Since August 10, 2012, the Arena Football League (AFL) has been operating pursuant to a new collective bargaining agreement (embedded at the bottom of this article). The CBA will be in effect until September 30, 2017, when the players’ union and the AFL teams will once again go through the painstaking process of negotiating another agreement (if they do not reach a resolution ahead of time). There are a lot of people hoping that the next round of negotiations are much less painful.
This past round of negotiations almost resulted in a lockout of AFL players. The teams set a deadline by which negotiations had to result in a compromise or else games would be lost. While the NBA survived (and maybe even benefited from) a recent lockout and loss of games, it would be difficult to imagine the AFL having the same fate. In 2009, an entire AFL season was lost due to a lockout, and still today very few people are clamoring about wins and losses in the league.
But there is no need to speculate as to what might have been. Instead, players and teams will operate under the August 10, 2012 CBA. And considering that this website’s focus is primarily on sports agency, let’s take a look at Article 7 of the CBA, which discusses Player-Agents and Agent Certification.
A Player may always represent himself with regards to negotiating and signing an AF1 SPC. No one other than the Player or his AFLPU Certified Agent may represent a Player in negotiating or signing his AF1 SPC. A Player, if he so desires, may designate an agent to conduct to assist and/or represent him in negotiation of an AFL SPC, provided that, if the Union develops and implements an agent certification program, the agent is certified by the Union as authorized to act as a Player Agent for such purposes. Players negotiating to transfer out of AFL may designate an agent as permitted by the League they are transferring to.
If the Union develops and implements an agent certification program, the Union shall provide the AFL with a comprehensive list of the certified Player Agents that Players have designated to act on their behalf for the purposes set forth in this Article VII and the Union shall provide the League with the official agent certification procedures. Changes to the official agent certification procedures shall be provided to the League within 48 hours of implementation by the Union.
If, pursuant to Section 7.2, the Union notifies the AFL that a Player has designated a certified Player Agent(s) to act on his behalf for the purposes described in this Section, the AFL must negotiate the items specified herein to be included in the Player’s SPC with the designated Player Agent.
The Union’s agent-certification program shall include a procedure for AFL to file complaints with the Union about conduct of certified Player Agents, so that the Union may investigate any complaint and provide a response to the AFL.
The League shall provide the Union a copy of all executed SPC’s within 48 hours of receiptby the League via facsimile, email or certified mail.