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NFLPA suspends agent Poston for two years

7/28/2006 - NFL

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.