NFLPA launches Jay-Z inquiry

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Last night, we were told something could happen very soon regarding the NFLPA’s intention to aggressively explore the circumstances resulting in Jets quarterback Geno Smith hiring Roc Nation employee Kim Miale to be his agent.

Very soon ended up being today.

Per multiple reports, the NFLPA sent a letter of inquiry to Miale on Monday.  The goal for now is to find out what role if any Jay-Z had in recruiting Smith to sign with Miale, a previously unknown agent hired by Roc Nation — and then hired by Smith.

Miale will have an opportunity to explain the situation.  Her explanation could then result in further questions.

The problem for Jay-Z is that it appears to the objective observer that Smith hired Miale not because of Miale but because of Jay-Z.  The problem for the NFLPA is that the union has no jurisdiction over Jay-Z.  While action can be taken against Miale and any other agent for whom Jay-Z recruits clients, Jay-Z remains beyond the reach of the union.

Still, the apparent effort to disregard the NFLPA’s rule prohibiting runners will make it even harder for Jay-Z to ever obtain official certification to represent players.  He already was facing an uphill climb, given the requirement of an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree.  He is believed to have neither.

While Smith did nothing wrong even if NFLPA rules were broken, the controversial rookie quarterback has now landed in another controversy.  It’s a controversy that could have been avoided if he’d merely hired Jay-Z to handle Smith’s off-field deals, and a separate, established firm to handle his football contract.

47 responses to “NFLPA launches Jay-Z inquiry

  1. Jay Z has a degree in The Streets….And on that note very few players in the NFL have real degrees, most have grades given to them. The NFL doesn’t make the players have a degree, why do the agents have to have a degree??

  2. Who cares if he doesn’t have a degree? Somehow I would trust him over some of these white-collar crooks who call themselves agents. Jay-Z doesn’t want these guys money either.

    If athletes want to sign on with him then they should be allowed to.

  3. The only controversy here is why is the NFLPA so incredibly incompetent that they couldn’t craft rules in advance to prevent Jay-Z from finding the obvious loophole to act like an agent all he wants as long as nobody can prove it which they can’t since they know the rules and they know the language and everything they have done has been perfectly calculated in accordance with being able to play the loopholes.

    And I blame Demaurice Smith, he’s the ultimate fool because he’s the top dog and he’s letting the Union down due to incredible levels of incompetence. He should be fired and sued.

  4. Did the NFLPA conduct an investigation when Ricky Williams was represented by Master P. and No Limit Sports?

    If a player wants an agent with limited contract and negotiating experience that should be their prerogative. The Ricky Williams-Master P partnership is evidence that these type of deals rarely benefit the player, but hey, it’s their life, their contract. Also, the NFLPA’s rule prohibiting runners is silly since they have no way to actually punish the people who are breaking the rules. What’s stopping Jay-Z from getting another patsy agent if Kim Miale is sanctioned? The NFLPA should take a laissez-faire attitude and let the players figure this stuff out for themselves.

  5. thestrategyexpert says: May 28, 2013 6:41 PM

    The only controversy here is why is the NFLPA so incredibly incompetent that they couldn’t craft rules in advance to prevent Jay-Z from finding the obvious loophole to act like an agent all he wants as long as nobody can prove it which they can’t since they know the rules and they know the language and everything they have done has been perfectly calculated in accordance with being able to play the loopholes.

    And I blame Demaurice Smith, he’s the ultimate fool because he’s the top dog and he’s letting the Union down due to incredible levels of incompetence. He should be fired and sued.
    You have got to be the stupidest human ever. There ARE rules, that’ s why they are investigating!!! If you knew what you were talking about you could point to the Article is the CBA.

    markywahlberg says: May 28, 2013 6:45 PM

    Why would you need a degree to be a sports agent?
    Stop breathing.

  6. Lol. Why would you need a degree to be a lawyer? All I have to do is argue. People are stupid. Do you not understand that similar to being a lawyer a agent has to be literate in contract language that the average person cannot understand? You have to negotiate these contracts and not leave one single item unchecked. I would think you need to be somewhat smart to do these things.

  7. I say it’s none of the NFLPA’s business. If a player wants someone to represent them, they should have the right to choose anyone they’d like.

  8. Excellent work on the part of the nflpa. It’s about time someone takes s stand against celebrities that act like rules don’t apply to them. The college degree requirement is for the protection of the players to prevent them from hiring celebrities and such that have no clue about the legalities of contracts. I rarely agree with the union but this is one time that I’m in lockstep with their actions.

