Wayne State team reaches quarterfinals of Tulane Pro Football Negotiation Competition

Wayne State University Law School second-year students Hunter DeSantis and Alex Papa represented Wayne State at the 9th annual Tulane Pro Football Negotiation Competition (TPFNC) from Feb. 3-4 at Tulane University Law School. 

The duo was led by third-year student coach Andrew Vailliencourt, who, with his partner Fatima Dakroub, won the Wayne State in-house NFL Contract Negotiation Competition in 2020 and 2021, participated in the TPFNC both years, and organized the 2022 Wayne in-house competition – won by DeSantis and Papa.

Hunter DeSantis (2L), Andrew Vailliencourt (3L), Alex Papa (2L). 

After successfully negotiating mock contracts for three NFL players, Wayne State was selected to advance to the quarterfinal rounds – a feat just eight out of the 44 competing teams could achieve. The eight quarterfinal teams were: Wayne State, Harvard, Villanova, Chapman, Loyola-Chicago, North Carolina Central, Brooklyn, and Chicago-Kent. Chapman ultimately defeated Villanova in the final round.

Teams were notified that they had reached the quarterfinals and assigned new players during an evening reception in downtown New Orleans, not far from Tulane’s campus. That meant the Wayne State trio researched and prepared for three more players all in one night before the quarterfinal round the next morning.

“Being able to compete against so many different schools in such a unique competition was a fantastic experience,” DeSantis said. “It was a great challenge and getting feedback from actual NFL agents after each round was extremely cool. I’m proud of our performance and I’m thankful for Wayne State for giving us the opportunity to compete.”

During negotiations, each team acts as either an NFL player’s agent or as a front office member of an NFL team. Each side is provided a list of objectives and then has 45-minutes to secure the best deal for their client. The contracts are representative of what a real-life NFL contract would look like under the CBA.

“We didn’t really have many expectations going into the event but were proud in making it to the quarterfinals out of 44 teams,” Papa said. “The competition aside, having the chance to network with other students from across the country as well as the various NFL agents and team representatives was an awesome treat.”

Hunter DeSantis and Alex Papa negotiate against Brooklyn Law in the TPFNC quarterfinal round.

It was the ninth year that Tulane held the competition, but was the first time since 2019 that it had been held on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am proud of the way our team competed and improved with each round,” Vailliencourt said. “It was great to finally be able to attend the competition down in New Orleans – both to explore the city and network with other teams and judges. Competing and now coaching in the Tulane Pro Football Negotiation Competition has been a true highlight of my law school experience.”

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