AP Source: NFLPA discusses discipline with agents
NFL players union head DeMaurice Smith held a conference call
Tuesday with agents to discuss possibly changing the certification
process and how agents are disciplined for violating rules.
Several people familiar with the call told The Associated Press
that Smith expressed interest in reviewing how agents are approved
by the NFLPA, and what the qualifications should be to become a pro
football agent. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because
they were not authorized to discuss the call.
The call came 11 days after agent Gary Wichard was suspended for
nine months by the union for his role in a recruiting scandal
involving the University of North Carolina.
Wichard, an agent since 1980, was suspended for his involvement
with Marvin Austin, a former Tar Heels player who was dismissed
from the team in October.
In its ruling, the NFLPA said the California-based Wichard is
suspended beginning Dec. 1, ”for having impermissible
communication with Austin at a time Austin was not eligible for the
NFL draft under the NFL/NFLPA Collective Bargaining
The union also revoked the agent certification of Southern
California undergrad Teague Egan, who gave a ride across campus to
tailback Dillon Baxter, a violation of NCAA rules.
During Tuesday’s conference call, Smith also updated the agents
on the NFLPA’s potential decertification as a union to prevent a
lockout by the owners. Players on every team voted on approving
decertification earlier this season.
The collective bargaining agreement agreed on in 2006 expires in
March after the owners opted out of it in 2008. Decertification
would give the union a chance to sue under antitrust laws if there
is a lockout.
Without decertification, the union would have to wait six months
to file a suit after the collective bargaining agreement