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Volume 22 No. 7
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Lozano rebrands firm MVP Sports Group, signs 3 players

Liz Mullen
MLB player agent Danny Lozano has renamed his agency MVP Sports Group and signed two recent free agents, outfielder Jonny Gomes and pitcher Michael Gonzalez.

Lozano also signed Colorado outfielder Eric Young Jr.

Gomes, who played for Oakland last season, was represented by ACES Inc. Gonzalez, who played for Washington, was handled by Scott Boras Corp., while Young was formerly represented by CAA Sports.

Lozano added the Rockies’ Young to his roster.
Lozano will have difficulty matching the success he had during last year’s MLB free agency period. During MLB’s offseason last year, Lozano negotiated deals for four clients totaling $549 million, including a 10-year, $254 million free agent deal for first baseman Albert Pujols with the Los Angeles Angels and a 10-year, $225 million extension for Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto.

In a recent email Lozano sent to people in the industry that was obtained by SportsBusiness Journal, Lozano announced he was rebranding his Century City, Calif., agency from Icon Sports Group to the new MVP Sports Group. He did not elaborate on any reason for the change. He opened his own shop in 2010 after leaving Beverly Hills Sports Council.

> JUDGE DISMISSES NFLCA CLAIMS AGAINST NFLPA: A Washington, D.C., Superior Court judge has dismissed counterclaims the NFL Coaches Association filed against the NFL Players Association along with former general counsel Richard Berthelsen, assistant executive director Clark Gaines, director of finance Charles Ross, and Amalgamated Bank.

The NFLPA originally sued the NFLCA in April, alleging that the coaches association owed the NFLPA $650,324.88 and that NFLCA Executive Director David Cornwell was not properly elected to the post. The NFLCA countersued the players union in July, alleging the NFLPA breached its fiduciary duty to the coaches; engaged in a civil conspiracy; and tortuously interfered with contractual relations between the coaches group and Amalgamated, the bank where the funds in the dispute were deposited.

Judge Michael Rankin, in a ruling last month, granted the players association’s motion to dismiss the NFLCA claims. Rankin wrote in his order that there was no fiduciary duty between the NFLPA and the NFLCA and, therefore, there is no basis for a claim of conspiracy. Additionally, Rankin found there was no contract between the coaches association and Amalgamated Bank.

Chip Yablonski, outside counsel for the NFLPA in the matter, did not return a phone call, and attempts last week to reach the NFLPA for comment were unsuccessful.

Cornwell declined specific comment on the suit.

Meanwhile, in a letter to coaches in September, Cornwell told them he met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL General Counsel Jeff Pash over the summer and was working to advance the coaches’ interests with the clubs. Cornwell also wrote that he met with a number of club officials, including Atlanta Falcons President and CEO Rich McKay, who is also chairman of the NFL’s competition committee.

Cornwell declined to say what issues he addressed with league and club officials or what progress may have been made on those issues since he sent the letter in September.

“Because I believe we have direct access to the commissioner, Jeff Pash, Rich McKay, and other key club personnel, I don’t think it is advisable to talk about what our objectives are in the media,” Cornwell said.

The NFLPA has alleged that Cornwell was not legitimately elected as head of the coaches group because he was appointed as NFLCA executive director by the executive committee of that organization and not elected by coaches employed at all the NFL clubs.

“We are working our way though our process,” Cornwell said last week when asked about whether the coaches at the clubs had voted to elect him to the position. “The players association decided to make that an issue, but the coaches don’t have a problem with it.”

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