This quote cracked me up:

Even if the NFL player in question thinks that "gross negligence" means a picture of a fat chick in lingerie.
POSTED 9:32 p.m. EDT, July 14, 2006

Mike Florio

We've obtained more information regarding the sudden interest of the U.S. Congress in the NFL Players Association, and it appears to us that someone is calling in a political favor.

That someone is agent Carl Poston, who has an office in the district of one of the persons who are now trying to apply pressure to the players union on his behalf.

As it turns out, Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Tex.) have penned a letter to NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw expressing their general concerns regarding the union's procedures for disciplining agents -- and then pointing to the particular pending action against Poston, who is described in the correspondence as an agent who has been successful in obtaining significant contracts for his clients.

The letter begins by explaining that the Congresspersons recently have become aware of the matters involving the union and Poston, and that they have concerns regarding the disciplinary procedures, given that (in their view) the NFLPA's activities affect commerce and may give rise to antitrust violations.

The letter then lists several specific concerns: (1) the NFLPA has the sole authority to determine who will be an agent and the NFLPA alone sets the rules regarding them; (2) the mechanism for resolving disputes permits discipline to be pursued even if the player has made no complaint; (3) the NFLPA has the sole right to select the arbitrator, who is paid by the NFLPA to preside; (4) there is no procedure for making disclosures regarding any potential biases on the part of the arbitrator.

Next, the letter requests that the union make several revisions to the procedure for disciplining agents: (1) a requirement of a verified complaint before discipline will be pursued; (2) an effort to ensure that the arbitrator will be neutral, partial, and unbiased; (3) a requirement that the arbitrator make disclosures to the parties so that an evaluation may be performed as to whether there is the potential for bias; (4) the availability of discovery devices used in most legal proceedings; (5) steps to prevent surprise, such as the identification of witnesses and the exchange of exhibits prior to the hearing; (6) the availability of subpoena power for the arbitrator, so that the agent subject to discipline may compel persons to appear and testify; and (7) the prohibition of direct contact between the parties and the arbitrator.

Finally, the letter explains that, if the NFLPA does not voluntarily make these changes, legislation will be drafted that, if enacted, would require the union to do so. Likewise, the letter states that hearings regarding the matter could be conducted.

Regardless of whether two members of the House of Representatives have the juice to get Congress interested in this topic at a time when there are far greater issues facing our nation, we agree with most of the changes that have been suggested. We disagree only with the requirement of a verified complaint, if the requirement will be a verified complaint from one of the agent's clients.

The reality for NFL players is that: (1) a lot of them aren't very bright; and (2) the curious culture of the locker room requires most players to stand behind their chosen representatives, lest the players look like stooges for hiring them in the first place. Thus, it's not surprising that a guy like linebacker LaVar Arrington wouldn't complain about the conduct of Carl Poston, even though Poston screwed up Arrington's December 2003 contract extension by, you know, not reading it, and advised him in February to pay back $4 million in earned money in order to get onto the market early enough to . . . ask for too much money and sign a deal not much better than the one Arrington would have gotten if he'd waited for the Redskins to release him before a $6.5 million roster bonus came due in July.

Bottom line -- Carl Poston isn't in hot water because the NFLPA doesn't like him. He's in trouble because he admitted that he didn't read a contract before allowing his client to sign it. Even if Arrington genuinely doesn't care, the NFLPA has an obligation, in our view, to protect other players who might fall victim to similar behavior.

So in our view the NFLPA should seriously consider making most of the suggested changes, but the NFLPA likewise should not relent in its efforts to hold Poston accountable for his gross negligence in the representation of an NFL player.

Even if the NFL player in question thinks that "gross negligence" means a picture of a fat chick in lingerie.