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Book Review: The Agent By Leigh Steinberg

The following article is a guest contribution from Alan Wilmot, a law clerk at Wolfe Law Miami and 2L at the University of Miami School of Law.

Leigh Steinberg shares his personal stories on the rise, fall, and redemption of his game-changing career in the high-stakes world of professional sports.

Leigh Steinberg’s “The Agent: My 40-Year Career Making Deals and Changing the Game” is much more than a book about being a sports agent; it is a book about how a person aspiring to affect the world in a positive manner developed the character and integrity to embark and accomplish such a mission. “The Agent” walks readers through the many triumphs and tribulations of Leigh Steinberg’s career. Starting with his upbringing and traveling through his time at UCLA and UC Berkeley, Leigh Steinberg explains the moral values that enabled him to develop the tools to become one of, if not, the greatest sports agent of all time.

At a young age, Leigh Steinberg had a passion to change the world for the better. This desire, adopted from his father, set up the foundation for how Steinberg carried himself throughout his long, established career. “The Agent” describes how Steinberg embarked on setting up many charities with the clients he represented over the years. However, that is only the tipping point of the many great things Steinberg went on to accomplish. From negotiating a plethora of record-setting deals, to conducting symposiums on the dangers of concussions for his clients, to being an advisor on Jerry Maguire and Any Given Sunday, Steinberg affected many aspects of the sports and entertainment industry. “The Agent” also goes on describe the future projects that Steinberg has set out to achieve in the upcoming years, such as the development of a new sports and entertainment company, and his goal to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs in sports stadiums, just to name a few.

“The Agent” is filled with insight about Steinberg’s views regarding the state of not only professional football, but college football as well. For any aspiring agent, or even those just interested in learning about the field, Leigh Steinberg’s vision and vast knowledge is one that many should study. Leigh Steinberg was not only the most successful sports agent of the modern-era, he was also a pioneer, constantly looking for ways to better the sport for his clients and the fans; this is highlighted through the many stories Steinberg descriptively informs the reader about. For any young, hopeful sports agents, “The Agent” provides the blueprint for how to properly conduct an agency while still maintaining your integrity in the cutthroat world of being a sports agent. For the sports fan, this book also serves a history of the game, proving behind the scenes knowledge of the wheeling and dealing of a prominent sports agent and the many other aspects of sports that Steinberg was able to assert his influence upon. “The Agent” is a highly recommended and enjoyable read for all lovers of sports, especially those seeking to leave a positive impact for the future of the game.

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.