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Casey Close To Leaving CAA

A week ago, a reader emailed me the following question:

Have you heard anything about Casey Close leaving CAA to start up his own company with David Falk?

Apparently, the rumor had been floating around for a month or so, but after doing some research, I had no way to confirm it.  Thus, I never ran the story.  Now, I come to find out that Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal reported yesterday that Casey Close may, in fact, leave juggernaut Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and may be considering either starting up his own practice, or joining David Falk at FAME.

Casey Close used to be the captain of the CAA Baseball ship, but as of roughly nine months ago, five different CAA baseball agents began splitting the responsibilities of division director.  Those agents are: Nez BaleloBrodie Van WagenenJeff BerryJoe Urbon and Greg Landry.  I find that interesting, since Casey Close is still with CAA, has not officially announced that he will be leaving, yet CAA changed the structure of the baseball division.

Here are some of the names you have heard of that are currently represented by Casey Close (some are split between Close and another agent): Ben Sheets, Jason Jennings, Aaron Hill, Derrick Lee, Josh Vitters, Connor Jackson, Buster Posey, Jeremy Sowers, Jamey Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Justin Maxwell, John Lannan, Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Lambert, John Mayberry Jr., Jeff Clement, Jeff Niemann, Gil Meche, Alex Gordon, Josh Fields, Michael Cuddyer, and some guys named Ryan Howard and Derek Jeter.

Talk about a client list.  It will be interesting to see which players stay with CAA and which ones leave with Casey Close, and if any battle ensues between the entities prior to or after Close leaves the agency (if he leaves at the culmination of his current contract).  Time to pull out the employment contracts!

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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