2010 – The Year “Student-Athlete” Lost Its Meaning

Today marks Sports Agent Blog’s 5th anniversary.  What started off as a 2005 New Year’s Resolution by yours truly, has turned into its own successful and profitable business, and a publication (call it “blog” – I am proud of that word) that has at least been discussed (if not read) by every sports agent in the industry.  Thanks to you, whoever you are, for being a part of this site’s success and providing me an outlet to report on and discuss sports agent related issues that interest me.

On December 31, 2005, I was a Junior undergrad at the University of Florida.  Today, I am a practicing attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  On December 31, 2005, this website was viewed by a handful of people at a domain name that no longer exists.  According to, in the month of July 2010, Sports Agent Blog received over 135,000 page views.

I have always viewed this site as being something owned by the general public.  You wanted agency information, and we provided it broken down by state, sport, and alphabetically.  You wanted an internship database, and today we maintain a growing amount of agency internship information.  So what is next for Sports Agent Blog?  You tell me.

Last year, I looked back at how the site has grown over time.  Give it a read if you have a moment.  This year, let’s look back at the most popular posts of 2010.  If I had to label 2010, I would say that it was the year that the phrase “student-athlete” lost its meaning.  It was marred with scandals of agents providing benefits to college football players.  Was 2010 just the beginning?

#1 – The UNC Football Scandal

July was our biggest month partly because of this particular story.  My friend Joe Schad at ESPN originally broke the story that the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill was under investigation by the NCAA and that agent benefits were a concern.  While Schad found out that Marvin Austin was under investigation, I found that there were actually many others on the team who reportedly received benefits from agents.  At the time, no one had any idea that UNC’s former associate head coach, John Blake, had anything to do with it.  People also had not made the connection that agent Gary Wichard was involved.  Eventually Blake lost his job and Wichard was suspended by the NFLPA.

#2 – South Carolina Up Next?

This story also pushed Sports Agent Blog to the eyes of many new visitors in the month of July.  It was another investigatory piece, but involving North Carolina’s neighbor, South Carolina.  This time, the focus was on Tight End, Weslye Saunders.  Saunders ended up sitting out the 2010 season afterwards.

#3 – UFL Player And Agent Compensation

The United Football League (UFL) has become a destination for many football players who hope to one day make (or return to) an NFL roster.  More and more agents are considering sending their players to the UFL to showcase their talents to NFL scouts.  Recently, however, the UFL was criticized for its steep transfer fee.  This particular post was very popular because it simply laid out player and agent compensation in the UFL and how to become a certified agent.

#4 – Brock Lesnar Update

I have no idea why this post by Zachary Lipari from January 2010 is so popular, but we seem to get a good amount of visits from Google searches for it, so here you go.  Lesnar had diverticulosis, had surgery, and based on a medical miracle, was able to return to the octagon.

#5 – The 2010 NFL Draft Pick/Agent Selection Master List

There has been a lot of agent switching since the 2010 NFL Draft took place, but immediately after all the names were called in New York, I put together this list of players and their agents of record at the time of being selected.  There were a few blanks, but I was able to find agent information for the majority of players taken in the draft.  This remains as a very useful resource for people to find out who to contact to get ahold of a particular player.  Expect this feature to return in 2011.

#6 – NCAA Chomping At The Gators

Another potential scandal, but one that was eventually forgotten.  Someone sent a letter to the University of Florida, which stated that an agent provided $100,000 to Maurkice Pouncey prior to his performance in the Sugar Bowl.  No names ended up surfacing and no punishments were handed out.

#7 – John Blake’s World Could Come Crashing Down

The aforementioned John Blake was found to be one of Gary Wichard’s best friends and a former employee of Wichard’s company, Pro Tect Management.  Blake resigned from UNC and hired multiple lawyers to protect himself.

#8 – What Does Penn State D-I Hockey Mean for College Hockey?

Here is a post by contributor Mitchell Bragg.  He looked at how the college hockey landscape would change with the addition of a nationally recognized athletic program.

#9 – Casey Close To Leaving CAA

It would not be a stretch to say that in 2010, CAA separated itself from the pack of other agencies to become “the best” sports agency in the world.  A big part of the company’s dominance is its baseball division, which has Casey Close as one of its important members.  In March, I had heard that Close may eventually leave CAA and either start up his own practice, or join David Falk at FAME.

#10 – Bacardi deal with NBA will not be waste

Contributor Richard Kimsey analyzed the NBA’s 3-year, 7-figure deal with Bacardi.

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.

5 replies on “2010 – The Year “Student-Athlete” Lost Its Meaning”

“Student-Athlete” lost its meaning long ago, I’m afraid… at least in the sense it was intended. Thanks to an ever expanding media and more transgressions realized, this year was magnified. There must be a way to provide these kids with more freedom without allowing the “haves” to have so much more than the “have nots.”

Comments are closed.