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McGee loses ruling on former agent

An arbitrator handed Buffalo Bills cornerback Terrence McGee a setback in his ongoing dispute with former agent Terry Bolar.

Roger P. Kaplan of Alexandria, Va., ruled that McGee must pay Bolar a 3 percent fee for negotiating the contract he signed in 2005.

McGee said he and Bolar signed an agreement that would give Bolar 1 percent of his earnings instead of the standard 3 percent agent fee. Bolar denied entering into such an agreement.

McGee's Buffalo-based lawyer, J. David Sampson, said Bolar admitted to preparing the 1 percent agreement and had it signed by McGee, but the papers were never submitted to the NFL Players Association.

Since there is no physical evidence to support McGee's claim, Kaplan considered the 3 percent agreement established when McGee hired Bolar in 2003 was still valid.

Bolar had already received 1 percent ($50,000) of McGee's $5 million signing bonus. Bolar is now owed an additional 2 percent ($100,000) of the bonus and 3 percent of McGee's annual base salaries. McGee is now represented by Ron Raccuia of Buffalo.

"It's a relief, and it gives me the breathing room to move forward in business," Bolar said from his Marietta, Ga., office. "They have unfairly tried to destroy my credibility in the industry. I just want to be paid for the services I rendered."

Sampson, a partner with Underberg & Kessler LLP, said an appeal may be filed in federal court in Buffalo.

"We have received the decision by arbitrator Kaplan, which we are extremely disappointed with because the arbitrator failed to identify admissions made by Terry Bolar establishing that a 1-percent agreement had been prepared by him and signed by Terrence and that Mr. Bolar admittedly destroyed after it had been executed," Sampson said.

In a separate case, the arbitrator threw out another grievance filed by Bolar that charged Raccuia with tampering. Bolar was seeking $500,000 in damages.

Both matters are separate from the still-pending lawsuit McGee filed in Houston last February against Bolar, former financial adviser Craig Curry and former Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray.

McGee is seeking to reclaim more than $1 million he said was taken from his accounts by Curry without his authorization. The suit alleges that Bolar violated NFLPA rules for introducing McGee to Curry, a convicted felon. Bolar denies this claim. Gray is a co-defendant because he allegedly tried to persuade McGee from firing Bolar.

e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

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