College Football Players Recruiting Sports Law

The Aftermath Of The Andre Smith Suspension

Could Andre Smith‘s suspension from the Sugar Bowl actually strengthen his draft stock?  Improper dealings with an agent really does not speak much of an athlete’s character.  It definitely reflects poorly on the agent who should know better than to confront a potential client before the college season is over, but it is not like Andre Smith spit on a girl in a nightclub or was carrying around a firearm and shot himself in the leg.  If the suspension does not reflect poorly on Smith’s character, might it have made a stronger case that he should be the #1 overall pick?   Alabama’s offense looked real weak against Utah in the Sugar Bowl.  I assume that many more holes would have been opened for the Crimson Tide runningbacks if Smith were in the game.  Might Smith’s absence be a big reason why Alabama lost?  Does that make NFL teams value him even more now?

Anyway, the University of Alabama has begun an internal investigation into what actually happened and what agent is behind the recruiting effort.  Remember, we are dealing with the state of Alabama, which means that someone is bound to be held accountable and ultimately punished.  If the university takes no action, you better believe that the Attorney General’s office will do something about it.

“The attorney general’s office has been active in prosecuting sports agent violations,” [Attorney General’s office spokesman Chris] Bence said. “It’s a felony. That’s a serious law.”

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.

5 replies on “The Aftermath Of The Andre Smith Suspension”

Should the agent be civilly liable if Smith is drafted anywhere below #2? But for his negligence, Smith stood to make more money. That said, I think you’re right that most if not all GM’s will (correctly) looks beyond this relatively minor and insignificant episode.

Will the agent actually get prison time? Will he just be fined and stripped of his license to do business in Alabama? Very interested in knowing the answer to these two questions.

I think it is very debatable about whether this shows a lack of character on Smith’s part. What it definitely does show is a complete lack of judgment showed by some college athletes. Andre Smith has no doubt been educated about the rules of engagement with agents by the compliance department at the University of Alabama, and by his junior year, he should know how to act. Without all the facts, it’s hard to really comment on the situation, but I do know that whatever Smith did led to his suspension and could have been avoided. I also would say that this violation probably won’t negatively impact Smith’s status as a NFL prospect too much, but it shows a lack of regard for complying with rules, which may turn off some NFL scouts and hurt his draft stock a little. In any case, we need to do a better job in educating athletes about the consequences of improper dealings with agents, especially around this time of year.

And it takes two to tengo…the unknown agent isn’t the only one who is culpable.

Comments are closed.