And this is true for any number of reasons! There’s the money, the supermodel wife, the buddy trips to the Kentucky Derby . . . . All pretty obvious. But there’s another reason, too. As an NFL quarterback, Brady works under the structure of an organization with occasional governance issues and a loosely drafted collective bargaining agreement. If he were a registered representative working for a broker-dealer, he’d be under FINRA’s umbrella, and his status with that self-regulatory organization would be in severe jeopardy.
But let’s back up for a minute. Surely you’re aware of Deflategate. It is maybe my favorite sports scandal of all time. In it, Brady allegedly ordered the deflation of footballs in last season’s AFC Championship game against the Colts so he could grip them better and thereby gain an unfair advantage. The Patriots beat the Colts 45-7 in that game. Many people have written many things about Deflategate. The scandal is ludicrous and incredible. I love it. Possibly to distract from another scandal, the league promised to investigate thoroughly, and hired the Paul Weiss law firm to do that.
In the resulting 139-page report, we learned that Brady declined to turn over his personal cell phone to investigators. The lawyers in charge of that investigation don’t come from a world where subpoenas and discovery requests are routinely ignored. Fortunately for Brady, the league’s collective bargaining agreement only seems to care to the extent that the refusal amounted to “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.” Did it? Maybe! People on the radio sure like to talk about whether it did.
Now, if Brady had been a registered representative in Foxboro, Massachusetts and not the NFL wonderboy, in a FINRA investigation he would have been subject to FINRA Rule 8210. That rule says, in part, that he would be required “to provide information orally, in writing, or electronically . . . and to testify at a location specified by FINRA staff . . . .” Also, “No member or [associated] person shall fail to provide information or testimony or to permit an inspection and copying of books, records, or accounts pursuant to this Rule.” In egregious cases FINRA can bar registered representatives permanently for not complying.
If only Tom Brady had a securities license, we might know all the answers to Deflategate and whether the Colts could have overcome that 38 point deficit with properly inflated footballs. If only . . . .