April 1st, 2011 14:59 EST
Rapper Jay-Z is Being Investigated by the NBA for Illegal Contact with College Players
The NBA is investigating Jay-Z who is part owner of the New Jersey Nets for a visit he made to the Kentucky Wildcats locker room last Sunday. The rule in the NBA is that players who are not yet draft illegible are not allowed to have any type of contact with the NBA until they become draft illegible.
This has been a big problem in not just the NBA but other sports in a different capacity. We have heard more and more lately of sports agents talking to ineligible players that are not draft eligible in various sports. A good example of this is when Reggie Bush lost his Heisman Trophy for accepting illegal benefits. He had illegal contact with sports agents before he was draft illegible.
I believe that any agent or representative from professional sports that violates the rule of having contact with players before those specific players are ineligible for the draft should also suffer the consequences. Recently Danny Ainge who is the President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics was fined $30,000 for illegal contact with ineligible players.
Some people ask the question, "Why should it be illegal for agents and representative from professional sports to have any types of contact with future hopefuls?" There are a lot of reason but some of the main reason are it is more like a conflict of interest.
If you have ever worked in a job where your company buys products from multiple vendors normally those vendors like to pop in unannounced and pay you lots of visits in person to give you little gifts to sway you to them for your business. I have had vendors even give us or offer to give us NFL tickets. This happens a lot if you ever have worked in purchasing and is normally illegal by your company`s policies to accept any types of gratuity from these vendors.
In professional sports these agents and representatives from the NBA and NFL and it normally only happens in these two leagues, they don`t just bring you a coffee cup or a set of pens with the vendors company name on it, I have heard of instances where sports agents have made illegal contact with NBA and NFL hopefuls and offered to pay that college players rent for a year, in another example I heard the agent offered to pay for a players Mothers medical bills that were in excess of thousands of dollars if he would give that agent the chance to talk to him for a few minutes. It`s like a behind the scenes thing.
I guess if I was playing college football or basketball and had little or no money and had rent to pay or had outstanding personal or family bills or was offered money without being a pro yet and an agent came to me and said, "Hey if you give me five minutes of your time for me to talk to you," Or, if they said as an example, "The Oakland Raiders have shown interest in you in the next NFL Draft and have a great package deal for you but you have to talk to me first, so I can get it for you," Yes, I would be persuaded.
I know how it is, every or most players coming up the ranks is their dream to play professional sports and to have an agent strengthen that hope by talking to you is something you dream about.
Also, the agents are solicitating business for themselves. Most agents get a big cut of the initial offer by a professional team for a player and the gets a certain percentage of that player`s salary over the length of the contract. So, it`s no wonder why the agents are driving BMW`s and Mercedes-Benz`s.
The investigation with Jay-Z is ongoing and no further details have been released. This problem needs to be continually monitored by the NFL and NBA with stiffer penalties issued for agents and representatives of various teams that violate it.