  9. The white agents are complaining already haha

    Jayz I don’t like u but do ur thing n grab all the talent u can

    He’s more successful then most of the agents now Nfl is a country club they choose who they want in it

    Another question why do u need a degree to to be an agent can’t u just take a class for it

  10. I can see the type of things that will be in negotiation.

    My client must have chilled caviar and champagne set in front of his locker after every game, and a diamond crusted Rolex to commemorate each TD pass

  11. @sportsnut

    I think the black agents who went to the trouble of law school or a masters degree will have objections as well. Just a hunch.

  12. teambringitstrong:

    Ok attempt #2 since my last rebuttal apparently sucked and didn’t make it…

    So if Jay-Z or Miale or anybody on Smith’s team doesn’t get popped, then am I still the stupidest human, or how would you explain that I called this one correctly?

    And keep in mind I’m not a lawyer and even if I was this is not my case. I don’t need to know ALL of the details, I’m guessing at what I think is most relevant and the bottom line point I am contending is that they get off scott-free and the NFLPA revises the rules for the future.

    So what will you say if those 2 things happen? Cause that would make me look pretty smart right?

  13. This is why im a strong advocate for keeping non-football things and people as far away from the NFL as possible. Especially celebrities. Nothing good comes of it.

  14. Bigger picture is Jay-Z sold his interest in the Nets (guaranteed return on investment because pro sports teams never seem to go down in value) so he could become an agent, but then seems to be in no hurry to get himself certified to actually be an agent. And this is the guy Geno and others want handling their affairs?

    If Agent 101 started out with “get yourself certified” then Jay-Z has already failed the class. And given it seems like his plan is going to be employing others to do all the work, how exactly is Jay-Z going to serve his clientele without taking them for more money than they should be paying? There are agents who actually do most all the work for their 10%. Seems like Jay-Z is destined to either earn less himself than other agents, or charge his clients more to make up for the additional overhead. Again, does that sound like a great business man?

  15. Jigga, is owning and nba team, marrying Beyonce, and making like 100 albums not enough? I don’t feel sorry for this guy if he loses his “clients”

  16. All Jay-Z needs to do to make this a nontroversy is–

    1. Get a college to grant him an honorary undergraduate degree (easily purchased).

    2. Get another college to grant him an honorary graduate degree (just as easily purchased).

    3. Apply to be certified by the NFLPA.

    But no, he has to show he’s “smarter” than those who abide by the rules, has to show he’s a bad-a**, that the rules apply only to honkies, Toms, etc.

    What the NFLPA and the league should do but don’t have the stones to do is to simply announce, “No contracts will be negotiated with Roc Nation representatives. No player may play without a signed contract. The End.”

  17. Chances are this entire investigation was fooled by the Mara’s. Unfortunately Roger Goodell has given NYG ownership way too much power. Until someone makes a stink about the Maras (it could be Redskins or Cowboys ownership), this will continue to go on

  18. Let’s make it fun for the fans.

    I want to see Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, The Situation, One of the house wifes from ATL, and Uncle Si as agents tomorrow.

    Please have the TV cameras rolling at their first client negotiations!

  19. This is about Geno Smith wanting to be a superstar, and being affiliated with someone who’s “in” boosts his ego.

    Not being selected in the 1st round of the draft had quite the sour effect, I saw it when he had his hands over his face and then he got up and left. Then he pouted about not wanting to come back the next day. Then he fires his agent, as if it’s his agents fault that he was drafted in the 2nd round and didn’t cash in.

    The kid is already acting like a Diva before even taking a snap in the NFL. Too bad that he’s bringing this negative vibe upon himself, if he could only see it then maybe all the criticism about him would end. Good luck Jets fans.

  20. To all of the people questioning why an agent needs a degree:
    Soon I’m going to go on Craig’s List and advertise my services as an agent. My fee will be 60% of every thing that you make, either on or off the playing field. And 50% off all future earnings after your playing days are over. Oh, and power of attorney over your checking and savings accounts. I don’t need to be certified or have any kind of degree. Just trust me that I will get you a great deal!

  21. It’s surprising to me anyone would compare Master P to Jay-Z. Jay-Z has been a very successful businessman outside of his music career. Master P… not so much.

