Under the late Gene Upshaw, the NFLPA overreacted to the Reggie Bush situation at USC, prohibiting any and all contact with college underclassmen. Five years later, the NFLPA has decided to get rid of the rule.
Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal reports that the union scuttled the provision at its annual meeting in Florida.
The rule created multiple problems for agents. First, it gave persons not regulated by the NFLPA, like marketing agents, an opportunity to get their hooks into a player before he could even commence the process of interviewing agents. (Coincidentally, it was marketing agents who gave Bush money and other things of value at USC, not contract agents.) Then, the marketing agent could steer the player to a specific contract agent. Also, NFLPA-regulated agents who were inclined to break the rules were still contacting underclassmen, putting the rule-abiding agents at a disadvantage.
So it’s a good move for the NFLPA to dump a rule that never should have been adopted in the first place.