As entertainment icon Jay-Z launches a sports management company, NFL agents already are crying foul about his apparent efforts to recruit Giants receiver Victor Cruz to sign with CAA, the mega-firm with which Jay-Z’s new business will be affiliated.
But given the NFLPA’s requirement that only certified agents be involved in the recruitment of clients, Jay-Z won’t be able to help deliver potential NFL clients for contract representation unless he secures the appropriate credentials from the players’ union.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, CAA realizes that Jay-Z will need to be certified in order to actively recruit players. That means he’ll have to pass the NFLPA’s admission test. Another source explains that the test is administered in July, with the applications typically due by February. That means Jay-Z couldn’t sit for the test until July 2014 at the earliest.
Of course, Jay-Z also would have to persuade the NFLPA to waive the requirement of a postgraduate degree. His extensive success in various types of business could be regarded as the kind of “negotiating experience” that would potentially exempt him from the educational requirements. If that happens, plenty of other agents will complain that he has received preferential treatment.
All of this presumes that Jay-Z wants to be involved in the recruitment of NFL players for the negotiation of their football contracts. If he simply recruits players for other representation and if CAA separately recruits the same players and if the players decide to hire both Roc Nation and CAA and the paper trail makes it clear that Jay-Z had no role in recruiting players to sign with CAA, then it shouldn’t be an issue.
Still, the joint venture would be a lot more effective if CAA could use Jay-Z to close deals.