The NFL Players Association, in a post on its website, said that its program to register financial advisers does not create revenue for the organization, and that fees it charges for the program have increased because of more comprehensive background checks rather than as a way to make additional money.
The letter was in response to a column written by Darren Rovell for ESPN.com and comments Rovell made during the ESPN "30 for 30" documentary "Broke," which aired Tuesday night.
Rovell said during the documentary that the NFLPA charges agents and financial advisers fees to regulate them, but also as an additional revenue stream. Rovell also wrote on ESPN.com that players cannot choose a financial adviser outside of the program, which the NFLPA says is incorrect. ESPN.com issued a correction to Rovell's story Wednesday, and updated the story on the website.
The letter, termed "our effort to correct" the record, cited a January 2002 letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission that said "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."
It also cited regulatory documents that say that increased fees for its financial adviser program are "used exclusively to defray the costs affiliated with the operation of the non-profit" program. The document is on the NFLPA website, and the SEC website.
The NFLPA also said it does not certify financial advisers, but rather registers them after they meet requirements and pass a background check. The NFLPA says that is different than its Certified Contract Advisors (agents) program, which is more rigorous.
"We clarified Darren's original story and stand by what is currently posted on ESPN.com," ESPN said in a statement.