This morning, the NFLPA sent out an email to its 2022 test-takers lamenting the technical issues so many faced. For many — I don’t have a number, but I would estimate anywhere from 15-30 — their issues precluded them from even taking the exam. To those people, said the NFLPA, you have two options: get a full refund for the exam (and this must take place by Oct. 1) or wait until 2023 to take the exam again.

First, a few comments from those affected: 

  • “I personally would have rather taken the test this year and failed trying, then not being able to take the test at all. The proctor company clearly stated it was their fault and that their server was out. I asked for a later time in the day and they wouldn’t accommodate. I think it’s on the NFLPA to chose either a better proctoring service and or have parameters in place if this were to happen again. Possibly having slots available the day after the main test for those that faced technical problems.”
  • “I’m obviously very disappointed after spending quite some time studying and preparing myself for the exam to not be able to take it due to technical difficulties, but I understand it’s not the NFLPA’s fault or anyones fault for that matter. . . I’m looking forward to taking it next year!”
  • “This happened last year with a few people. Maybe they need to choose another testing center or go back to in-person testing. This is very frustrating and unfair.”
  • “Like in football we can only focus on the next play! At least I have a foundation for the exam next year.” 

  • “Since it came nearly a month after the exam fiasco, all my built-up anger, frustration, etc. has all subsided, so I’m a lot more humble about it.  It’ll still sting a bit for the next year, but I fully accept the NFLPA’s decision. . . The silver linings: I got 11 more months to prepare for the exam & perfect my business plan, met some excellent industry folks along the way . . .  and I got more drive in me than I ever did before.  By this time next year, I plan on having a master Jedi Knight level on knowledge of all the rules & regulations.”

Here are my thoughts:

  • I expected that this would be the NFLPA’s response, for a couple reasons. No. 1, writing a new exam would be a lot of work, and more than the NFLPA would like to do, I’m sure. No. 2, this wouldn’t work anyway, because the exam is scaled, and how do you scale the results of two different exams? No. 3, even if they could scale the two, this would presumably push participants to receive their results sometime in October, presuming they took Exam 2 by the end of the month and results took their normal 4-6 weeks. That’s just too late to wait to recruit.
  • My guess is they knew their course of action weeks ago, but wanted to give participants plenty of time to cool off. There were plenty of test-takers the week of the exam who were figuratively ready to storm the NFLPA’s offices. You can see in the above quotes that tempers are no longer flaring.
  • What’s the big deal, you might ask? So they didn’t get to take the exam this year. They have another year to study. There are two problems with that approach. No. 1, most of the people we worked with on preparations were ready for the exam. It’s hard to get as “up” for game day the second time as it was the first time, though I’m sure all our clients will. The bigger issue is that many of these prospective agents had a member of the ’23 draft class (friend, family member, etc.) they were planning on representing. Now that will be impossible, through no fault of their own.
  • Naturally, we will walk with those people who didn’t get a chance to be tested this year, hoping to make this year count anyway. For those who are members, we will include them in our Zooms and instruction for their respective rookie years so they can hit the ground running next year. There’s also name, image and likeness work that requires no certification. We’ve got a very special event on the calendar that will allow them to sharpen their skills and maybe even make some money between now and next summer.