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The Door Has Been Shut On Andruw Jones

Contributor Paul Schackman predicted it. On August 1st, he wrote that Andruw Jones would have the door closed on him this off season after the Braves acquired Mark Teixeira [Thumbs up or down for Boras ?]. Jones made $13.5 million this past year, and the Braves were just not interested in Boras’ demand for approximately $140 million over 7 years [Who Gets Andruw Jones?].

Jones will find a job somewhere, but that is not really the issue. It goes back to Paul’s original post. Boras represents Teixeira and Jones. The fact that Teixeira was shipped to Atlanta may have filled up any space that the Braves had allotted for potentially re-signing Jones. Is there a conflict of interest here?

A lot of people still have confidence in Boras to pull through and get Jones more money per year than his last contract. After batting .222 this past year, that is a daunting task, but some believe that the man who is famous for A-Rod’s $252 million contract can get it done [Atlanta Fans: Waive goodbye to Andruw Jones!]. This is all well and good, but what if Andruw would rather earn slightly less and play for Atlanta? What if that was a possibility until Boras negotiated a trade for Teixeira? An AP writer claims, ” Jones would have preferred to stay with the Braves, but the team had no serious talks with his agent, Scott Boras.” [Braves prepare to move on without Andruw Jones].

When you have such a large client list within a particular sport, do conflicts of interest exist. If so, do you have a right to do everything in your power to avoid them? As a lawyer, you definitely do. As an agent, you do as well. Did Boras do everything in his power to make both Teixeira and Jones happy?

Sports Law Blog also has two interesting “conflict of interest” type posts. One concerns the representation of players and ownership. The other looks at representing players and coaches. Both have some great analysis. What are your thoughts on the possible issue of conflict of interest in the scenario of this post and the 2 presented by Sports Law Blog?

-Darren Heitner

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

4 replies on “The Door Has Been Shut On Andruw Jones”

There definitely is a conflict of interest. But only if Boras can’t get Jones a great deal elsewhere. My money is on Boras for getting a deal done. If you want to talk about conflict of interest, you should take a look at WMG and the clients they have on the Portland Trailblazers. LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Josh McRoberts, Martel Webster, Joel Freeland are all represented by Wasserman/Arn Tellem. That’s at least 1/3 of the team. And all of them are on Rookie deals that expire within a year of another. Meaning that it’s going to be difficult for all of them to get paid. Obviously Roy and Aldridge are the priorities at this point. But is that fair to Webster, Freeland and McRoberts? But then again, maybe Tellem can play the game of sign my lesser guys and I’ll make sure we work a better deal out with Aldridge and Roy. But is that fair to Aldridge and Roy?

This is especially a big deal for any future attorney/agents. This is clearly a conflict of interest. I wonder how Boras deals with this? He is an attorney (go Mcgeorge!), so how does Boras (or any agent for that matter) get around the issue? I’m guessing contracting out of it, but what do you all think?

Yeah, full disclosure up-front is usually enough, though some might argue an attorney has an ethical duty under the Model Rules of Practice not to put himself or his client in the situation in the first place.

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