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Will Advisor Communication Hurt Karsten Whitson?

I want to start this article by stressing that the point of this article has nothing to do with getting any player in trouble.  The reason that I wrote this post is to once again try to point out how ludicrous the NCAA’s no-agent rule continues to be.  It was struck down by a court of law, only to be re-instated after a player (Andrew Oliver) settled with the NCAA so that he could move on to focus on becoming a Major League baseball player (which he did very fast!).  Even since the rule’s was re-established (the NCAA would like you to believe that it was never actually off the books), it has proved to be nearly impossible to enforce, yet the NCAA continues to try to find ways to use it.  I know that because advisors tell me about some of the questions the NCAA has asked the players they are advising over the past year.

Yesterday, I talked about The Continuance Of Advisor/Club Communication.  I discussed James Paxton’s punishment for not complying with NCAA demands after the NCAA had reason to believe that his advisor had direct communication with the Blue Jays, the likelihood that the same could have happened to Jameson Taillon, had he not signed with the Pirates, based on what was said in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and concluded with the statement that advisors are going to continue to talk directly to teams, no-agent rule or not.

While Taillon is immune from the NCAA coming down on him for what was written in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, might Karsten Whitson not be as lucky after he failed to sign with the San Diego Padres?  The tall right-hander from Chipley, Florida could not come to terms with the Padres, and will instead play at least three years at the University of Florida.  People are already clamoring about how college hitters will have no chance against his slider.  But a couple of articles mention that Whitson might not have been doing his own negotiating, having his advisor, Troy Caradonna of SFX Baseball do the talking.

From Corey Brock of,

“San Diego owner Jeff Moorad, a former agent himself, said he was disappointed that the first number presented to the team by Caradonna was just 15 minutes before the deadline and was $2.7 million, and that he felt sorry for Whitson in the end.”

And from Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune,

Moorad: “… We feel were misled by the agent, and it’s something we won’t forget. Lesson learned.”

If Caradonna was not doing the negotiating, Moorad should have known better than to say those words to a reporter, since it was not all that long ago that Moorad was in Caradonna’s shoes.  The NCAA follow up on this with some questions for Whitson.  I am hoping that Moorad’s statements do not end up hurting Whitson, though, and not only because he is committed to play at my alma mater.

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.

4 replies on “Will Advisor Communication Hurt Karsten Whitson?”

If, in fact, some sort of NCAA sanction came down on Whitson, would Caradonna also get into any legal trouble? If so, can Whitson and/or Caradonna file any sort of suit against Moorad in this case?

What could Moorad possibly be guilty of? Publication of private facts? The NCAA can’t take legal action against the advisor. Whitson could possibly take action against Caradonna.

This seems like another example of teams going along with the whole agent/advisor ruse UNTIL things go wrong. I doubt it was an accident that Moorad, Hoyer, and DePodesta all referred to Caradonna as an “agent” rather than as an “advisor.” If any team should know better, it would be the (former-) agent-owned Padres.

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