A story worth your time

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Chris used to do this once in a while, and I always enjoyed it. He’s gone now, off to drink Yuengling and eat crab cakes (and also take his prodigious talents to the Baltimore Sun), so I suppose it should fall on someone to take over this task.

So, for the time being, I’ll handle it. Many of you have probably seen this story by now (the Twitter is going nuts with it), but if you have not, you must read it: Confessions of an agent, by Josh Luchs as told to George Dohrmann.

It’s a compelling read, and also an honest. one. Luchs was 20 when he found himself a certified player’s agent. Of course, filling out paperwork and a check for $300 will do that, apparently.

Luchs needed clients, and he found the best way was to pay players. So that’s what he did, and he named names.

Ryan Leaf does not come off well, and Jonathan Ogden’s love of Janet Jackson is revealed. Santonio Holmes was not paid by Luchs, but told Luchs someone else was paying him (the Jets and Holmes are already distancing themselves from this).

All totaled, 30 former college football players are named by Sports Illustrated. Given the nature of the story (truly, it’s a tell-all by a guy no longer in the business), I am inclined to believe it.

Indiana comes off free, as do many programs. Luchs was based on the west coast, and was heavily involved in the Pac-10. It’s a bit like when the list of steroid users was revealed a few years ago and it was all Yankees and Mets, primarily because the whistleblower was in New York.

So what does it mean? A great deal. UNC is obviously in quite a bit of trouble — Marvin Austin is no longer a part of the program, and four players have been formally recognized as having receiving illegal benefits from the NCAA. The Tar Heels made this mess, and many saw it coming — UNC was not on Austin’s radar until only a couple of months before signing day and was a coup by recruiting coordinator John Blake (you can read Yahoo’s Charles Robinson’s story on Blake and agent Gary Wichard here).

Players are paid. They’ve been paid since the beginning of college athletics, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon.

Luchs was surely part of the problem — his mentor encouraged the activity, claiming agents do not fall under the NCAA rules (he’s right — they do not). Is he now a part of the solution? Maybe. In the coming days, Luchs is going to be called everything under the sun by those with a major investment in college athletics. He’ll painted as a rogue agent, a kid who made mistakes and is now trying to excuse them. But next time you’re on a college campus, check out the cars parked next to the practice facility. Looks where the athletes live. Look at how many parents travel great distances for each and every game. And ask yourself where that money is coming from.

5 comments

  1. At this point, I think most of us are numb to these types of stories. Being a sports fan nowadays takes a strong sense of denial.

  2. It will be interesting to see what comes of all this recruiting nonsense in football and basketball. Everyone knows dirty stuff is going on- see ‘Univ’ of Kentucky basketball, but what can/will the NCAA do about it? I won’t be shocked if/when congress intercedes…probably to everyone’s detriment.

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