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Teague Egan, NFLPA Blunder?

Teague Egan, NFLPA Blunder?

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Published by John M. Phillips

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Published by: John M. Phillips on Nov 22, 2010
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Teague Egan. Pathetic. By John M. Phillips www.mybtsa.


“Teague Egan. Pathetic.” is the title of this entry and how I feel about the situation. It is pathetic. Who/What am I talking about? Teague Egan is one of the latest agents / “contract advisors” added to the NFLPA “family.” I am starting to think that this “family”… this a bunch of cousins of mine… have more dysfunction than many of us will see this Thursday on Thanksgiving. He has already cost a USC Player his eligibility for one game and his ego may cause a lot more problems at Southern Cal. If they knew about him, the NFLPA might have just accidentally opened them up for sanctions. Pathetic. NFLPA Agent / Contract Advisor Certification The National Football League Players Association, or NFLPA, is the exclusive labor Union made up of all of the players in the National Football League. The NFL is obviously in the business of hiring players to play for the member teams and the NFLPA’s role is as the advocate and Union of those players. It was founded in 1956, but only achieved recognition and a Collective Bargaining Agreement in 1968.1 The NFLPA provides regulations that licenses, controls and sanctions agents. It only governs those “contract advisors” that seek to represent players in the NFL. Specifically, the agreement between the NFL and NFLPA mandates, “The NFLPA shall have sole and exclusive authority to determine the number of agents to be certified, and the grounds for withdrawing or denying certification of an agent.” Agents now undergo screening, testing and regulation. Rules are promulgated or revised regularly. The NFLPA does not and cannot regulate endorsement or marketing agents. It collects between $1200-$1700 per agent each year, not counting the few hundred new applicants it has each year. Basically, it collects millions of dollars just from agents.



The development of the NFLPA’s licensing of agents is somewhat of an evolving story. As of an article dated June 12, 1988, the NFLPA enacted a program to certify agents, but it was regarded as nothing more than a notary public.2 In the early 90’s, there were approximately 500 approved NFL agents.3 Two steps were made to de-incentivize becoming an agent. First off, more hurdles were put up to “qualify” agents. For instance, in late 1996, the NFLPA sent a basic quiz to agents on the Collective Bargaining Agreement.4 Approximately 200 to 250 agents either failed or scored poorly.5 Thereafter, the NFLPA made testing a requirement and required “grandfathered” agents take the athome exam until passing.6 Among those suspended for failing the test was agent Leland Hardy, who was widely criticized for the incentive-laden deal he negotiated for New Orleans Saints then-rookie Ricky Williams.7 Hardy was hired by rapper, Percy “Master P” Miller, to run his sports agency.8 Thereafter, commissions were lowered. Agents initially collected around 10% for their services to a player, which led to more agents signing up. The maximum commission was later lowered to 4%. In 1998, it was again lowered to 3%. Being an agent was still lucrative, but only produced an annual income to agents of $15,000-$30,000 per player with far fewer players in the league. The NFL also didn't have the signing bonuses and guaranteed money that create such an immediate commission these days. As salaries skyrocketed, so did applications to be an agent.9 To further tighten the rope, the NFLPA implemented a requirement of a 4-year degree. It also created a program for vetting and monitoring financial advisors, and began offering players rookie symposiums on financial issues.10 Fees were increased yet again. While some were opposed to new restrictions, several prominent agents said them as a possible measure to clean up the industry. One agent, Jack Wirth, said: "To tell the truth, I'd pay $5,000 if it would mean getting rid of some of these hangers-on.”11 The same article said, “Because of inconsistent or unenforced state laws and no national standards due to the lack of a federal statute, much of the regulation of sports agent has fallen on the professional sports players' unions.”12 The more things change, the more they have stayed the same. Every few years restrictions and cost have increased, making it an ever increasingly expensive proposition to be NFLPA-certified. Also, if you don’t place a client on an

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1988-06-12/sports/0040430080_1_sports-agent-bad-agent-problemswith-agents 3 http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/26/sports/pro-football-protecting-players-their-agents-misconductleaves-nfl-union-fearful.html 4 http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/26/sports/pro-football-protecting-players-their-agents-misconductleaves-nfl-union-fearful.html 5 Id. 6 Id. 7 http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/16709 8 Id. 9 http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/31366 10 http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/2009/09/12/2009-09-12_zone.html#ixzz0vNngmxFC 11 http://www.sportslawnews.com/archive/Articles%202000/NFLPAAgentfees.htm 12 Id

NFL roster within three years or pay for your dues or insurance, or attend a mandatory seminar each year, you are out. Now a graduate degree is generally required, but the NFLPA will allow for certain exceptions. One of those exceptions and the purpose for this entry is- Teague Egan. Who is Teague Egan?

I am not exactly sure who Teague Egan is, but he is one of the latest buzz names around sports. My research revealed he is a NFLPA certified agent. His place of business is his mother and father’s house, a multi-million dollar home in Ft. Lauderdale. His father was apparently listed as one of America’s richest by Forbes magazine. I’d love to know if he has any tie-ins or what his qualifications were to NOT to even have to have a college degree, much less a graduate degree. It sure seems like gross negligence on the NFLPA’s part to certify him. Why? He is apparently a college student at USC, according to official school records per ESPN. According to his bio, “Teague attended the University of Southern California, where he started 1st Round Enterprises becoming the founder and chairman. Originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but now living in Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world, Teague befriended many athletes on the USC football team, as well as filmmakers around the city.” Already, I see a red flag / potential misrepresentation on whether he “attends” or “attended” USC. Regardless, I see no degree, at all, mentioned. According to ESPN, Southern California freshman tailback Dillon Baxter was ruled ineligible to compete for the Trojans because he rode in a golf cart on USC's campus. USC self-reported the infraction and also filed an official request with the NCAA for Baxter's reinstatement. There are also tons of photos of Egan with current USC Players or allegations he threw parties they attended. Hello, NCAA! Poor USC. Egan: "As an (sic) contract advisor, I have never ever given a player money, anything of monetary value, or extra benefit not afforded to other students or my friends," Egan wrote in a statement to ESPNLosAngeles.com Saturday night. "We did not mean or intend to break any rules, and are truly sorry this instance got blown out of proportion."

