News: Jay Z Catches Big Break In NY Jets Controversy, Heated Investigation Fades To Black

Sunday, Dec 8, 2013 10:10PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rap mogul Jay Z can now dine on a stress-free vegan meal as reports claim the NFL Players Association has decided he did not violate league rules by pursuing New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith this year.

Details of Jigga's big break surfaced online heading into the weekend.

The NFLPA had been investigating whether Jay Z, who is not a certified NFL agent, recruited Smith against union rules before this past year's draft. In a memo to all agents Friday, obtained by USA TODAY Sports, the NFLPA clarified the so-called "runner rule," saying it permits non-certified associates to attend an introductory meeting with potential clients to present the full range of services offered by the agency. The meeting must take place at the agent's place of business and is limited to one per potential client. No further contact may occur between the potential client and the agent's uncertified business associates. (USA Today)

According to spring reports, there is an NFL rule which prohibits non-certified associates from being in attendance during the recruitment of a potential client.

The NFL Players Association plans to send a letter of inquiry to Roc Nation Sports agent Kim Miale to find out more information about Jay-Z's actual involvement in trying to get Smith on board. This week, the new Gang Green signal-caller announced that Roc Nation would be his new representative after he fired his agent Jeff Nalley following the NFL Draft. The newly instituted "runner rule" prohibits agents from having associates who aren't NFLPA certified agents in attendance for recruiting meets. Jay-Z is not currently certified and Smith's advisor John Thornton was quoted by CBS Sports this week saying, "I was in those meetings and Jay-Z connected with [Smith] on many levels." Thornton, a former NFL defensive tackle, later tweeted that he was misquoted. (NY Post)

To make matters worse at the time, Smith made sure to boast about the possibility of signing to Roc Nation by publicly showing off a photo of himself alongside Jay.

Smith himself actually posted a photo of himself and Jay-Z on Instagram during his recruiting process. Miale is technically Smith's new agent. The NFLPA previously sent a letter of inquiry to CAA's Tom Condon after Condon signed Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who is using Roc Nation Sports as his marketing representative. Roc Nation and CAA are partners in other sports. In football, that kind of partnership is difficult because of the "runner rule." The union cleared Condon of any wrongdoing in that investigation. (NY Post)

Buzz behind Geno announcing his business relationship with Jay's agency bubbled online last spring.

After weeks of speculation, rookie quarterback Geno Smith announced Wednesday that he has hired Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports to represent him. Smith, who created national headlines when he fired his original agents after falling out of the first round in last month's draft, hinted that the marketing appeal of Roc Nation Sports was a factor in his decision. Four decades removed from Broadway Joe, the New York Jets have Madison Avenue Geno. "When you talk about being in New York from a standpoint of what they can do in the city, the connections that they have, I think it's a good move," said Smith, claiming Jay-Z's presence wasn't the overriding reason for his selection. (ESPN New York)

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