SBJ/October 8-14, 2012/Labor and Agents

NFL veteran Lal Heneghan joins Cornerstone Sports Consulting

Lal Heneghan, who has more than 20 years of experience working in the NFL, is now working for Cornerstone Sports Consulting, which is advising college football players at eight Division I colleges and universities.

Heneghan most recently was the San Francisco 49ers’ general counsel and executive vice president of football operations. He also has held positions with the Cleveland Browns and with the NFL, working with the NFL Management Council.

Heneghan said he joined Cornerstone earlier this year and participated with Joe Mendes and Jack Mula in conducting more than 100 agent interviews for college football players hoping to be selected in next year’s NFL draft. Mendes, a former Washington Redskins vice president of operations, founded Cornerstone four years ago to help advise college football players on their professional careers. College and university clients pay for the services, which include education on many aspects of playing in the NFL, including the selection of an agent. Mula, a former agent and former general counsel of the New England Patriots and who joined Cornerstone in 2010, said the firm brought Heneghan on to help with the increased workload from schools.

Heneghan called his commitment to work at Cornerstone open-ended and said that he enjoys the work of helping educate college football players about transitioning into the NFL.

“I have known Joe and Jack for quite some time and I really first participated with them over the spring and summer and went to a couple of schools where we met with players and families,” Heneghan said.

During May, June and July, Heneghan, Mula and Mendes conducted preliminary agent interviews for about five players at each of the eight schools with about half a dozen agents each, Mula said.

“We had agents who have been around for 25 years and represent the top players, and we had people who don’t have clients yet and are just trying to break in,” Mula said. “The first-year-out-of-law-school, I-want-to-be-an-agent to the superagents, if you will.”

Mula said the purpose of the preliminary agent interviews is to allow players to narrow their choices to two or three agents so they would not have to talk to agents during the college football season. Players cannot sign with an agent and stay eligible to play college football but may interview agents, under NCAA rules.

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