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Hendricks Sports Management Finds Itself In A Big Mess

Randal Hendricks, Alan Hendricks, and Hendricks Sports Management, received some press they were not looking for when the public found out that Hendricks Sports Management was being sued by Edwin Mejia and Athletes Premier International (API) on a claim that Hendricks Sports Management tortiously interfered with API’s representation of Aroldis Chapman, prior to Chapman leaving API for Hendricks Sports.  The suit claims that Hendricks Sports made material false and disparaging statements to Chapman concerning API and Mejia, and provided improper enticements to Chapman in an effort to make him switch to Hendricks Sports.

Many people speculated that Rodney Fernandez, who was working for Hendricks Sports Management at the time, had a big role in causing Chapman to make the move.  Also, as I mentioned in a post on February 15, when Chapman made the switch, many inferred that Hendricks client, Kendry Morales, played a big role in the change of agents.  But last month, Morales also moved agencies, ditching Hendricks Sports for Scott Boras Corp. Think players only change agents in football?  Think again.

What is interesting is that the man who recruited Kendry Morales to Hendricks Sports and is claimed to be the person to woo Chapman to the same agency, is now being investigated by the MLBPA and the Coral Springs, Florida Police Department based on $300,000 magically disappearing from Morales’ bank account.  The article linked above also notes that Fernandez is a former employee of Hendricks Sports and that Fernandez was fired a couple of days after Aroldis Chapman signed that lucrative contract with the Cincinnati Reds.  The termination letter consisted of no more than three lines of ink.

Is the first word that comes to your mind after reading thus far, “shady”?

“From June 2008 until December 2009 [approximately 18 months], Rodney had been requesting PMR [Pro Management Resources] to wire money via Western Union to certain people without Kendry’s knowledge,” the report said.

Reisinger told investigators that Morales discovered the unauthorized transactions in mid-December.

So if Kendry Morales knew about this back in December, was the recent firing of Hendricks Sports unrelated?  If it was based on the unauthorized transactions, what took him so long to make the move?

In an interview Monday with ESPN The Magazine, Fernandez said that money taken out of Morales’ bank account was used for expenses related to Hendricks Sports Management, all of which was done with the approval of firm co-founders Randy and Alan Hendricks. Fernandez also said that the Hendrickses were supposed to reimburse Morales for the money but never did.

“If I’m supposedly the person who took all that money, then how come now I don’t have anything?” he said. “I don’t deserve what is happening.”

Fernandez said he was told by members of the Hendricks agency to keep quiet about rumors of financial indiscretions in December and January so it would not adversely affect Chapman’s free-agent contract negotiations with the Reds.

It looks like Fernandez is going to try to take down Hendricks Sports with him, and whether Hendricks Sports is guilty of anything or not, this is not something that the agency needs while it deals with a pending lawsuit brought by Edwin Mejia and Athletes Premier International.

Is Hendricks Sports concerned that Chapman may be the next client to leave?  Whether Chapman stays a client or not, Hendricks Sports will make nice commissions on Chapman’s first contract, since they are the agency of record when Chapman agreed to the deal’s terms.

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.

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