NFL agent Damarius Bilbo has been fined $12,500 and suspended for three months from representing NFL players. The decision, after Bilbo appealed earlier discipline, was announced by the NFL Players Association on January 8.
The NFLPA failed to provide specific details surrounding Bilbo’s acts that lead to the arbitrator imposing the fine and suspension. It only revealed that the discipline was based on “violations of the Regulations Governing Contract Advisors.”
That said, I have learned through a few reputable sources some details concerning the situation.
One of the prominent NFL players represented by Bilbo is Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Bilbo allegedly received a marketing check intended for Landry and deposited it in Bilbo’s business account. His intention was to wire the money to Landry, minus the commission, but was tardy in accomplishing same.
From Bilbo’s perspective it was considered an oversight, per the sources, who also say that Landry was never upset with Bilbo and did not want Bilbo to be penalized by the NFLPA. Landry never terminated his engagement of Bilbo as his agent.
It probably would never have even become an issue for the NFLPA’s attention had it remained an issue between Bilbo and Landry. In fact, Bilbo allegedly corrected the error and Landry has received the commissions that were due to him.
However, a registered investment advisor named Peter Wright got in the middle and apparently made a stink about the situation. Wright was Landry’s advisor at the time. Interestingly, I have heard that Wright is also close with NFL agent Todd France, who used to work with Bilbo but has since become his competitor.
So what exactly was the issue under the NFLPA’s Regulations? It is hard to tell without seeing the actual opinion released by the arbitrator. Perhaps it is something as general as failing to serve in a fiduciary capacity on behalf of Landry based on commingling funds intended for him in his business account (agents should have a separate escrow account for funds that may be due to a player). The odd part about the whole situation is that Landry insisted on Bilbo receiving no punishment, yet Bilbo has been suspended for three months, at a time when he is needed by his clients.
This story will be updated if/as more information is learned.
Source: Sports Agency Blog