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Jay-Z plans to become certified by NFLPA


An interesting wrinkle arose on Friday regarding the emerging relationship between CAA and Jay-Z’s new firm, Roc Nation. Based on rules passed by the NFLPA in 2012, Jay-Z can’t recruit players to sign with CAA unless Jay-Z becomes an NFLPA-certified agent.

The concerns emerged because rival agents see the obvious problem with having Jay-Z recruit Giants receiver Victor Cruz to sign with CAA. The NFLPA reportedly has no problem with the connection, given Jay-Z’s established friendship with Cruz.

Moving forward, however, Cruz won’t be able to help close deals with CAA unless he’s certified.

Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal reports that Jay-Z plans to become certified. And while Mullen points out that the soonest Jay-Z could take the certification test is January 2014 (we’d been told that the more realistic timetable is July 2014), she doesn’t address the requirement of a postgraduate degree, which can be waived if the NFLPA determines the applicant has had seven years of “negotiating experience.”

The situation becomes even more challenging if Jay-Z doesn’t have an undergraduate degree. It’s unclear whether any exemption is available if he lacks that credential.

While Jay-Z can handle endorsements and off-field deals for NFL players without NFLPA agent certification, he can have no involvement in recruiting players to sign with CAA for their football contracts unless he’s certified. If he’s not certified, and if every player that hires Jay-Z for off-field work also ends up hiring CAA, that could become his 100th problem.