John "JR" Rickert

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John "JR" Rickert (born 1970) is an American sports agent who represents players in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the National Basketball Association, as well as boxers. He is the Chief Operating Officer of Authentic Athletix Sports Agency's East Coast Offices, and is the former co-owner of National Sports Management. Additionally, he is a former high school teacher and coach, and the principal of Niskayuna High School.

JR Rickert has been recognized for his accomplishments in education, business, sports representation, and community service through the following:

Leukemia Lymphoma Society Man of the Year (2014);

Leader of Newsweek Magazine's #26 ranked high school in the country (2014);

12 Clients Drafted in the Major League Baseball Draft (2013);

Leader of the #1 rated high school in Upstate New York (2012);

Nominated for the Albany Business Review's prestigious "Achievers Award" (2012);

Success Magazine (Men of Distinction - June, 2011);

Most NFL Contracts Negotiated During Free Agency (2010);

Princeton University's Successful Entrepreneur's List (2010);

Stanford University's Who's Who Among Successful Executives (2010); and

The Capital District Business Review's "40 Under Forty" (2009).[1]

In 2012, Rickert sought to become more of a presence in his Capital District (Albany, New York) community. He brought Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants to Albany for the Center for Disability Services telethon just one week before Super Bowl XLVI. He was nominated for "Man of the Year" by the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) for his numerous charitable works to support the cause. He was a corporate sponsor of the Whitney Young Health Foundation's "Rock the Runway for Health." For all of his accomplishments and contributions to his community, Rickert was nominated for one of the prestigious 2012 "Achiever's Awards" given by the Albany Business Review. In 2013, Rickert accepted the LLS nomination for "Man of the Year" and was named the LLS Man of the Year in May 2014.

Rickert represents more than 80 professional athletes including Joshua Cribbs, Adam "Pac Man" Jones, Dion Lewis, Mike Patterson, Al Netter, Lorenzo Alexander, Artis Hicks and Greg Camarillo. He also represents Matty Johnson of the Boston Red Sox organization, pitchers Cale Coshow and Andy Beresford of the New York Yankees organization, pitcher Frank Batista of the Chicago Cubs, and pitcher Matthew Spann of the Washington Nationals organization. He also represents 2 of youngest stars from the Dominican Republic, pitcher Juan Diaz, Jr. and infielder Raul Siri, both in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. In boxing, he represents super middleweight boxer, J'Leon Love, undefeated heavyweight boxer Edward Latimore, and the WBF light heavyweight champion, Shawn Miller.

Early years[edit]

Rickert was born in 1970 in Woodbury, New Jersey. He graduated from Holy Cross High School in Delran, New Jersey in 1988.[2] He went on to get a degrees in History and Communications at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York in 1992. He was a 4-year starter at left tackle for the Division III Cardinals' football team. In 1994 he received his Masters in Education from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, as well as certificates of advanced studies in the fields of educational administration and business in 1999. In 2000, Rickert signed his first NFL clients and in 2002 Artis Hicks of the Philadelphia Eagles became Rickert's first client to make an NFL roster.[3]

Association with Peter Schaffer[edit]

Rickert entered the sports agent industry in 1999 through his affiliation with Peter Schaffer. He worked with Schaffer through All Pro Sports & Entertainment, Inc. out of Denver, Colorado. Rickert and Schaffer have maintained their affiliation ever since and continue to work together today through Schaffer's Authletic Athletix which was launched in August 2011. Together, Rickert and Schaffer represent over 125 professional athletes and have over 80 clients in the NFL, and have successfully negotiated over $1 Billion in contracts. Recent deals have included Joe Thomas ($83 Million) and Kevin Burnett ($21 Million). This makes Rickert and Schaffer one of the biggest NFL agent tandems in terms of overall clients and value of contracts. They attended Super Bowl XLVI together and celebrated with New York Giants clients David Diehl and Hakeem Nicks in their victory over the Patriots. They were also guests at the Maxim party at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans along with Mike Fleiss and Joe Thomas. Rickert and Schaffer have had a total of 65 clients drafted in the last 8 NFL and MLB drafts. They currently represent (7) 1st Round NFL Draft picks, including Mike Patterson, Adam Jones, and Russell Okung, and (12) players selected in the 2013 MLB Draft.

