MLB Players Association did not certify Leventhal and Lapa immediately after they left Beverly Hills Sports Council. Instead, according to sources, the union conducted an investigation into the allegations surrounding the departure of the two men from Beverly Hills Sports Council. Doyle Pryor, MLBPA assistant general counsel, declined comment.

While the union was conducting its investigation, Chavez signed with agent and former player Dave Stewart, who negotiated a six-year, $66 million extension for him with the A’s last year.

Contact Liz Mullen at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

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