Beware family member managers negotiating NIL deals for NCAA players

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(Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Big time college athletes should reconsider having a family member represent them for their name, image and likeness.

“It’s not show-friends, its show-business”

Most of us have seen the classic film Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise plays a sports agent who eventually has most of his clients stolen by his nemesis Bob Sugar (played by Jay Mohr).

With the recent announcement by the NCAA that players will be allowed to profit financially off their name, image and likeness (NIL) many players will find themselves dealing with real life characters who are exactly like Maguire and Sugar. 

Most college student-athletes will be too busy with game preparation, travel and class work to find time to negotiate deals with corporate America that could allow them to profit financially from their NIL.

One of the trends I’ve already seen happening is high profile players announcing a partnership with big time agencies like CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and many more to pursue financial opportunities on their behalf. 

Alabama starting QB Bryce Young recently announced his partnership with CAA.

There is also a troubling trend I’ve seen happening with certain players now having family members represent them in their negotiations with corporate American for their NIL.

Miami Hurricane’s starting QB D’Eriq King recently announced his 25 year-old brother would be his representative.

However, after working as an agent in the music industry for nearly 25 years (including working for one of the biggest talent agencies in North America) I can confidently say that having your brother or any family member represent you is a huge mistake.

In the coming years, we will no doubt begin to hear stories about financial mismanagement along with players getting themselves into a heap of trouble with the IRS over income tax issues. 

I’ve seen this countless times over the past two decades where family members take a few too many liberties with the cash flow coming in while the artist is too busy writing music and performing to keep a close on eye on their own finances. 99 times out of 100, that situation will eventually implode. 

As an agent, I represented some of the biggest hip-hop and R&B artists on the planet and the artists that had a family member as their manager would more often than not fade away into obscurity for the simple reason is the vast majority of these family members have no prior experience in the job and they have no idea what they’re doing.

Proper agents and managers come equipped with a rolodex of contacts that immediately provide opportunities for their clients. Agents wake up every morning and head to the office knowing they have to provide opportunities for their clients unlike the mom or brother manager who more often than not simply wait for their phone to ring and then they get to pretend they’re a manager for five minutes on the phone. 

The brother or mother manager may be fine for a starting forward on a mid-major basketball program but they will likely be fighting way above their weight class when a family member is attempting to negotiate deals for a starting QB or point guard for a major conference school. 

Keep in the mind that even Beyonce fired her father Matthew Knowles as her manager after she accused him of a financial mismanagement in 2011. Also, keep in mind how much Beyonce’s career exploded once she dumped her father for a more experienced manager.

If you are a big time college athlete looking to benefit financially from your NIL it may be in your best interest to stay away from the family member manager. 

Take it from a guy who was the agent for the Wu-Tang Clan and Royce da 5’9 along with dozens of other well know rappers and musicians for almost two decades; family member managers rarely if ever work out. 

Hire a professional with years of experience instead.

It’s not show-friends……….Its show-business.