I decided to start a new column that will spark solid dialogue amongst our avid readers here at the blog. It’s entitled “What would you do…?”

The column’s basic purpose is to pose a hypothetical situation related to athlete representation. This will give a chance for some current agents to provide a response. It will also prepare aspiring agents for some of the issues they are likely to face one day should they break into the industry.

Here it goes…

You are approaching the end of the college football recruitment season. You have been heavily recruiting a top prospect who many draft pundits have projected as a mid-to-late first round pick.

You are feeling confident about your efforts thus far and believe you have this guy pretty much locked up. As the signing deadline approaches, your top prospect lets you in on a deep secret that throws everything into a tailspin.

He tells you that he has been taking money and other illegal gifts from another agent (“agent B”) for the past two seasons. But this only scratches the surface.

Now that agent B has found out that “his” prospect is leaning toward signing with you instead, he decides to blackmail the player. Agent B threatens that he will turn the player into the NCAA for taking illegal payments if the player does not sign with him.

While this may seem like a completely asinine thing to do if you are agent B (as it would result in immediate decertification by the NFLPA and other harsh legal ramifications), it is very effective because it puts the player in a catch-22. Out of fear of being reported and having his dirty laundry aired to the public, the player is pressured into signing with agent B because he feels he has no other choice.

Another twist…

The player promises you that if you keep his financial improprieties confidential, he will eventually switch to you after his first contract expires.

What would you do…?

Matthew Allinson