The NFLPA Makes an Example of Marlon Sullivan

Two days ago, the NFLPA announced that Marlon Sullivan will have his license suspended for six months.  Additionally, Sullivan will have to pay a $10,000 fine.  The penalty is based on Sullivan’s supervision of a runner who provided money to a former student-athlete.  Sullivan also did not sign a disclosure form, which the NFLPA requires to be submitted when an agent pays a recruiter fee to a runner who is charged with recruiting new clients.

As far as I can tell, prior to the suspension and fine, Sullivan did not have any active clients under his name.  In fact, Sullivan became certified in 2009. Is this some kind of record regarding fastest to get disciplined since becoming a Contract Advisor?

Prior to becoming certified, Sullivan was a Web Developer / QA at Sports West Football for 3 years and 9 months.  The man in charge at the agency is Angelo Wright, who has represented Ted Washington, Sam Adams, Pat Williams, Alex Molden, Sean Dawkins and many more football players.  Was Sullivan a Contract Advisor for Wright?  If so, is Wright also responsible for the runner’s acts?

The story gets a little more interesting, though.  Angelo Wright was suspended by the NFLPA for incorrectly advising one of his clients.  After Wright appealed his suspension by the NFLPA, he was ultimately fined $25,000 and suspended from being a Contract Advisor for 6 months starting July 10, 2009 (it was originally a 1 year suspension).  This is actually when Sullivan started working as an agent.  Wright continued to own his company.  Did he also continue to oversee operations?

The NFLPA is seriously investigating these matters now, especially in light of recent media attention to the subject.  Sullivan is likely the first of quite a few agents who will receive discipline for their own actions or the actions of those under their supervision.

NFLPA Contract Advisors do not need to even have knowledge or approve of the actions of those under their supervision in order to be held responsible under the NFLPA’s Regulations.  If Sullivan was under the supervision of Wright and the runner was working on behalf of Sullivan and/or Wright, should Wright be concerned as well?

This article originally appeared on the Sports Agent Blog.


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