College Football Players Headline NFL Players Sports Agents Sports Law

NFL Player Suspensions For Taking Money/Benefits As Student-Athletes Not Under Consideration

Two days ago I reported on a new group comprised of influential people from the NFL, NFLPA, NCAA, government, agent community, universities, Collegiate Coaches Association, and American Football Coaches Association, which has been meeting to try to come up with some answers to the problem of sports agents providing money and other benefits to student-athletes.  I was excited to read on ESPN that the group discussed the possibility of post-NCAA financial penalties against college players who accept money or other benefits from agents, including suspensions of up to 8 games in length and financial penalties (fines).  Was the statement from ESPN was without merit?

The NCAA has released an update to its original statement titled, Joint effort to tackle football agent issues continues.

Update: Contrary to media reports attributed to unnamed sources, NFL player suspensions are not currently under consideration.  While each of the involved groups may have different constituencies, we are committed to working to identify solutions that all can support.

That does not mean that player suspensions were not discussed.  Instead, it means that even if they were talked about, suspensions are off the table as far as the NCAA is concerned.  In all likelihood, the NFL, NFLPA, and agents lobbied against seriously considering that idea.  Those are the three parties with the most to lose from the possibility of NFL player suspensions.

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.