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Football Agents Settle Lawsuit, But New Dispute Arises Over Breach Of Agreement

JR Rickert is the CEO of JR Sports Enterprises, LLC based and the former co-owner of National Sports Management.

One of three lawsuits pending against football agent John “JR” Rickert as of May 2012 had originally been filed in September 2011 by football agent Audie Attar (President of Paradigm Sports Management, LLC).  Attar claimed that Rickert breached their Joint Partnership Agreement by failing to (1) pay over $21,000 in compensation, (2) attend meetings with prospective clients, (3) reimburse Attar for expenses, and (4) add Attar’s name to Standard Representation Agreements (SRAs) with the NFLPA.  Attar also stated that Rickert fraudulently induced him to forgo more than $14,000 in compensation with All Pro Sports & Entertainment, Inc.

In response to the lawsuit, Rickert filed a grievance against Attar, alleging that Attar failed to comply with the NFLPA’s Regulations Governing Contract Advisors and filed his action in court in violation of the jurisdiction clause of the Joint Partnership Agreement, which required all disputes to adjudicated pursuant to the NFLPA’s regulations.

On August 1, Attar and Rickert entered into a settlement agreement that caused the parties to waive all of their claims against each other, but the agreement clearly stated that if Rickert breached, the releases would be null and void and Attar would be entitled to pursue any and all claims against Rickert.  Attar has told Sports Agent Blog that he firmly believes Rickert has breached the agreement by not paying the required initial amounts due.

“[Rickert’s] first two payments bounced,” explained Attar. “Guys like this do not deserve to be in this business.  If you cannot honor your agreements, you should be exposed.”

Sports Agent Blog has received copies of the two checks written by JR Sports Enterprises, LLC to Audie Attar and the Barnes Law Firm, which were returned because of insufficient funds in the company account.  According to the settlement agreement, a payment of $9,000 was due within three days of signing the agreement (which was not fully executed until September 30, 2012).  The notice from First Citizens Bank regarding the return of the $9,000 to sender reveals that the check was sent back to Rickert on September 26, four days prior to obtaining all signatures on the agreement.  “I told his attorney that I wasn’t releasing funds until September 30th and to hold the check,” explains Rickert.  “He choose to deposit them early.”

The other check that bounced was for a value of $8,000 and was returned to Rickert with a notice of insufficient funds on October 4.  The settlement agreement states that the $8,000 payment was due by 11:59 p.m. EST on September 30, and that if payment was not timely made, the entire amount remaining would be immediately owed ($41,000), including a $5,000 penalty.  Rickert says that he re-issued the September 30th check.  Attar views Rickert’s actions as a clear breach, and is livid about it.

“We never deposited a check before their due time; they were all postdated per the agreement,” said Attar.  “His first two payments bounced.  Neither where deposited early.  It looks like the rainmaker is going through a drought.”

Redacted NSF Checks

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.