Remember, his site said, “Teague befriended many athletes on the USC football team, as well as filmmakers around the city.” Is he trying to hide behind these Players being his friends? It doesn’t matter under the law/rules. "Obviously we take this very serious," Kiffin said Friday in a video released on the school's website. "We talked to Dillon and Dillon didn't know that [the student was an agent], but we turned it in to the NCAA and, in the meantime, he won't be going with us." This is interesting because the question is- is Baxter a friend or not? Either he is not a friend and didn’t even know Egan was an agent or he was a friend and likely knew and lied about it. It is exactly why students should NEVER be certified. Further, it really doesn’t matter as you will see in the Rules/Laws below. Egan is just another in a world of hanger-ons who think they can be an agent because they are a huge sports fan, have people that can help with the contracts and/or simply have the connections to open the door. Wrong. That ship needs to sail. It is time for NFL “agents” to have real qualifications and experience. Otherwise, the voyage the “P” in NFLPA, the “Players,” are on will continue to lead them to an island of economic ruin. That is not amusing to me.

What are the Rules? NCAA NCAA Bylaw 12.3.1 (General Rule) states that an individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she ever has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport. Further, an agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport.

NCAA Bylaw (Representation for Future Negotiations) indicates that an individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she enters into a verbal or written agreement with an agent for representation in future professional sports negotiations that are to take place after the individual has completed his or her eligibility in that sport. NCAA Bylaw (Benefits from Prospective Agents) states that an individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she (or his or her relatives or friends) accepts transportation or other benefits from: a. Any person who represents any individual in the marketing of his or her athletics ability. The receipt of such expenses constitutes compensation based on athletics skill and is an extra benefit not available to the student body in general; or b. An agent, even if the agent has indicated that he or she has no interest in representing the student-athlete in the marketing of his or her athletics ability or reputation and does not represent individuals in the student-athlete's sport NCAA Bylaw (Nonbinding Agreement) stipulates that an individual who signs a contract or commitment that does not become binding until the professional organization's representative or agent also signs the document is ineligible, even if the contract remains unsigned by the other parties until after the student-athlete's eligibility is exhausted. Additionally, the NCAA has taken the position that the “easiest way to ensure that nothing impermissible has occurred between student-athletes and an agent is to limit the interaction between them and agents. Ultimately, the institution must be comfortable that whatever contact has occurred is permissible under the bylaws.” NFLPA The NFLPA prohibits, “Communicating either directly or indirectly with (including but not limited to in person, telephonic or electronic communication) a prospective player who is ineligible for the NFL Draft pursuant to Article XVI of the CBA or communicating with (including but not limited to in person, telephonic or electronic communication) any person in a position to influence a prospective player who is ineligible to be drafted pursuant to article XVI of the CBA until the prospective player becomes eligible for the NFL Draft. And, (b) speaking or presenting to groups of prospective players in a setting where prospective players who are ineligible for the NFL Draft pursuant to Article XVI of the CBA are present at such presentation. It also prohibits:(2) Providing or offering money or any other thing of value to any player or prospective player to induce or encourage that player to utilize his/her services;

And, (3) Providing or offering money or any other thing of value to a member of the player’s or prospective player’s family or any other person for the purpose of inducing or encouraging that person to recommend the services of the Contract Advisor; And, (4) Providing materially false or misleading information to any player or prospective player in the context of recruiting the player as a client or in the course of representing that player as his Contract Advisor; And, (14) Engaging in unlawful conduct and/or conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or other activity which reflects adversely on his/her fitness as a Contract Advisor or jeopardizes his/her effective representation of NFL players. Among other violations, something of violation was provide to a Player that was not even supposed to be communicated with by Egan or his agency. State Law Additionally, California law holds: ARTICLE 3 STUDENT ATHLETES AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS SECTION 18897.6-18897.77 No athlete agent or athlete agent's representative or employee shall, directly or indirectly, offer or provide money or any other thing of benefit or value to a studentathlete. An athlete agent or his representative or employee may NOT make or continue any contact (e.g., in person, in writing, electronically, or in any other manner) with any student athlete, or the student athlete's spouse, parent, foster parent, guardian, grandparent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, or first cousin (or any of these individuals for whom the relationship has been established by marriage), or any person who resides in the same place as the student athlete, or any representative of any of these persons. No athlete agent or his representative or employee shall offer or provide money or anything of benefit or value, including, but not limited to, free or reduced price legal services, to any university or any representative or employee of any such educational institution in return for the referral of any clients or initiation of any contact above. As his agency is in Florida, Florida law may also govern. Yet, Teague has never registered in Florida. That may be a felony. Conclusion Sports Illustrated reported that 78% of all NFL Players are broke/bankrupt 3 years after they leave the league. The NFLPA is their guardian and if it does not start holding those IT CETIFIES to a higher standard, it may have bigger problems than an NFL Lock-out.

The same goes for States. It is time to enforce the law. By certifying Teague Egan, the NFLPA has opened a door to severe legal problems and challenges to schools and the NCAA. More must be done now.

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