Sports Agencies[edit]

In 2003 Rickert formed National Sports Management (NSM) to handle the sports side of his representation business. To date Rickert has negotiated more than $300 Million in player contracts. He has had at least one client drafted in 12 consecutive NFL drafts from 2003 - 2014. He also has had at least one client drafted in 9 consecutive MLB drafts from 2006 - 2014. Beginning in 2012, JR will operate all of his representation services under JR Sports Enterprises LLC and will only be associated with one firm, Peter Schaffer's Authentic Athletix. Rickert and Schaffer faced legal challenges from many of their former partners. Rickert was named in 3 separate lawsuits, all of which were settled by September 2012. Rickert and Schaffer have emerged stronger than ever from the legal challenges and were recently named Top 10 Agents in the NFL by "Inside the League." In 2013, Rickert branded his new "Team JR" representation team. It includes attorney James Krenis; West Coast director, Mike Colucci, marketing agent, Trevor Paladino, basketball division director, Jared Fortier, entertainment director, Jamell Romeo, and new baseball agent Javier Tapia. Attorney Lou Lecce continues to serve as General Counsel of Team JR.

Success in NFL Free Agency[edit]

In 2010 Rickert successfully negotiated more NFL free agent contracts than any other NFL agent,[1] most notably that of Joshua Cribbs of the Cleveland Browns, which was made famous by Deion Sanders on NFL Network when he on air began to refer to Cribbs as "Pay The Man". He also negotiated contracts for Lorenzo Alexander, Artis Hicks, Rex Hadnot, and Matt Ware in the 2010 free agency period.[4] In 2011 Rickert negotiated free agent contracts for Kevin Burnett with the Miami Dolphins and Josh Portis with the Seattle Seahawks. During the 2012 free agency period, he negotiated a 2-year deal for Jordan Babineaux with the Tennessee Titans and a one-year for Artis Hicks with the Miami Dolphins. In 2013, clients Joshua Cribbs and Chris Ogbonnaya of the Cleveland Browns and Lorenzo Alexander of the Washington Redskins are scheduled to become free agents. Alexander signed a 3-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Ogbonnaya signed a 2-year extension with the Browns and Cribbs signed with the Oakland Raiders and later in the 2013 season with the New York Jets.

JR Enterprises Entertainment Group[edit]

In 2007, Rickert formed JR Enterprises Entertainment Group as an entertainment, media, and celebrity representation division. During that same year, Rickert co-created and launched Inside Pro Football, a radio show on WOFX (AM), Fox Sports 980. In September 2012, Rickert took Inside Pro Football to ESPN Radio's 104.5 The Team and the show moved to Saturday mornings at 9 AM. JR's Entertainment Division's notable clients include former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown and The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Sheree Whitfield. Rickert has also advised several celebrities, including Derek Anderson (retired NBA player), Rachel Rickert (who performs as pop star Rae), Cynthia Bailey (Super model and Real Housewives of Atlanta star), Peter Thomas (Cynthia's husband and Real Housewives of Atlanta star), Tracy Lynn (Toronto TV's Channel 9), Kelly Slingerland (America's Miss New York) and Mayte Garcia (LA socialite and dance performer).[5] In 2014, Rickert will join Gerald Hayes' "The Players Network" as a regular analyst for NFL games. This project will also include clients: Mike Adams, Joshua Cribbs, Lorenzo Alexander and Brittany Jackson.

