Solving Problems in the Player Representation Business: Unions Should Be the Exclusive Representatives of the Players
44 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2006
This article examines how the economics of the player representation business, with increasing player salaries under a commission-based agent fee system, are fueling more intense competition among agents, which harms the players, the teams and the leagues. The author suggests that the players associations, as the exclusive representatives of the players under the labor laws, must consider whether the current player representation system serves the best interests of the players collectively, and whether the system can be improved or changed for the betterment of all player-members, not just a handful of premier players. The author proposes that the players associations establish internal player management agencies giving players the option to retain a full-time salaried agent employed by the union. He also proposes that revisions to the unions' existing agent regulations imposing an alternative agent fee structure and a complete ban on client solicitation would substantially reduce the incentive for agents to engage in "harmful" competition and would ensure that players are paying their agents a reasonable fee, but would still maintain the player's autonomy in selecting his own agent. He further argues that, if the unions desire to effectuate a change in the current culture of the agent business, the unions need to educate their players that they would be better served if the union became more actively involved in the player representation process.
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