Thursday, August 23, 2012

Drew and Dez

Drew Rosenhaus may be the most prominent name of sport agents. He certainly is the most prominent NFL agent. Rosenhaus is the only agent ever to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, he has negotiated over 2 billion dollars worth of NFL contracts, and is reportedly worth $65 million. Rosenhaus also reportedly offered Dez Bryant some benefits to sign with him before the 2010 NFL draft.

David Wells who is a long time advisor to Dez Bryant, said that Drew Rosenhaus offered him $10,000 for a charity that he worked with. Wells also says that Rosenhaus offered to fly them down to Miami to get the deal signed. Text messages exchanged between Wells and Rosenhaus between December 2009 and January 2010 reveal clear violations of the NFL Player Association policy on agents.

David Wells says he decided to share the text messages now because he is tired of a system that, "takes advantage of athletes, particularly African-American athletes." The timing of the release of the text messages does seem a little suspicious. Dez Bryant decided to switch agents and hire Rosenhaus in December. Recently before Wells decided to release the text messages, Dez Bryant fired Rosenhaus and rehired his original agent Eugene Parker. It is no coincident that Wells decided to call out Rosenhaus after Bryant decided to fire him.

Reportedly, Drew Rosenhaus advanced large sums of money to Dez Bryant after he decided to hire him. Once Bryant fired Rosenhaus and rehired Eugene Parker, Rosenhaus wanted his money back. Rosenhaus contacted contacted Wells looking for the money. It has been reported that Rosenhaus' empire is under some financial problems.

We need agents like Jerry...

Final Thought
As unfortunate as this story is, this is just a small sample of the problems with the sport agency business. A lot of problems exist with college kids entering the professional levels. A significant number of the soon to be professional athletes have never seen the money that they are in line to make. Some powerful agents see these kids as an easy target to exploit. Agents can offer benefits to entice players to sign with them. At the professional level, misconduct by agents still exist, but exist at a lesser level because some of the athletes already have money. If done correctly, sport agency is an important business because agents have power to get the most lucrative contracts for the players they represent.


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