The following article was written by Cyle Kiger.
Even with a star athlete to represent, Darrell Eugene Wills’ attempt at owning his own sports agency proved to be too much of a risk. A $170,000 loan was given to Wills by his client and Baltimore Ravens star wide receiver Anquan Boldin. The loan was a start-up cost for Wills’ sports agency Imagine Sports International. The loan was due on March 31, 2009. Boldin’s terms would be to get back the principle plus a 7% interest rate, and a reduced rate for representation by Wills. Last April, Boldin sued Wills alleging that Wills defaulted on the loan.
To make matters a bit more complicated, Wills declared bankruptcy, claiming he owed more than $1 million to creditors. In the court filing, his debts included $81,000 to Bank of America, $14,000 for his car, and he also owed the IRS $8,000 in back taxes and over $465,000 in loans, which include Boldin’s loan. On top of that, the NFLPA rules are clear for agents: they cannot accept loans from their clients; in turn Wills was decertified as an NFLPA agent
Boldin was granted summary judgment, a motion by Boldin’s party ruling that no factual issues remained to be tried and therefore a judgment can be decided on without trial. Boldin was entitled to $280,115; that included attorney’s fees, his original principle, and interest.
The real interesting part of the story is how risky starting a business is, and especially an athlete representation firm. Seemingly Wills had a good thing going with a high-profile receiver in Anquan Boldin, and on paper the idea, I’m sure, looked good. He had the foundation with Boldin, and the funds (or so it seemed). So for anyone looking to start your own sports agency, do not presume the business will be a success if you have a player you already represent and/or accept any loans from them, because you will be decertified.