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More On The Upshaw Upheaval

Gene Upshaw cryingGene Upshaw is trying to get some retired players who are known to support the current NFLPA Executive Director back into the union to support him as reports about disunity continue to surface. Trace Armstrong has already accepted Upshaw’s invitation. While this may be a good move for Upshaw in his attempt to retain his position, is it really in the best interest of the NFLPA? Will it actually make the union less unified?

Matt Stover’s only comment was that the move was “interesting.” The important quote from Stover is, “We need Gene to be in full authority through the next CBA, even if it means going beyond his current contract. I just think we can have a orderly process that still gets his successor in place without undermining Gene. That’s where my heart is.”

Gene does not want to hear anything about a succession plan, though. And he may need to concede on that point if he truly cares about strengthening the union in preparation for a big battle against NFL owners.

“I’m not sitting here defending Gene Upshaw, but when you have Matt Stover, who is not even the president of the NFLPA — I think, it’s Kevin Mawae — making a decision that we all need to stand behind, it makes us not look like we’re a strong front and shows that we’re divided,” Texans veteran defensive end N.D. Kalu said. “And that doesn’t look good when you’re negotiating, because whoever the NFLPA negotiates against or with, they are going to know we are divided on certain issues.”

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.

3 replies on “More On The Upshaw Upheaval”

I wouldn’t put much into Trace Armstrong aligning himself with Gene Upshaw. Armstrong is an employee of the company (CAA) that represents Upshaw when he’s negotiating a new deal with the PA. I don’t know who the other ex-players are who are lining up behind Upshaw, but my money’s on them also being former CAA guys.

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