It’s February, so for me and scores of others in the baseball industry, it’s time for the annual ritual known as salary arbitration. A time when players and clubs make their case before a panel of arbitrators to determine the player’s salary for the coming season. I’ve been at this for over 15 years and it still remains among the most difficult and challenging things I take on in my practice. As I sit here now in Tampa between cases, my thoughts turned to the number of people I have met over the years who possessed a deep-seated curiosity about the salary arbitration process and what is it, exactly, what goes on inside the hearing room. While the hearings holds the fascination of many, there are many steps along the way that are important to understanding this unique process. First, only certain players are eligible for salary arbitration. Generally, players with three or more years of service, but less than six, are eligible for arbitration. There is a subset of players between two and three years of service who are also eligible. A player will fall into this second group if he has between two and three years of service, […]
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has fired his agent Eugene Parker and has hired Jay Z’s Roc Nation to represent him. This reportedly has displeased Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has publicly stated how great a relationship he has with Parker, Bryant’s former agent. According to multiple sources Jones has said that Bryant’s signing with Roc Nation would make the Cowboys’ upcoming contract negotiations with Bryant “more difficult.” What in the world is up with THAT?? Players have the right, through their union, to have agents of their choice represent them in contract negotiations. Any owner or club official who interferes or attempts to interfere with that right is violating both the collective bargaining agreement and federal labor law. Jones’ public displeasure is reminiscent of the early days of sports agents when owners simply refused to deal with agents, despite the fact that players had properly designated them as their representatives. This is not only the height of arrogance, it is also dangerous. Players and their unions simply cannot allow any owner to even think that he or she can tell a player – explicitly or implicitly – who can be his agent. That Jones has a “great relationship” […]
“The tide is turning. … Players are going to be paid. Now whether it happens in five years or 10 or 15, I have no idea. But there’s no way we’re going to make this kind of money and never pay the players.” So said ESPN’s Jay Bilas regarding compensation for college athletes. Should college athletes be paid? What say you?