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NFLPA Regulations As To Drew Rosenhaus Speaking With Cam Wake

I am currently in the process of writing an article to be published in a law review/journal with sports lawyer Jason Wolf regarding the new MLBPA Regulations Governing Agents as amended on October 1, 2010.  One of the new provisions in the new Regulations requires agents who wish to recruit players represented by others to give prior notice to the MLBPA.  Even if the player is the one to initiate contact with the agent who is not currently his agent of record, the agent must disclose the communication to the MLBPA within 24 hours.  While it is unknown whether agents will follow this particular rule and if the MLBPA will actually enforce it, it sounds good on paper.

The reason this comes to mind is a Tweet sent out 2 days ago by Paul Sheehy, President of Pro Star Sports.

If Cam Wake, the Miami Dolphins linebacker who is having a Pro Bowl, if not potentially an NFL Defensive Player of the Year, type of season was my client, I would be infuriated by that news.  Sheehy asks, “NFLPA Agent Regs anyone?”

Section 3(B)(21) prohibits a Contract Advisor from,

(a) Initiating any communication, directly or indirectly, with a player who has entered into a Standard Representation Agreement with another Contract Advisor and such Standard Representation Agreement is on ?le with the NFLPA if the communication concerns a matter relating to the:

(i) Player’s current Contract Advisor;

(ii) Player’s current Standard Representation Agreement;

(iii) Player’s contract status with any NFL Club(s); or

(iv) Services to be provided by prospective Contract Advisor either through a Standard Representation Agreement or otherwise.

(b) If a player, already a party to a Standard Representation Agreement, initiates communication with a Contract Advisor relating to any of the subject matters listed in Section 3(B)(21)(a) the Contract Advisor may continue communications with the Player regarding any of those matters.

(c) Section 3(B)(21) shall not apply to any player who has less than sixty (60) days remaining before his NFL Player Contract expires, and he has not yet signed a new Standard Representation Agreement with a Contract Advisor within the sixty (60) day period.

(d) Section 3(B)(21) shall not prohibit a Contract Advisor from sending a player written materials which may be reasonably interpreted as advertising directed at players in general and not targeted at a speci?c player.

Basically it boils down to a question of whether Drew Rosenhaus initiated the conversation with Wake or vice versa.  If Cam Wake called out Rosenhaus, then no harm no foul.  Under the MLBPA Regulations, which are more strict in this area, Rosenhaus would have to report the communication, anyway.  If Rosenhaus initiated the communication, then to stay clear of a violation, he could not have mentioned Paul Sheehy, talked about Cam Wake’s current contract with Sheehy, discussed Wake’s contract with the Dolphins, or talk about what he could be doing for Cam Wake if he was his Contract Advisor.

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.