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A Look At Arena Football League Letter Of Intent Provided To Players

Letters of intent (also known as LOIs) are often used as precursors to final long-form agreements.  They typically contain material elements that the parties agree to with clear divisions between binding and non-binding provisions contained therein.  It allows the parties to put something down on paper and move forward with a working relationship in the interest of time, while it is contemplated that a more thorough agreement will be executed at some point in the future.

I was unaware that the Arena Football League (a sub-NFL league comprised of professional football players) used Letters of Intent until I received an LOI from an agent.  A copy of the extremely short LOI is embedded at the bottom of this article, along with attached documents including a Player Biographical Information sheet, a very simple grant of publicity rights, assumption of risk/waiver of claim agreement and authorization for release of health records or medical information form.

The documents are much shorter than I am used to, and that is with the clear understanding that LOIs are meant to be brief and not overly burdensome in a way to tie up negotiations between the parties contemplated to form a business relationship.

When asked who drafted the document, a football agent whose name will remain anonymous replied, “I’d say most likely by a non-lawyer or one without much experience.”

2014 AFL Letter of Intent

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.