As expected, agent Kim Miale met with the NFLPA on Wednesday. As not expected (by the NFLPA), she showed up without her lawyer, David Cornwell.
According to Mike Garafolo of USA Today, the union had been told that Miale had hired Cornwell. But when the time came for the meeting, she showed up with a lawyer from Roc Nation Sports, the agency owned by Jay-Z.
Garafolo seems to suggest that the change could be related to past friction between Cornwell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. But that friction was well known at the time Cornwell was hired to represent Miale.
The information obtained during Wednesday’s meeting, which lasted two hours, will be given to the NFLPA’s Commission on Agent Regulation and Discipline for a decision. If it’s determined that Miale (a certified NFLPA agent) retained Jets quarterback Geno Smith as a client with the help of Jay-Z (who isn’t certified by the NFLPA), Miale could be disciplined.
The effort potentially overlooks important philosophical questions, including whether agency-owner Jay-Z is truly a “runner,” and whether other agents do essentially the same thing by having high-profile clients serve as “closers.” While the union reportedly isn’t considering making any changes to the rule against the use of runners, the NFLPA has the ability if it so chooses to interpret the rule to not apply where the runner actually owns the agency.
Of course, the willingness to cut Miale and Jay-Z a break will depend on whether the NFLPA believes the various witnesses are being truthful about Jay-Z’s role in recruiting Smith. The objective evidence seems to suggest that Smith hired Miale only because Miale is the in-house agent working for Jay-Z’s firm. When the concerns first arose, however, there seemed to be an effort to minimize Jay-Z’s role in persuading Smith to sign with Miale.