Chapter 1 Sports Agency
(Tuition & fees, room and board, books) Scholarship covers 2/3 Cost of attendance
Less than 10 school’s athletic program turn a profit
NLI- National letter intent
Who is a sports agent?
Advocate, marketer and negotiator
Not just for athletes- Coaches, Broadcasters, retired athletes, etc. have agents. Qualifications:
Law Degree? Not necessary. No law or mandate that says an agent needs a law degree. Most do, though. Sometimes the law degree might be a hindrance. If you were an attorney, and also happened to be a sports agent, there are some ethical dilemmas. You can’t go up to someone who’s about to go be a big star and solicit them as a client. Dictated by Big Four
The Big four leagues- MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA
All have players’ associations which set up the rules for their individual leagues. They have allowed agents to begin speaking with student-athletes. However, nothing of value can be exchanged and no agreement can come to terms. Agents make a percentage of the athletic contract.
They use runners to recruit athletes.
Cost of becoming a sports agent have sky-rocketed. Agents don’t get a dime until the player signs the contract. Very difficult for upstart sports’ agents to compete with the larger firms. 4 year college to degree to be NFL agent, NBA is college degree or negotiating skills (she wasn’t sure how they test for those skills), MLB you have to have one player on an active roster to be an agent for a MLB player.
Contractor-independent contractor v. employer-employee
Express Agency – 99% of the time
A contract with the athlete expressing “This guy is my agent” in writing. Implied Agency
Rare. Seen most in boosters or TAF.
The athlete is responsible for the actions of the agent
Agency- a general legal principle that applies everywhere.
It is a basic that allows an agent to act on behalf of a principle. 1. Fully Disclosed Agency- the third party knows that you are an agent and knows you represent 2. Partially disclosed Agency- knows agent, but doesn’t know who the party is. 3. Undisclosed Agency- doesn’t know you’re an agent, and doesn’t know who the party is. a. The employer tells the employee A, B, C (the steps) to accomplish a goal. 1. Independent contractor- told to get to a goal and doesn’t care what the steps taken are
Agency History and Business
Red Grange (1925)
Red Grange was persuaded by CC Pile for him to negotiate his professional football contract before his college eligibility had ended. Flourish in 1960s
Billy Cannon, Vince Lombardi
Billy Cannon signed with the Rams of the NFL, and then 2 weeks later signed with the Oilers (more money) of the AFL. The court said “He was an untutored man.” They did not really enforce anything. Lombardi hated agents
Mergers in 1990s
Mark McCormeth turned into IMG, one of the biggest ones. He worked with Arnold Palmer first and really changed the game some. As TV and what not grew, Agency grew with it. Players get more money, Agents become more abundant. Egregious actions
Egregious Actions by firms, boosters, etc. which resulted in harsh financial penalties and scholarship reductions for college schools. Business
Big Four Certifications
Non-Big Four Sports
Most agents require their clients to sign this saying that they are the only agent you have. However, these are cancellable.
Duty of good faith- put forth best effort to secure contracts etc. (not just “ah it’s going to take care of itself”) Duty of loyalty- loyal to your athlete
Duty of accounting- financial, get the numbers right
Duty of care- encompasses all of them; you owe certain care to your clients. Conflicts of Interest
Players and Coaches, each league has own policies.
Policies re: conflicts of interest
Facilitators (Rodney King?)
Sports Agent Regulation
Uniform Athlete Agents Act...
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