Chat with Andrew Brandt
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN's business analyst Andrew Brandt stops by to chat about the NFL's CBA negotiations as well as the upcoming NBA labor issues.
Brandt, who has over 25 years of experience in professional football, both from the management and player representation side, runs NationalFootballPost.com, where he gives fans an insider's view on the business of football. His Twitter is: @ADBrandt.
He is also a lecturer at the Wharton School of Business, teaching Sports Law, Sports Business and Negotiations. He has written for Forbes, the Huffington Post and Sports Business Journal, while also appearing across all ESPN TV, radio and online platforms. In his time in the football business, Brandt as served as a player representative, a World League GM and a VP with the Packers.
Send your questions now and join Brandt Friday at 4 p.m. ET!
Andrew Brandt (4:02 PM)
Happy to be back answering your questions about all sports. We can talk about sports business or what appears to be a very active time in sports law, with a lot of active cases. So, let's go.
did the NFLPA not do a good job with the CBA in terms of appointing someone to hear appeals on suspensions? Didn't James Harrison basically just appeal back to the NFL a suspension that the NFL gave him?
Andrew Brandt (4:04 PM)
Not entirely. Let me explain again. For team disciplines, were James Harrison disciplined by the Steelers, decisions would go to an independent arbitrator. League disciplines from the commissioner, the appeals process is much less neutral. It does go back to the commissioner's office. The new twist in the CBA is that on-field suspensions are heard by people that are selected and paid for by both the NFL and NFLPA. Technically there is some independence there. But in reality they are employees of the NFL. There is inherently some leaning toward the league side.
This Chris Paul situation turned kind of shady, didn't it? Can the league rule impartially in a case like this?
Andrew Brandt (4:07 PM)
I think this Chris Paul situation will go down as one of the most interesting cases in sports law history. The first point I'll make is the incredible timing of the Chris Paul blocked trades is that it was blocked literally within the hour that the NBA and NBPA agreed to a new CBA. The CBA was designed to prevent players from leveraging a team to move them to a big market. The distinction from a true blocked trade is the NBA owners collective own the Hornets. That gave David Stern cover to make decisions about the franchise that in a normal scenario the commission would never get involved. He was clearly looking out for the future of the franchise and looking for more ascending assets and looking toward the future sale of the Hornets. However, what happened with the Lakers still stings, not only the Lakers but a lot of players, media and fans, where the NBA's commissioner's office lost some credibility.
Andrew, have you ever seen such a jam packed day with sports law off the field of play?
Andrew Brandt (4:09 PM)
It's crazy timing. I just finished teaching my last sports law class at Wharton yesterday. It's hard to know where to start. Of all three major issues today, I don't think we expected Barry Bonds to receive jail time and he did not. I think the overwhelming response from that case is that while he received some punishment there is not a feeling of closure. Unfortunately the legacy of the steroid era in baseball continues.
Andrew Brandt (4:10 PM)
On the Sam Hurd case, it is astonishing as to the level of involvement that Hurd had with his alleged activities in drug acquisition and sales. He appears to have been leading a double life, as a football player by day and somewhat heavily involved in the drug trade by night. With is release from the Bears today, there goes his day job.
Andrew Brandt (4:10 PM)
In a quick shameless plug, I'll be discussing the Sam Hurd case on ABC News at 6:30 ET tonight.
Andrew Brandt (4:12 PM)
And thirdly, in the most disturbing case of the year, the administrators in the Jerry Sandusky trial were in court today. From what I could follow in the testimony, it appeared that they did perhaps the minimum required and some would say even less than the minimum in responded to comments by Mike McQueary in regards to Jerry Sandusky's actions in the showers with a young boy. As the father of three young boys, it makes me very emotional to think about how these adults' inactions may have negatively affected the lives of these young boys.
Andrew, how would you assess this MAtt Forte situation? I'm not sure how hurt he is or isn't, but if you're wearing your player representative hat, are you telling him not to play any more this season rather than risk coming back for a game or two and risk re-injury when there is no long term contract there?
