The agent industry necessarily entails a high degree of competition. It’s harsh. It’s cutthroat. Frankly, it’s amazing that violence hasn’t occurred.
The burgeoning alliance between CAA and Jay-Z has stirred up the competitive juices for agents not aligned with a major entertainment icon. As Darren Heitner of Forbes.com points out, some agents are crying foul via Twitter regarding the ability of Jay-Z to recruit players like Giants receiver Victor Cruz on behalf of CAA.
Last year, the NFLPA opted to deal with the lingering problem of “runners” doing the dirty work of certified contract agents by essentially banning the use of them. As it now stands, no non-agent may help recruit players to join a given agency.
According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the NFLPA is unlikely to pursue the situation, because of the “long friendship” between Cruz and Jay-Z. While that may help CAA avoid hot water for now, using Jay-Z to recruit clients for CAA will eventually cause problems.
It appears that Jay-Z’s Roc Nation management company will be providing services unrelated to negotiating player contracts, with CAA handling the football side of the business. But imposing a “you hire me, you hire CAA” mandate on any player who signs with Jay-Z apparently won’t fly, unless and until Jay-Z becomes a certified NFLPA agent.
Moving forward, CAA and Jay-Z could face friction and possible sanctions if Jay-Z doesn’t pay the fee and pass the test imposed on potential agents.
Of course, he’ll also need a post-graduate degree or an exemption based on his ability to prove that he has at least seven years of negotiating experience.
Depending on how “negotiating” is defined, that could be a problem.