NFLPA suspends agent Poston for two years
NEW YORK -- Agent Carl Poston has been suspended by the NFL Players Association for two years because it contends he has used "bad faith efforts to delay, frustrate and undermine" a hearing about his role in a contract dispute between linebacker LaVar Arrington and the Washington Redskins.
NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw criticized Poston on Thursday for "making a mockery of our system."
"We have decided to take action that we are entitled to take under our regulations, and he is suspended for two years and that is where we are," Upshaw said. "This is not about him, it is about our authority as the exclusive bargaining agent for the players."
In March, the union's disciplinary committee recommended a two-year suspension for Poston, citing his failure to include a $6.5 million bonus in a contract between Arrington and the Redskins. Several hearings in the case were postponed, and the NFLPA issued the suspension Thursday.
"The immediate suspension of Carl Poston by the NFL Players Association without a hearing is unjust and wrong," Poston's attorney, Allen Farber, said in a statement.
"The NFLPA is punishing Poston for exercising his rights to petition Congress and to seek redress in court. The union is also punishing him for having had the misfortune to suffer a serious injury, which has twice caused the postponement of the underlying arbitration as a result of Poston relying on his doctor's advice.
Upshaw was livid about what he perceived as Poston's inability to follow union rules.
"They, the agents, work at our beck and call," Upshaw said. "When you violate the rules and do not follow the procedures set down by the players themselves, we are going to act."
In April, Arrington went to court to support the agent's challenge of the recommendation for a suspension. That month, he also left the Redskins for the New York Giants, signing a $49 million, seven-year deal.
"Not only did the NFLPA ignore the wishes of LaVar Arrington by filing the original action against his interests, the union also has ignored members of Congress who requested a meeting with union officers to discuss what appear to be inappropriate NFLPA practices," Farber said. "We expect that, upon a full and fair hearing, he will be vindicated.
Arrington, the third overall pick in the 2000 draft and a three-time Pro Bowl player, bought his way out of Washington in March for $4.4 million.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press