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Volume 24 No. 156

Labor and Agents

The NFLPA is looking into whether Jay-Z and his Roc Nation Sports agency "violated any of the union's regulations during its pursuit of players," specifically the recent signing of Jets rookie QB Geno Smith, according to Jason La Canfora of Jay-Z is "not an NFLPA certified contract advisor," and there are allegations he "might have violated regulations regarding 'runners' and what kind of contact they may have with players, and what types of services they may be able to speak about." There has been "growing intensity within the agent community" for the NFLPA to look into whether Jay-Z and the agency "did not follow protocol." If he was "talking to potential clients at a time when his agency did not yet secure the services" of a qualified advisor, then his relationship with Smith "could be open to scrutiny and possible NFLPA action" (, 5/28). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio reported the union Monday "sent a letter of inquiry" to Kim Miale, the agent recently hired by Roc Nation Sports and Smith's agent of record. Miale "will have an opportunity to explain the situation," which could "then result in further questions" (, 5/28). Florio cited a source as saying that the NFLPA "has no choice but to act in response to flagrant flaunting of the rules behind a clumsily-veiled curtain that includes people like Geno Smith advisor John Thornton giving an on-the-record quote and then insisting he was misquoted, and Smith posting on social media a photo of himself with Jay-Z." The union believes there "must be respect for the system and the rules." The NFLPA believes that without action it "will lose credibility" (, 5/27).

CAA ASKED ABOUT RELATIONSHIP: NFLPA Assistant Exec Dir of External Affairs George Atallah last week said that the union has asked CAA Sports about its relationship with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports and how it relates to the representation of NFL players. The NFLPA already has completed an inquiry into what role, if any, Jay-Z played in Giants WR Victor Cruz firing his previous agent and hiring CAA Sports. Atallah said, "We are aware of the new relationship between Roc Nation and CAA.” He added that the NFLPA also is aware of Roc Nation Sports hiring Miale. Atallah: "We will be reaching out to all of the parties involved to get a better understanding of the nature of those relationships" (Liz Mullen, Staff Writer).

AGENT COMMUNITY UPSET: In Boston, Ben Volin noted Jay-Z's involvement in the NFL has "many in the agent community up in arms." Jay-Z "hasn't been certified as an agent" by the NFLPA and "probably won't be any time soon -- certification requires studying the minutiae of the league's collective bargaining agreement and passing a two-day test." However, Miale is a certified NFLPA agent -- "just not one who has much experience." Before signing on with Roc Nation Sports, her "only two clients never played an NFL snap or even signed a contract." The idea that Miale is "doing the recruiting and not Jay-Z is a bit hard to believe." Many agents are "wondering if Jay-Z and Roc Nation are getting preferential treatment from the NFLPA" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/26).