Now Carey, a sports agent who taught at UNC, has filed a civil suit against Quinn and Impact Sports Football, an athlete representation firm based in Boca Raton, Fla. Quinn fired Carey, who represented him in the months leading up to and after the NFL Draft, days before signing a four-year $9.4 million contract with the St. Louis Rams.
In December 2010, according to the suit, Quinn’s father signed a “standard representation agreement” with Carey on Quinn’s behalf. Such an agreement is required by the NFLPA for agents to represent players in their contract negotiations. The deal to which Quinn agreed, according to the lawsuit, promised Carey 3 percent of Quinn’s contract.
According to the suit, Quinn and Carey also agreed that if Quinn fired Carey within two years, any money Carey had given to Quinn would be considered a loan, and that Quinn would have to repay it.
But because of the NFL lockout, the NFLPA decertified as a union. And when it did, agents and players were no longer bound by NFLPA rules that otherwise would have prohibited agents from recruiting players who were already under contract with another agent.
After the Rams selected Quinn with the 14th overall pick in the draft, Carey alleges that his relationship with Quinn began to deteriorate. The lawsuit that Carey’s lawyers filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina alleges that Quinn and other defendants conspired against Carey.
Allegations of conspiracy
In addition to Quinn, the suit lists Marvin Austin, a former defensive end at UNC, as a defendant. Austin and Quinn were teammates at UNC and Austin, now a member of the New York Giants, is represented by Impact Sports.
Mitchell Frankel and Tony Fleming, two of Impact Sports’ agents, are also listed as defendants – as is Christina White, who in the suit is described as Quinn’s business manager. According to the lawsuit, the defendants “falsely, maliciously and willfully communicated with Quinn that Carey was not properly representing Quinn.”
A call to Fleming for comment was not returned.
Quinn and Austin were both at the center of a controversy that cost them their collegiate eligibility. Amid an NCAA investigation in the fall of 2010 into impermissible benefits and academic fraud, UNC dismissed Austin.
The NCAA, meanwhile, declared Quinn and former UNC receiver Greg Little permanently ineligible after the NCAA determined they had accepted travel accommodations and jewelry from agents. During his time representing Quinn, Carey alleges that he downplayed questions surrounding Quinn’s character in order to help his draft stock.
‘Malicious and improper’
Carey once served as an academic adviser to UNC football players and is also a former adjunct professor at the university. He left UNC in 2002 and became an agent in 2005.
He represents, among others, former UNC standout Julius Peppers, who signed a six-year $91.5 million deal with the Chicago Bears in 2010.
Carey briefly returned to UNC in the first summer session of 2011 after Julius Nyang’oro, then the chairman of the university’s African and Afro-American Studies department, invited Carey to teach a course called “Foundations of Black Education.”
Nyang’oro resigned on Sept. 1 as department chairman while UNC announced it was investigating “possible irregularities” in undergraduate courses involving athletes and non-athletes. There is no NCAA rule that prohibits sports agents from teaching college courses.
Carey and his lawyers, meanwhile, are seeking a jury trial. The lawsuit alleges that Austin received “monetary compensation” for wooing players, Quinn included, from other agents to Impact Sports.
The conduct of the defendants, the lawsuit alleges, “was malicious and improper and caused Carey to suffer monetary damages.”