The creation of Roc Nation Sports has brought increased attention to the sports agency industry. And rightfully so. Attaching Jay-Z’s name to a sports agency is bold; athletes will be intrigued and competing agents will be concerned (whether they wish to admit it on the record or not).
I have been covering Jay-Z’s efforts on FORBES, writing about his initial break into sports agency with the signing of Robinson Cano and partnering with Creative Artists Agency, but also honing in on the potential problems regarding Jay-Z’s involvement in recruiting players to his agency without proper players’ association certification in place. First, the focus was on his involvement in assisting in the recruitment of New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz to CAA. More recently, attention has been shifted to Roc Nation’s hiring of NFLPA certified Contract Advisor Kim Miale, and New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith’s selection of Miale as his new football agent.
As I wrote on May 22,
Jay-Z is not currently a certified Contract Advisor with the NFLPA. The NFLPA regulations governing Contract Advisors state that Contract Advisors will be subject to sanctions if they (1) use, (2) associate with, (3) employ or (4) enter into a business relationship with any non-NFLPA certified individual in the recruitment of prospective player-clients.
Smith said that Jay-Z’ played “not that big of a role” in making a decision concerning representation. Will the size of the role matter to the NFLPA, or is it enough that Jay-Z played any role at all?
According to a report published on SportsBusiness Daily, the NFLPA will be reaching out to “get a better understanding” of Jay-Z’s relationship with Geno Smith and whether that relationship had any role in the quarterback selecting Miale as his representative. The answer appears to be rather obvious . Did Miale, a Contract Advisor with no experience negotiating active NFL player contracts, have any chance of signing Geno Smith without Jay-Z’s assistance?
the question remains – will the NFLPA do anything about it if the Association finds that Jay-Z was involved in the recruitment of Geno Smith to Roc Nation Sports? Getting a better understanding of a situation is one thing. Disciplining a Contract Advisor for wrongdoing is another. Jay-Z is not currently certified with the NFLPA, thus the Association has no jurisdiction to punish him. However, it could take punitive action against Miale should it determine that Miale used, associated with or entered into a business relationship with Jay-Z in the recruitment of Geno Smith.