Prominent NFL agent Ben Dogra had his certification revoked by the NFL Players Association for three years and was hit with a $200,000 fine Wednesday.
Rand Getlin of NFL Network reported the news and featured the NFLPA's official statement on the matter:
Rand Getlin @Rand_Getlin
The NFLPA has revoked agent Ben Dogra's ability to represent players for 3 years, and issued him a $200,000 fine. https://t.co/JDvVEHENqy2016-1-6 21:37:16
Dogra's legal representative Arthur J. McAfee issued a statement on his client's behalf, per Josina Anderson of ESPN.com:
Ben Dogra adamantly denies engaging in any conduct that was not in the best interests of his clients or NFL players. Ben has always been a strong advocate for NFL Players and is thankful for the show of support from his clients and others in the industry during this process. Ben will appeal the unprecedented, proposed discipline to neutral arbitration as provided under the NFLPA Regulations and looks forward to finally having an opportunity to examine and challenge the claims against him. The proposed discipline will not occur during the appeal process. It is therefore important that clients, NFL players, NFL teams, and Certified Contract Advisors understand that the discipline does not limit or prohibit Ben from representing his clients during the appeal process.
As noted by Getlin, Dogra used to represent high-profile players such as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, reigning NFL rushing champion Adrian Peterson and former No. 1 overall draft pick Mario Williams, among other stars.
Jason Belzer of Forbes highlighted how much influence Dogra has had on the NFL during his career:
Jason Belzer @JasonBelzer
Huge news. Dogra manages some $600 million in NFL contracts for @RelativitySport https://t.co/eR9YSMoR6X2016-1-6 21:46:28
It's unclear what specific violations led to the disciplinary action exacted upon Dogra, but he clearly drew the ire of the NFLPA, considering the sheer volume of its 38-count complaint.
Dogra was initially under investigation in May 2015, as Getlin also reported at the time. His highlights as an agent included helping negotiate Williams' current contract with the Buffalo Bills, which spans six years and is worth $96 million.
Being out of action for three years and losing so many expensive clients will make it difficult for Dogra to get back into the NFL even when his lengthy ban is lifted.