It seems that the entrance of rap mogul Jay-Z into the world of NFL player representation may not go as smoothly as "Jigga" might have liked.
Last week we noted that Shawn Carter (a.k.a. Jay-Z) had signed New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith as a member of Roc Nation Sports – Z's fledgling sports management branch of his entertainment marketing corporation Roc Nation.
Now both the Boston Globe and Mike Florio of NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk are reporting that the National Football League Players Association is looking into whether or not Jay-Z had that "Dirt" off his shoulder when Smith signed.
Jay-Z, who didn't pass the bar but knows a little bit, hasn't yet been certified as a player representative by the NFLPA, which means there are rules limiting his involvement with the recruiting of clients.
Since he is only supposed to be responsible for marketing, the NFLPA is questioning whether Jay-Z might have violated the rule against his acting as a "runner" to sign Smith.
Under NFLPA guidelines, a person who is not a certified agent cannot be utilized as a recruiting tool to coax a potential client into signing with a representative. While I might think it's logical that Jay-Z's sports agency firm would use Jay-Z and his success as a lure to bring in new clients, the NFLPA and the NFL have strict guidelines against runners – someone who secures clients for agents but isn't a certified negotiator.
Smith is being represented by player-agent Kim Miale, who has no previous NFL clients but works for Roc Nation Sports.
One of the things in question is a photo of Z and Smith, who fell to the second round and then fired his agent, together earlier this month before he signed with Roc Nation.
Rather than see it as two New York celebrities hanging out, the NFL and NFLPA are investigating whether Jay-Z was whispering some "Big Pimpin'" nothings in Smith's ear.
Miale and Roc Nation Sport could face serious repercussions if "H to the izz O, V to the izz A," is labeled as acting as a "runner."
Agents using runners could be fined, suspended or permanently banned.
Personally, I think this is more about the NFLPA, the NFL and the current group of agents wanting to protect their waters.
Who knows how the landscape could change if a multi-dimensional entertainment whiz valued at $500 million gains a foothold in NFL player representation by expanding the money-making prospects of his clients.
That would be a dangerous shark to let loose in the tank.
I'll be the first to admit that Nike is more than within its right to discontinue its association with the Livestrong – the cancer charity founded by disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.
But why would it?
About the only thing Armstrong did well was use his name recognition to create Livestrong.
Remaining associated with Armstrong, who used performance enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles and then crushed the lives of numerous people to keep his secrets, may be bad publicity but staying associated with Livestrong is not.
Over the past 15 years, Livestrong has helped millions of cancer patients across the world through its survivorship programs.
How is cutting ties to something like that a positive for Nike?