Re: Agents: They are good people!
posted at 8/20/2012 3:06 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Agents: They are good people!
I think it is just as likely that players aren't very good at managing their money. I think that agents, and lawyers, and pimps, and car salesman, are all very unscrupolous about getting a piece of the action in general. I would rather have players assume a role of personal responsibility than to default to crying foul over losing money after trusting the wrong person. Unless the agent did something illegal to get the money -- has there been any evidence of that?Posted by Fletcher1
We'll agree to disagree that I was responding to arguments people no one is making. Maybe that's also what I'm about to do here.
The reason you hire an agent? To manage your affairs. Because you're not good at it and because you need to concentrate on managing your training not your contract. If you conduct the search for an agent in good faith, and there is no evidence that that agent is more unscrupulous than the herd, why should you then take the lion's share of responsibility if that agent bilks you? One of our points of difference here is that I read the filing of a high-profile suit in Calgary - where the burden to file "nuisance" lawsuits is relatively high - to mean that Heatley believes the McAlpines did do something actionable if not criminal. I wouldn't take this as proof that we should lock up all agents, because it is an unresolved case, but you can't argue the fact that this is
a player accusing his former agent of stealing his money. And there have been many examples. In this case, though, a default ruling has already awarded Heatley over $1M, so yes, we can assume there's merit in Heatley's accusation - story's here:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/dany-heatley-sues-ex-agent-for-11-million/article4487673/
Mike Danton tried to have his agent killed because he manipulated every aspect of Danton's life from a young age. Look up Tank Black, Norby Walters and Mike Bloom. Bus Cook broke a promise to Jay Cutler by agreeing to represent Vince Young - same position, same draft. We all know the Eagleson example. Reggie White's agent misled White because he was trying to secure his own job with the Eagles - and it was one of the reasons White eventually left for Green Bay. This is tip of the iceberg stuff. There's more literature on the history of unethical behaviour among sports agents than anyone here has mentioned, particularly in law reviews. It's an industry basically is regulated and has its professional standards set by the individual leagues that certify agents. There's a key distinction between attorney agents and non-attorney agents in that attorney agents are required to uphold the ethics of the bar. That doesn't mean they do, but it does mean that the leeway to be unethical in negotiations allows non-attorney agents to promise more cash and perks to players. Of course, that's dancing with the devil, but how many players know it?
Maybe the bulk of the questionable behaviour by agents has to do with the ways they attempt to sway the judgment of kids who aren't equipped with the critical skills to resist. You're a 16 yr old kid in junior hockey and an agent says he'll buy you a car now and get you an endorsement with the local pizza place etc., just pay him back at 6% of your deal when you sign on in the NHL, you probably take that deal. A lot of players have been doing what their agents told them to do since a very young age. In some cases, they go to extents that are illegal. McAlpine was probably Heatley's agent since he was a 17 yr old kid finishing a high school diploma.