Agent believes one of own initiated Clowney-JAY Z story


The sports agent community surely took watchful notice Tuesday of the news that the University of South Carolina is looking into the relationship between Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney -- one of the elite NFL prospects in the college game -- and rap mogul JAY Z.

And given the tenor of agents' concern about JAY Z's ability to break into the sports agency business with immediate success based on name recognition, there is no doubt a faction that would like to see something come of an investigation.

In fact, there is speculation the source of the original report could be an agent.

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"Not only is it plausible, I'd guess it's definite," one agent, who requested anonymity, told NFL Draft 365 Wednesday. "... Agents compete with agents."

The underlying rub of JAY Z's entry into the realm of talent representation is this: While certified as an agent through the NBA and MLB, he's not yet become an NFL agent. He owns Roc Nation Sports, and employs Kim Miale, who is certified for NFL contracts. That makes any contact between JAY Z and college football players not only a potential issue for South Carolina, but for the NFL Players Association as well. NFLPA rules frown on agents using uncertified "runners" to recruit college players.

JAY Z, for his part, is only a few months into the business, and he's already sprung a few red flags. Type the phrase "NFLPA runner rule" into the Google search engine, and his name pops up in each of the top four results.

But while it's primarily the high-profile agents concerned about JAY Z, because of competition for prospective high-profile clients, Roc Sports Nation's success could also adversely affect younger agents who can't yet even get across a table from a gold mine like Clowney. Rookie agents often start their careers not with millionaire first-round picks, but with fringe players whose contracts don't produce much in commissions.

"It will be trickle-down economics," said the agent, who requested anonymity. "The Tom Condons would be going for more fourth-rounders. And the (younger agents) are switching their thinking from 'Maybe I can make my career with a third-rounder' to 'I need to start with two sixth-rounders.' "

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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