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Dez Bryant Speaks About Deion Sanders And Eugene Parker

Dez Bryant played in a whopping three games this season, and his on-field performance was not limited by any injury.  Instead, the former Oklahoma State wide receiver was sidelined based on an edict handed down by the NCAA.  He will still be a first round pick and he will make himself and his agent a boatload of money.

Speaking of his agent, Bryant recently signed with Eugene Parker, the agent who made a lot of headlines in 2009 for holding out his client, Michael Crabtree.  Eugene Parker is tied to Deion Sanders.  Sanders is a former client of Parker’s and Bryant trained with Sanders and met with Sanders at Sanders’ house.  When Bryant lied about working and meeting with Sanders, the NCAA came down hard on Bryant, and suspended him for the rest of the 2009 season.

In the past, I have pondered about the extent of Parker’s relationship with Sanders, years after Sanders officially retired from the NFL.  There are reports that Sanders played a role in Crabtree’s holdout and Crabtree, like Bryant, trained at Prime U (Sanders’ training facility).

Sanders publicly stated that Parker had absolutely no role in Bryant’s contact with Sanders prior to Bryant’s suspension.  Is it merely a coincidence that Parker ended up signing Bryant as a client, months after the NCAA suspended Bryant?  Bryant says that while he was meeting with Sanders, Deion never mentioned Parker’s name.

“Deion is my mentor, he’s a great guy,” said Bryant. “[Eugene Parker] is my agent and just to speak on that a little bit, I just want people to know that with Eugene and Deion, neither one talked to me about each other. Deion never talked to me about Eugene Parker. The first time I met Eugene Parker was about four weeks ago. I just felt like the NCAA thought that there was something going on, but I didn’t even know [Parker] then. They thought that Deion was a runner for him, but it wasn’t anything like that. Deion just wanted to be a mentor and make sure everything was right. I felt like there was nothing wrong with that.

Mike Florio of is not quite convinced by Bryant’s statement.  He uses the fact that Bryant as lied before as a reason why it is possible that he is just lying again.  I understand Florio’s reasoning, but at the same time, when I see what the NCAA does to people like James Paxton, I cannot easily say that the NCAA is justified in any action that it takes.  At the same time, would the NCAA really suspend someone for a majority of his team’s regular season games because he lied about contact with a trainer?  This story is extremely cloudy.

Last Friday, Fayette County Circuit Judge James Ishmael told Paxton that he will have to sit out of competition until he complies with the NCAA investigation.

The unfortunate consequence of all of this is that informed baseball players and their parents may read about this case and Andy Oliver’s case and say that it is not worth it to hire an advisor for the draft.  The fact that the NCAA is litigating these matters with such vigor will only serve to chill the business of qualified advisors.  In the end, the student-athletes, which should be protected by the NCAA, will end up hurt without the assistance of advisors who understand the business of the game of baseball.

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.