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Agent under fire tries to distance self from recruiter

Agent under fire tries to distance self from recruiter
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A lawyer for veteran NFL agent Ian Greengross distanced his client from the conduct of recruiter Kenny Rogers on the heels of a disciplinary complaint issued by the NFL Players Association on Friday.

According to the NFLPA's statement, Greengross faces potential sanctioning for "violating numerous provisions of the NFLPA's agent regulations while recruiting and representing players, and for the actions of his recruiter, Kenny Rogers."

The NFLPA alleges that Rogers "misrepresented to prospective player-clients that he was an NFLPA employee, a Club official and an official from a testing service in an effort to recruit them." The NFLPA also alleged that Rogers attempted to recruit players who were already signed to contracts with competing agents.

Rogers was named in stories by ESPN.com and The New York Times as having allegedly sought as much as $200,000 from Mississippi State University for the commitment of quarterback Cam Newton(notes). According to the stories, Rogers claimed to be acting on behalf of Newton's family. Newton eventually enrolled at Auburn, and said Friday that if Rogers did solicit money, he was acting on his own. Greengross hasn't been alleged to have played any role in Newton's recruitment, nor in Rogers' alleged solicitations.

Greengross' attorney, David Cornwell, said only a very limited number of the NFLPA allegations deal with the direct conduct of Greengross, and that the agent is cooperating with the investigation. The NFLPA complaint is not currently related to Rogers' alleged actions with Newton.

"At this point, it is worth noting that out of the approximately 17 allegations in the [NFLPA's] Disciplinary Complaint, only two relate to acts allegedly undertaken directly by Ian – the failure to file timely a Standard Representation Agreement with a practice squad player and the inadvertent omission of information," Cornwell said. "The balance of the allegations relate to conduct and/or representations allegedly by Mr. Rogers, which have been disputed by players to whom they were allegedly made."

The NFLPA has stated that it holds agents directly responsible for the actions of their recruiters if it is determined those employees have violated the association's rules.

Greengross told ESPN.com in a September story that he only paid Rogers to scout players and review film, and never paid him a portion of player contracts. Many recruiters typically earn a percentage of the contracts which they help secure.

Cornwell downplayed the potential fallout of the NFLPA's complaint for Greengross, who represents 12 NFL players.

"My experience in these matters," Cornwell said, "is that the final disposition of agent disciplinary matters is often substantially less severe than the discipline that is either proposed in the Disciplinary Complaint or reflected in the NFLPA's public comments about pending agent disciplinary matters."

Contact Yahoo! Sports investigative reporter Charles Robinson at windycityscribe@yahoo.com