Monday, May 19, 2014

"Que Sera, Sera" Just another Day in Gotham...

The 2014 NFL Draft was barely over when I received my first call from the father of a 2015 prospect. He believes his son will be a first rounder, but the reality is he would probably go somewhere around the 3rd round. He let it be known that they were interested in me and my agency, and just wanted to let me know some of the things they would be looking for when they make their decision. Throughout this whole conversation mind you, the Father has yet to ask me about myself or my agency, how we could work with his son, or why he was even interested in our agency. But I decided to let him talk without interrupting. He went on to let me know that they would be looking to sign immediately following the season, wanted to go to this specific training facility, (cost around 25k -35k), wanted a stipend of $2000 a month, a marketing guarantee of $50k, a line of credit of an additional $25k, and they were only going to pay 2% for the agent fee!
Now, for those who know me, realize how difficult it was for me to not burst into a fit of hysterical laughter that would rival a contestant on one of these “The Bachelor” shows laughing at a corny joke trying to gain points to advance to the next round, but I played it cool. I informed the misguided father that what he was looking for, he would not get from us, and I wished him luck as he probably will be calling 75 other agents until one entertains his demands. And while this may seem like a bit over the top, the truth is, someone in this business will give the father the things he is seeking come January. This little exchange got me thinking of some of the experiences I’ve had or heard during this past year in the dark streets of Gotham.

  • ·         The season started off with a phone call from a school’s compliance office requesting that, on the request of the coach, I do not contact their players until after the season, at which time, they will assists their athletes in choosing representation. >>>>>>>>
Fast forward to end of season: This team played a Bowl Game in the afternoon. A check with the SRA on file, 2 of the players signed that night, with another 2 signing the next day. So the players met with agents after the game?

  • ·         We recruited a player the whole season, Friday before his last game he tells us to meet him and his family Sunday, so he can sign the SRA. We didn't hear from player again until 10 days later. He said he signed with his coaches agent (whom he never met), and he made a hasty decision in telling me he would sign with us.
I think we dealt with “Coaches’ agents about 3 times this year. Not that anything is wrong with this practice in the eyes of the NFL, NFLPA, or NCAA. Just wastes a lot of time and energy. I have become pretty good at identifying which coaches will “nudge” their guys a certain direction, but every year there’s a few surprises. It would be great if agents actually got along well enough to share this information.

  • ·         Player who was projected to go 2nd round, FATHER was given a loan of 50k by an agency, (or so I heard) with the son obligated to pay the loan back, without the son’s knowledge of the loan at the beginning… Another player’s family was given an interest free loan somewhere in the HIGH 5 figures as a “nice gesture” by an agency…
  • ·         A school that utilizes a “panel” to help its athletes choose their agents had a friend of mine come in and present. After the meeting, the player sent a text to my friend and said he would sign with him. The School called the next day and informed my friend the player has chosen a different direction. An Agent, who happens to represent a member of the coaching staff, yet was not at the presentation.
In regards to this panel, in amazes me that athletes still deal with whoever puts this thing together because a majority of this school’s athletes switch agents during the same draft cycle or shortly after.
·         It seems this year more than others, there is a lot of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul among players during this cycle. It usually results in players putting themselves in worse situations than they started with. Some of the stories I sit back and think to myself, that no one is this naive, and no way does this line of thinking make sense to anyone with basic common sense, and there has to be more to the story.

Example: Player this year takes 20k marketing guarantee, and 2k a month stipend, plus training, and expenses. If he fires this agent before the agent does his contract he has to pay back the money. He is not happy where he is projected to get drafted, so he fires his agent anyway because this new agent offers to pay half of this money off on the player’s behalf with the same conditions. Player tells a friend he did it because now he doesn’t have to pay the whole amount back only half!

I just want to look at the poor guy and say, “You do realize that you went from having to pay 0 to anyone out of pocket, to paying half of the money owed out of your own pocket ASAP, and still on the hook for the other half to the new agent right?
I hear you, maybe the old agent lied to him about where he would get drafted, so in turn he signs with an agent that basically manipulated him and took money out of his pocket. Yeah, that’s a lot better…

All I can do is shake my head sometimes because I realize, there isn't more to the story… It is What it Is… Que, Sera Sera…

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