Boxing[edit]

Rickert began representing boxers in 2001 with former NFL player and heavyweight Jevon Langford, who retired undefeated. In 2003, he became a consultant to former Welterweight Champion Tony Marshall. In 2008, Rickert represented the 7th rated female middleweight in the world, S'kati Katz, who also retired undefeated. In 2011 he signed undefeated middleweight, J'Leon Love of Detroit, Michigan. J'Leon was featured on HBO's Margarito/Cotto 24/7. Love is now a part of Floyd Mayweather's "Money Team" and trains regularly at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas. Love is undefeated with a record of 19-1 and is ranked in the top 10 middleweights in the world according to BoxRec. In 2012, JR added lightweight Mikey "Baby Faced Beast" Faragon to the boxing division. Faragon is 19-1 and on the verge of title fights in 2014. In 2014, Rickert added undefeated heavyweight, Edward Latimore who is 6-0 with 5 knockouts and WBF light heavyweight champion, Shawn Miller. Both Latimore and Miller are ranked in the top 50 in the world in their respective weight class by the IBO.

Media Presence[edit]

In 2011, Rickert joined Philadelphia Eagles blog Bleed-Green.com as the featured columnist of the "Inside Man: Diary Of An NFL Agent" series, which documented his life and dealings as a sports agent. He currently writes columns for www.SportsRants.com/jrrickert as an expert in the NFL, Major League Baseball and boxing. He also writes blogs for www.technorati.com and orchestrated the "Year of the Fan" campaign which has been featured on Technorati. Rickert was a guest on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" in 2012 and was also featured in Tweetsicles.com and SportsRants.com for his work with social media and his athletes.[5]

Controversy[edit]

Rickert became the center of controversy after an attorney-turned-author published the novel Saving Babe Ruth in June 2014.[6] While a work of fiction, the novel is based on a true story. The novel includes a character named Jerry Conway who is a high school principal and a professional sports agent.[7] While the character based on Rickert is minor component of the book, the author clearly attempted to use Rickert's name to create interest in the book. He also took several liberties in the creation of the character based on Rickert, including descriptions of interactions and meetings that were fabricated and sensationalized. Rickert has come under scrutiny for running a multi-million dollar sports agency while working full-time as the principal of Niskayuna High School, a job where he earns a salary of $141,444 per year.[8] Rickert had contacted the author by telephone and by email inquiring about the nature of the character in the book. He had left the author a message, stating "'It has come to my attention that you may have created a character in your novel based on me. Is this correct? My attorneys are reviewing the book for accuracy of your portrayal of me.' Mr. Rickert went on to say that 'the purpose of this message is to advise you that my team will be watching every interview, public statement and post' concerning Saving Babe Ruth.[9]" In the end, under Rickert's leadership, Niskayuna High School is rated as the best high school in the area and among the best in the country (Newsweek 2014). There is no state law or district regulation that precludes him from pursuing both careers. Rickert has now publicly addressed every question and issue and the matter has been put to rest.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Sports Management". Success. Retrieved July 2011. 
  2. ^ Staff. "Eagles give offensive lineman Hicks 6-year deal", Courier Post, April 17, 2004. Accessed July 26, 2011. "According to Hicks' agent, John Rickert, the deal could be worth as much as $9 million, if Hicks reaches all the incentives, including trips to the Pro Bowl.... 'Its a great deal for him,' said Rickert, a native of Delran, who attended Holy Cross High School.
  3. ^ "NFL Clients". AgentJR.com. Retrieved July 25, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Cribbs: Holmgren doing right thing". The Canton Repository. Retrieved January 28, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "JR Entertainment Group". AgentJR.com. Retrieved July 25, 2011. 
  6. ^ Amazon.com Saving Babe Ruth by Tom Swyers http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Babe-Ruth-Tom-Swyers/dp/1941440002
  7. ^ Tom Swyers Website, Saving Babe Ruth http://www.tomswyers.com/saving-babe-ruth/
  8. ^ Principal's truth is no stranger than fiction, Times Union, Chris Churchill, November 8, 2014 http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Churchill-Principal-s-truth-is-no-stranger-than-5880704.php
  9. ^ Tom Swyers Website http://www.tomswyers.com/novel-saving-babe-ruth-will-triumph-threat-nationally-known-sports-agent-high-school-principal-j-r-rickert/

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