Exception to NFLPA’s “runner rule” may swallow it

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When Jay Z decided to open a sports agency without actual certification from the NFL Players Association to actually represent NFL players, an obvious problem arose.

Since the NFLPA’s “runner rule” prevents persons without NFLPA certification from being involved in the recruitment of clients, Jay Z technically could not have been involved in the recruitment of Jets quarterback Geno Smith.

But Jay Z was, luring Smith to Roc Nation and hiring little-known agent Kim Miale to be the NFLPA-certified agent officially listed on the contract.  The NFLPA understandably investigated the situation, given the obvious evidence pointing to Jay Z being involved in recruiting Geno.

Faced with the challenge of whacking Miale for allowing her employer to be involved in the recruitment of Geno Smith, the NFLPA found a different way out of the corn maze.

They changed the rule.

According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, the union “tweaked” the otherwise bright line to allow persons who work with certified NFLPA agents to sit in on meetings with prospective clients.

Which means that certified NFLPA agents can now hire “closers” like former players, celebrities, actors, musicians, etc. to help deliver clients.

Plenty of agents will be satisfied with that outcome.  They simply wanted guidance regarding what the rule did — and didn’t — prohibit.  The current message is that, if you want to hire a non-agent to help close deals, have at it.