A Couple Of Guys Turned The Concept Of “Athlete Advocates” Into A Company

A couple of days ago, Jeffrey Dobin, Esq., co-founder of Athlete Advocates, wrote a thorough op-ed titled, The NFL Scouting Combine Marks The Start Of Football.  Today, I am going to tell you a little bit about his company.

If the name “Athlete Advocates” sounds familiar, there is a good reason why.  In April 2010, I declared that I was no longer a sports agent, but instead, an athlete advocate.  I wrote,

I no longer want to be associated with those who offer empty promises to players in order to find their name on an agency contract.  I don’t want athletes to think they can use me to pay for their training as if I am some sort of lending institution (how exactly did agents become the people who finance training anyway…where is that in the definition?).  And I definitely do not want to be grouped with any ‘sports agents’ who will violate the law or act unethically to gain a buck, or 100,000 bucks.

Dobin and his partner, Ryan Scarpa, borrowed my idea (with my blessing) and created a company with the name “Athlete Advocates.”  In very little time, Dobin and Scarpa have signed a player to an NFL roster (Matt Hansen – 2 year deal (futures/reserve contract) with the Atlanta Falcons) and have a handful of players they are representing who hope to either be selected in the 2012 NFL Draft or picked up by teams soon thereafter.  The rest of this post will focus on the 2012 Class of players that have signed with Athlete Advocates.

Tim Franken – Western Illinois – DB

  • 6 feet, 200 pounds
  • Expected to play Strong Safety at NFL level
  • 147 career tackles in 39 career games played, 5 int’s
  • 4-year Starter
  • Team Captain ’11
  • Team Red Miller Award Winner ’11
  • Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer Team ’08
  • NFl Draft Scout has him ranked 43rd for free safeties
  • Will be participating in Fordham’s pro day

John Morookian – Toledo – OT

  • 6’5” & 305 pounds
  • 4 year starter at offensive tackle
  • Started every game but his first
  • Expected to play tackle or guard at NFL level
  • Participating in Toledo Pro Day

Aaron Weaver – Syracuse via Hofstra – Wide Receiver

  • 6’2” 220 pounds
  • Played for Hofstra University from 2007-2009
  • Transferred because football program was cut
  • After transferring to Syracuse, he was leading team in yards and TDs through 2 games before knee injury during 2010 senior season
  • He is fully recovered and will be participating in Syracuse’s pro day on March 8

Nick Provo – TE – Syracuse

  • 6’4” 245 pounds
  • Invited to Scouting Combine
  • Ranked 12th best TE by NFL Draft Scout
  • Second on SU’s receptions by tight end record list
  • 2011 Mackey Award Semifinalist
  • 2011: 51 receptions, 537 yards, 7TDs
  • Career: 92 receptions, 1,027 yards 9 TDs
  • Syracuse pro day March 8

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.

2 replies on “A Couple Of Guys Turned The Concept Of “Athlete Advocates” Into A Company”

How does a group like Athlete Advocates compete in recruiting clients without providing training, which is seemingly industry standard now?

Aaron Weaver:  I personally know this outstanding young man’s family.  He has a great attitude as well as mental toughness; And, from what I’ve seen in some of the footage, he would excel at the next level if given the opportunity.

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