Andrew Brandt (4:15 PM)
That's a great question. The advantage of my experience is I see it from both sides. Before we get to the should he play question, I see the Bears did offer him a contract reportedly in the area of $13-14 million guaranteed and didn't want to go much beyond that. From Forte's point of view, you see the $30 million guarantee to Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson and wonder why you can't reach that level. I think Forte has to weigh the effect of his injury. If I was advising him, I would tell him to trust the medical staff unless there is a reason not to. Forgetting about the Bears front office, if the medical staff advises him he's ready, I would play, because he's already set himself up to be a free agent and his ability to play through the contract situation, even with the injury, will be looked at favorably, not just by the Bears but by 31 other teams.
With this Sam Hurd situation. and ive heard interviews with cowboys players about this and "No Comment" being most common answer and cowboy players being combative about it could it spiral outta control for the NFL if indeed NFL players are involved?
Andrew Brandt (4:17 PM)
The NFL is experiencing a wonderful time right now where a new CBA, a new contract with CBS and Fox, a wonderful season and, of course, Tebow. This is not what they want to hear. The question for the NFL and what they have to continue to hope is this is an isolated incident involving Hurd and no one else. However, there are hints from the criminal complaints that there are others involved, perhaps into the double digits. Sam Hurd has been around the NFL for a few years, spending most of his time in Dallas. We have to use sound judgement and believe it's just Sam Hurd, but unfortunately for the NFL, this story may have legs.
So which union did better: the NFLPA in its lockout or the NBPA in its lockout?
Andrew Brandt (4:20 PM)
That's a great question, but I think the CBA's are like draft picks: you have to wait at least a couple of years before you give them a grade. I think that one thing we have to see out of both CBAs is how much the underspending teams that have traditionally spent big on players are mandated to spend more. Both CBAs have requirements for minimum spending, although the NFL's doesn't kick in until 2013. The bottom line is this: we know that players have no issue with, in the NFL, Cowboys, Redskins, Raiders, Panthers, etc. and in the NBA, Knicks, Lakers, Bulls, Mavericks. The real key to the CBAs is are we going to see mandated spending from the KC Chiefs, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Bills, etc., and in the NBA, Kings, Cavaliers, Magic, Hornets, Suns, etc. Time will tell on that.
Andrew, does a CBA say anything about a situation like with Chris Paul, where a league owned team is involved?
Andrew Brandt (4:21 PM)
No. The CBA does not address these situations. My hope for the NBA is that by this time next year they are not owning the Hornets and have found a buyer and that everything they are doing now creates an attractive asset.
do you think the NFL nudged the Bears to realese Hurd, to try to keep the good will going?
Andrew Brandt (4:23 PM)
I'm certain that Bears management talked to the NFL management council, the legal arm of the NFL, about this situation. They probably discussed whether there would be a release or whether there would be a suspension from the Bears or the league. At the end of the day, the team just decided to release the player. That seemed to be the simplest way to handle this. It's clear the Bears wanted to run away from the stigma of a drug dealer on the team and did so immediately.
do you think Bonds' dismissal today does anything to his reputation/HOF chancees?
Andrew Brandt (4:24 PM)
I don't think it changed peoples' view of him regarding the hall of fame, one way or the other. People have their opinions about steroids and the hall of fame and that won't be changed by what happened today.
tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]
Can McQueary be charged with any crime for his non-action in not calling the police (not school officials) after witnessing a child being raped?
Andrew Brandt (4:26 PM)
That's a good question. But my understanding is as of this point he has not been charged and the only people subject to punishment are the administrators, Schultz and Curley. From what I read today, McQueary's actions, although certainly not enough, can garner some empathy as someone who was clearly effected by it and reported it to his superior Joe Paterno and hoped and trusted that it would go up the ladder from there.
what would have happened if Hurd had not been released?
Andrew Brandt (4:28 PM)
I think he would have been suspended. The personal conduct policy under Roger Goodell does not wait for trial. Based on what we've seen in the criminal complaint, Goodell would absolutely impose discipline and Hurd would not play this year. I also wonder if Hurd were still with the Bears would they be pursuing a signing bonus money through grievance. By terminating his contract, they will have less of an argument to do so.
Andrew Brandt (4:30 PM)
These were great questions on this busy day in sports business and law. I'll try to make sense of this Sam Hurd situation tonight on World News Tonight. You can always ask me more questions on Twitter: @ADBrandt. Merry Christmas!