  22. People need to really stop saying Jay-Z owned the Nets, he owned 1/16 of 1% of the Nets! Mikhail Prokhorov has been and is the owner. Btw being a sports agents requires knowledge of contracts and negotiations. Thus the undergrad and grad degree requirement.

  23. Jay-Z was a very talented mc in his prime but his time as a rapper is up, he’s too old now. Rap is a young man’s game and he knows it. His last few albums were so-so/borderline garbage (and I’m a fan of his older music). His time has past. Now all of a sudden he wants to be an agent and thinks rules don’t apply to him. Stick to music man, produce or do the behind the scenes things with your label and leave the football business to the pros. Btw, do u really think beyonce would gave u the time of day if u weren’t rich and famous? Money and fame can make a man seem gorgeous and Geno is an average player. 3rd round talent at best and lucky the jets got him where they did. Could of very well been picked in the 4th or 5th rd by some god awful football town. Thank god he landed in New York where he can salvage some media fame or at least infamy. It could of been cleveland, jacksonville or some other god awful small market town.. If I were Geno I’d count my blessings and tone down the antics or he’ll end up broke and flipping burgers after his short nfl career is over. Yeah, I’m hating a bit tonight haha.

  24. Maz if the NFL did that they would be dictating in a supposed free marketplace. He last thing the NFL wants is to create more anger from Congress about their monopoly type actions. Everyone knows Uncle Sam is going to eventually remove the tax free status from the NFL which should have never been granted to pro sports to begin with since the league are profit pigs.

    I know my opinion may not be popular but give me one valid reason why he nfl needs to not pay taxes like the rest of USA companies.

  25. I’m a little confused at why “runners” are so dangerous. This isn’t college recruiting. These are adults.

    If Jay-Z wants to own a business that staffs certified agents and lawyers (and Maile is very qualified – look up her credentials), there is no reason he can’t act as the face of the business and recruit athletes.

    Geno Smith IS getting real representation. She IS a real agent with experience in sports law and contracts.

    What is everyone so afraid of?

  26. Not quite sure why anyone would ask why a person needs a degree to negotiate or decipher contracts.

    I imagine those questioning this have never read a contract before. You need to either a lawyer or have an extensive contract law background to navigate these.

    JayZ is not a lawyer. He is the face of this enterprise. He lures the clients and his lawyers handle the paperwork. He’s not sitting there reading, writing and negotiating contracts.

  27. It’s not that I don’t believe there is a rule that looks like this, but are these allegations saying that Jay-Z – because he’s not an agent – can’t own an agency?

    And if he can, are they saying that as an owner he can’t talk to prospective clients?

    Just confused, not sticking up for either side.

  28. 1nce a hustler alwayz a hustler…what is so different from from wallstreet guys stealin than him having a side hustle? Ooooo hes a hood rapper! He can easily just pay his way in the door how would any1 know…none of us dont know whats really gon on..they just say rules rules rules…. i bet half of the front office only got jobs because of an uncle or some type of family ties…put money on it that every1 involved didint get that piece if paper from school….

  29. jetstizzi85 says:May 29, 2013 12:53 PM

    Is Kim Miale a legit sports agent with a degree? OH she is?

    Case closed! Geno hired Kim as his AGENT NOT Jay-Z.

    jetstizzi…don’t ruin these guys fun.
    Facts are a pesky thing.

  30. Jay Z is the new Don King of the sports world! He’s already pulled his antics in Brooklyn with the Nets, now playing games in the NFL. The guy absolutely knows how to run and operate a business, no doubt about that, but sports agency is more than a business, it’s about making or destroying someone’s life. If he’s going to be allowed to have his own Sports Agency that’s fine, just do it the right way!

  31. Jay-Z has been chief executive officer of a multi-million dollar company for the better part of 20 years. I’m sure in that time he’s picked up some useful information in regard to contact language. Hell I took 1 Business English class and 1 Business Law class, and in that time, I analyzed some fairly intricate contacts. …not really as difficult to understand as one may assume…overly verbose maybe, but not rocket science. I agree with whoever said players should be allowed to freely choose their own representation. If Gino Smith wants to be represented by Jay-Z, Roc Nation, or whomever else he chooses, so be it. It’s his prerogative…

  32. Please tell me you guys are joking when you think an agent doesn’t need to be certified. The hair person @ great clips has to be licensed but Shawn Corey Knowles-Carter (aka Jay-Z) doesn’t?

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