Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Agent Carl Poston Removed From Working With NFL Players

From my research, this grew from the matter of how Lavernious Coles was signed. Read the ESPN article first, then the one right after it.

NFLPA suspends agent Poston indefinitely
By John Clayton

The NFL Players Association notified the NFL that agent Carl Poston has been suspended indefinitely.

The league office officially informed 32 teams in a memo that Poston can't be involved in negotiations for any player, nor can he be an adviser on any deals. The term of the suspension was "until further notice." It was unclear why the union termed the suspension "until further notice" when the original length was two years.

Poston filed suit in U.S. District Court in New York claiming his two-year suspension should be overturned. Congress was also inquiring about the NFLPA's agent certification process and how it related to Poston.

An eight-member NFLPA disciplinary board recommended a suspension when it claimed Poston had been negligent in negotiating a contract for former Redskin LaVar Arrington. The union claimed Poston signed the contract without ensuring it had a $6.5 million bonus clause that had been agreed upon.

Previous legal challenges of agent certification have been upheld at least two times in previous court cases. It is not known how the House of Representatives inquiry will affect the union's decision.

Poston recently signed cornerback Ty Law to a five-year, $31 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Arbitrator upholds NFLPA discipline for agent over employee's actions

Staff writer - Sports Business Journal

An arbitrator has upheld a decision by the NFL Players Association to discipline an agent for the actions of one of his employees, even though the agent was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Arbitrator Roger Kaplan upheld the NFLPA's action to send a letter of reprimand to agent Carl Poston for the incident, which involved an employee who was accused of arranging for a plane ticket for NFL player Laveranues Coles while he was still in college.

Coles was declared ineligible to play one game of the regular season at Florida State University as a result of an FSU investigation that found that the incident violated NCAA rules.

The decision "sends a strong message to NFLPA-certified agents that they will be held responsible for people who work for them," said Richard Berthelsen, NFLPA general counsel. "It is important because more and more agents are starting full-service agencies and are having people on their staff help the players. Each person working for the agent has to be held accountable for the agent's knowledge of NCAA rules and incidents that could jeopardize a college athlete's eligibility."

Although Kaplan upheld the letter of discipline for Poston, he struck down a $5,000 fine the NFLPA had imposed on Poston and his brother and business partner, Kevin Poston, and struck down a letter of reprimand the union had issued to Kevin Poston.

Carl Poston noted that the letter of reprimand was the lowest form of discipline the NFLPA could administer. Still, Poston said the decision was unjust and his attorneys were reviewing ways to challenge it.

And finally, this article from April 23rd

Arrington supported his agent in court, in case involving him
By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
April 23, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) -- LaVar Arrington showed up in court to support his agent, who is challenging a two-year suspension over the handling of the linebacker's contract extension with the Washington Redskins in 2003.

Arrington appeared Thursday before U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones in Manhattan to support Carl Poston, who claims he was unfairly disciplined by an NFL Players' Association committee during the union's meetings last month.


The dispute centers around a $6.5 million bonus that Arrington claimed was left out of his contract by the Redskins.

Jones didn't immediately rule.

Arrington signed a $49 million, seven-year deal Saturday with the Giants. The deal came just days before a May 4 arbitration hearing in which Poston's suspension could be ordered to take effect.

Arrington didn't speak at the hearing but his lawyer, H. Stephen Brown, said the football player "cares a lot about this proceeding."

At one point, the judge acknowledged Arrington's presence, saying: "I see him here today and I recognize that he's very loyal to Mr. Poston."

Poston's lawyer, Paul Aloe, said during the hearing that the players' union was determined to "take away his livelihood for two years" by subjecting him to an arbitrator who has never ruled completely against the union.

Aloe said it was surprising and unusual that the players' union was pursuing its claims in arbitration proceedings.

"LaVar Arrington does not at all agree, is very supportive of Mr. Poston, does not believe there was any concealment or anything wrongfully done and, in fact, supports him," Aloe told the judge.

Jeffrey Kessler, a lawyer for the players' union, argued that regulations require agents to follow arbitration procedures outlined in the union's collective bargaining contract. Those provisions, Kessler said, make clear that the union has the authority to choose the arbitrator and that the arbitrator must resolve any and all disputes.

"He has no standing to do this," Kessler said of Poston's lawsuit and insistence that an impartial arbitrator be assigned to the case.

Arrington, the third overall pick in the 2000 draft and a three-time Pro Bowler, bought his way out of Washington in March for $4.4 million after a tempestuous final two seasons in which he suffered from knee injuries and was benched by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for freelancing.