SBJ/Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2013/Labor and Agents

CAA Sports’ Condon relocates to agency’s Nashville office

Liz Mullen
CAA Sports NFL agent Tom Condon is relocating to Creative Artists Agency’s Nashville office.

Condon, who had been working with CAA Football co-head Ben Dogra out of the agency’s St. Louis office, said the move gives the football representation practice more coverage, both in its ability to recruit college players and to visit with NFL player clients.

Photo by: AP IMAGES
“It is obviously SEC territory and there are a lot of good football players [in that area],” Condon said. “And we [Creative Artists Agency] have had a country music office here for almost 20 years. They are integrated into the community and they are influential. It’s a big office here. There are 80 people.”

CAA moved into a new high-rise office building in downtown Nashville last June, and Condon said he can see LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans, across the Cumberland River from his new office.

Five other CAA Football staff members will move to Nashville with Condon.
Dogra will stay in St. Louis, and Jimmy Sexton, the other agent who runs the division, will remain in Memphis.

CAA Football represents more than 100 players in the NFL. Condon’s clients include quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

> WNBA CBA TALKS START WEDNESDAY: The WNBA and the Women’s Basketball Players Association are scheduled to begin talks this week for a new collective-bargaining agreement after their current deal expired late last month.

“We have scheduled a bargaining session for Oct. 30,” said Pam Wheeler, WNBPA director of operations, in a statement to SportsBusiness Journal. “We hope that both sides will be available and willing to schedule additional negotiating sessions in November.” She declined to comment further.
 
A spokesman for the league declined to comment.

The meeting will be the first since the league made its initial proposal to the players within the last month. Details of the proposal are not known, but a major issue for the players is adding another player to teams’ 11-player rosters. Players want the extra spot because, among other reasons, they cannot practice five-on-five if members of the team are injured.

The prior CBA expired Sept. 30, which means the league at this point could lock players out or the players could strike. But the players did not strike when they had the most leverage, during the WNBA Finals, which ended Oct. 10.

> LANDIS SIGNS SAUNDERS: Landis Seal and Ware Baseball has signed Seattle Mariners pitcher Joe Saunders for representation. Veteran MLB player agent Craig Landis will represent him. He was formerly represented by The Legacy Agency.

> NFL PLAYERS SEEK NEW REP: Four NFL players who had been represented by NFL player agent Terry Watson, who was indicted in North Carolina on charges he violated the Uniform Athlete Agent Act and suspended from representing players by the NFL Players Association, still had not signed with other agents as of early last week.

The players are St. Louis cornerback Cortland Finnegan, Atlanta running back Antone Smith, New York Jets safety Antonio Allen and free agent running back Armando Allen Jr.

Watson earlier this month was indicted on 13 counts of athlete-agent inducement and one count of obstruction of justice related to the University of North Carolina football program scandal in which at least a dozen players were suspended in 2010. The NFLPA had been conducting its own investigation into the allegations involving Watson and suspended him from representing NFL players in March.

Watson’s attorney, Russell Babb, had no comment on the NFLPA suspension but said he was carefully studying the indictment against Watson and the Uniform Athlete Agent Act, which to his knowledge had never been enforced in North Carolina previously.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.

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