While the young NBA offseason has been making most of the headlines in the sports world this week, in NFL news, agents Pat Dye Jr. and Jimmy Sexton are dealing with a lawsuit surrounding the stealing of clients.
Dye and Sexton were partners at SportsTrust Advisors until Sexton decided to break off and join CAA in 2011. In joining CAA, Dye is accusing Sexton of stealing a number of clients including Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver Julio Jones. While technically filed in the Georgia Supreme Court in January 2016, the case has been in appeals regarding which course will hear it.
Dye is accusing Sexton of a “breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, violation of trade secrets and tortious interference, according to Creg Stephenson of AL.com. Jones, the sixth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, comes into the picture because Dye alleges that Sexton went out of his way to develop a close relationship with Jones, then leveraging it to sign former Alabama teammates Trent Richardson and Mark Barron in January 2012 and February 2012, respectively. While Sexton left SportsTrust Advisors in 2011 to join CAA, the lawsuit alleges that Sexton continued to pursue Jones until he ultimately signed with him in 2013.
At CAA, Sexton represents some of the highest profile NFL players as well as top college coaches including Alabama’s Nick Saban, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher.
In the cut-throat industry that is the sports representation industry, clients are constantly leaving and switching agents. While there are many lawsuits surrounding these transitions, they are rarely heard about unless they pertain to agents of Dye and Sexton’s stature. The next steps in this lawsuit are to determine the correct venue for the case, then any litigation can occur.