They couldn't keep him of Havana, but the NFL is sure as hell trying to keep Jay-Z out of its league. While Jay's Roc Nation Sports agency continues making inroads into nearly every major professional league imaginable, CBS Sports' Mike Freeman reports that the NFLPA's latest venture is an attempt to keep the mogul from using his cultural cache and deep pockets to snatch away their players. If this is truly an attempt to suppress Jay-Z's business enterprise, give it a few days until Jigga drops a few more bars.
One high profile agent says this of enhanced NFLPA agent rules enacted recently: "It's a shot across the bow of Jay-Z."
This is what the agent was referring to. The union enacted an amendment to its rules tightening undergraduate and post-graduate degree requirements. The rule states they must come from an accredited college but there's no question that if you don't have one, this rule would prevent you from recruiting players.
Is this a Jay-Z rule? It's believed that while Jay-Z has a degree from the school of hard knocks he may not possess the academic credentials to pass union certification. The NFLPA requires only certified agents be involved in the recruiting of athletes thus the alleged Jay-Z rule.
Some agents say the rule was passed to close loopholes but other agents say it was aimed mostly at making sure there wasn't a feeling that Jay-Z could skirt the rules because he's, you know, one of the most famous people in the world (and married to one).
It looks like Jay-Z's doing something right if he's got them trying to Jay-proof their league. This is akin to the NCAA's decision to ban dunking in the '60s to maintain a somewhat level playing field before Lew Alcindor could rough up their rims and embarrass its athletes or The Masters' attempts to Tiger-proof Augusta National's course.
However, if this is a shot at Jay-Z, it's an ill-informed and ill-advised one. He's not running his agency like Master P ran Ricky Williams' contract negotiations into the ground. Roc Nation has managed entertainers before and they have a partnership with the massive agency, CAA in addition to a vast army of agents to handle the minute details. This is all moot. If this does have any effect on Jay-Z's representation of NFL athletes, he'll use his business savvy to manueuver around it. He ain't passed the bar but he know a little bit. However, it'll be interesting to see if other leagues follow the NFL's example in the near future.