BY: EDWARD KEALY
“Show me the money!” Most people remember Cuba Gooding Jr.’s
cash-hungry rant in the movie Jerry MaGuire, but what set the plot in motion
were Tom Cruise and Jay Mohr’s characters feverishly courting clients as rival
agents. How far can agents go to get clients? Playing to a heterosexual man’s
sexual fantasies might not hurt.
In a recent report by Business Insider, porn star Bibi Jones said that an MLB
agent would bring her along while recruiting potential clients after Arizona
Diamondbacks games in 2010. In the interview, Jones said that the agent
would take her out to bars after games and introduce her to major league
players, some of whom she slept with. Although she said the agent never paid her, she claimed, “[w]e both knew what we were doing.”
So what is the issue here? Agents are getting clients, a woman is meeting some of her favorite athletes, and the athletes seem to be getting what they want. The issue is that the conduct between agents and players are governed by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) under their Collective Bargaining Agreement with MLB owners. Section 5(B)(5) of the MLBPA Regulations Governing Player Agents reads:
“No Player Agent or Applicant shall provide, cause to be provided or promise to provide, any money or any other thing of value to any player, or any person related to or associated with such player, the purpose of which is to induce or encourage such player to use or continue to use any person’s or firm’s services as a Player Agent Representative, or Draft Advisor.”
Section 5(B)(5)(f) further prohibits “Any gift or loan…or any other thing of any value…” that is conditioned upon the player becoming or remaining a client of the agent.
The MLBPA is obviously concerned with regulating the conduct of agents with players. In this context, there is an argument that this was indeed improper inducement. First, the regulations state that the agent merely needs to “cause to be provided” anything of value. In this instance, it would seem that parading around with a porn star, and introducing her presumably with the insinuation that she will sleep with the athlete, is causing to provide something. However, clearly there are factual issues here. Although there may have been an “understanding” between the agent and Bibi Jones, the
fact that there was no exchange of value and that she was acting of her volition certainly are relevant. Additionally, there is a question in measuring the “value” of what is being provided. Although this issue is not clearly addressed in the MLBPA regulations, it certainly does not seem to pass the eye test, though perhaps the agent just found a clever loophole.
 Tony Manfred, EXCLUSIVE: A Porn Star Tells Us How an MLB Agent Used Her To Recruit Potential Clients, BUSINESS INSIDER, http://www.businessinsider.com/bibi-jones-agent-mlb-clients-2011-10
(last visited October 31, 2011).
 MLBPA REGULATIONS GOVERNING PLAYER AGENTS,§ 1(B) (2010) http://reg.mlbpaagent.org/Documents/AgentForms/Agent%20Regulations.pdf (last visited October 31, 2011).
 Id. at § 5(B)(5)
 Id. at § 5(B)(5)(c)