NFL, Sports

Darren Rovell and ESPN Get Hand Slap From NFLPA

There are going to be a whole bunch of smiling faces in the Twitter world.  Darren Rovell who enjoys Twitter more than anyone we know, got a hand slap from the NFLPA  ‘for his comments in the documentary film “Broke” and in his ESPN.com story dated October 2, 2012.’   You can read below the exact words from the NFLPA’s website where they fired back today.  There has been plenty of shots fired on Twitter about this over the past week, and we are very much looking forward to Rovell’s next move.

NFLPA Note: This letter was submitted yesterday to respond and correct the record related to Darren Rovell’s comments in the documentary film “Broke” and in his ESPN.com story dated October 2, 2012. Per the NFLPA’s request, ESPN.com has posted a correction related to his story. This is our full response to Mr. Rovell’s story and comments.

For a comprehensive fact sheet on the NFLPA Financial Advisor Registration Program, click here.

October 3, 2012

To the Editor:

ESPN media personality Darren Rovell has made several erroneous statements about the NFL Players Association’s Financial Advisor Program. These errors were published in a column on ESPN.com (“The NFL’s financial advisory program” Oct. 2, 2012) and shared in an interview on ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary “Broke.” The errors are identified as follows:

1. Rovell repeatedly pushed the opinion that the NFLPA Financial Advisor Registration Program generates revenue for the NFLPA in the documentary film “Broke” and his column on ESPN.com. During his interview in the documentary, he says:

“Players Associations charge agents fees and financial advisors fees and say that they regulate them. It’s really a joke. They charge this fee so that they can make another revenue stream. I don’t think that they can look you in the eye and tell you that they are doing a better job at controlling who should be an official advisor and who shouldn’t.”

He is wrong. Here are the facts:

  • “The NFLPA will operate the Program on a non-profit basis. The registration fees to be collected from the Listed Advisers are flat fees that will reimburse the NFLPA only for the costs incurred in operating the screening, monitoring and disciplining functions of the Program. There will be no relationship between the fees that are received by the NFLPA from the Listed Advisers and whether players retain the services of Listed Advisers.”  SEC No-Action Letter, January 25, 2002
  • Rovell cited an increase in fees in his ESPN.com piece. The NFLPA recently switched to a new background investigation company that does a more comprehensive investigation of each applicant, which increased the cost of processing each application. This information was shared with Rovell.
  • This accurate information about the program is readily available to the public on the NFLPA website (https://www.nflplayers.com/About-us/Rules–Regulations/Financial-Advisor-Regulations/)
    and on the Securities and Exchange Commission website (http://www.sec.gov/divisions/investment/noaction/nflpa012502.htm)

 

2. Rovell has repeatedly lumped together Financial Advisors and Agents and described them as “certified.” NFLPA Registered Financial Advisors are not certified by the NFLPA, they are registered after meeting requirements and passing a background check. This is entirely different than the certification process for Certified Contract Advisors (agents). Rovell was made aware of this distinction, yet no correction has been issued.

 

3. In Rovell’s initial report, he incorrectly published that “players cannot choose a financial advisor outside the program.” After being contacted by the NFLPA, the story was changed. However, contrary to journalistic standards, ESPN.com did not issue an editor’s note indicating an error had been corrected in the original.

  • “Registration in the Program is voluntary.” SEC No-Action Letter, January 25, 2002

 

The NFLPA was contacted multiple times dating back to March 2012 by an ESPN staff member fact checking for “Broke.” Every question presented was given a prompt, thorough, accurate response. Despite these efforts, though, we were disappointed to see the flippant, inaccurate comments made by this media personality in the film. When it comes to the NFLPA, Rovell has a track record of bad analysis and uninformed opinion.

This is our effort to correct that record.