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Ex-agent Josh Luchs admits paying college players

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    ESPN.com news services
    10-12-2010



    NEW YORK -- A former sports agent told Sports Illustrated he paid college football players early in his career, and several of them confirmed it to the magazine.
    In the Oct. 18 edition, Josh Luchs said he paid more than 30 players from 1990 to '96, including many who didn't sign with him.
    He said quarterback Ryan Leaf, the second pick in the 1998 draft who famously flopped in the pros, took more than $10,000, most of which he voluntarily paid back after signing with another agent. Leaf declined to comment on specific allegations.
    Luchs told the magazine he also paid first-round picks Jamir Miller and Chris Mims. Miller, a linebacker from UCLA taken 10th by the Cardinals in 1994, declined comment. Mims, a defensive lineman from Tennessee taken 23rd by the Chargers in 1992, died in 2008.
    The former agent also said that while he was recruiting Ohio State receiver Santonio Holmes in 2005, Holmes said he had been taking money from an agent for a couple of years. Holmes, now with the Jets, told the magazine and ESPNNewYork.com that the story was untrue.
    Luchs was suspended for a year by the NFL Players Association in 2007 over the handling of a commission check. He says he's telling his story because "I don't want my career to be defined by that suspension."
    Luchs says he didn't pay players while working with Gary Wichard, the agent linked to the investigation of NCAA violations at North Carolina. But he says Wichard and John Blake, the Tar Heels assistant who resigned amid the investigation, worked together in violation of NCAA rules in 2002.
    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday that the league has talked to college coaches and agents about reports that a coach was on an agent's payroll.
    "We had a report today from our college relations committee on our relationship with agents and college coaches. This is an area of great concern by the coaches on the college level, and we want to be responsive to that," Goodell said in Chicago, site of the NFL's fall meetings. "I think there is going to be an effort with college coaches and the agent community itself, possibly the NFL and NFLPA and to work together to bring a solution."
    Luchs said Wichard used ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper to help recruit players, describing a 2000 meeting with Stanford defensive lineman Willie Howard in which Wichard had arranged for Kiper to call as he talked with the player.
    Kiper told SI that he "would never promote Gary or another agent to a player" and denied that the call was prearranged.
    "Conversations with players, which are occasionally facilitated by agents, are a valuable way to get to know the players," Kiper said in a statement. "These conversations have never compromised my integrity and my 32-year record supports that. "
    Luchs sued Wichard for breach of contract after leaving his agency and lost the lawsuit. Wichard filed the grievance with the NFLPA over Luchs' handling of the check.
    Wichard and Blake declined comment through their lawyers.
    Luchs says Jonathan Ogden, the Baltimore Ravens' 11-time Pro Bowl tackle, wouldn't take money but accepted Janet Jackson concert tickets in violation of NCAA rules. Ogden confirmed the account.
    Luchs lists more than 20 other players he says he paid: Michigan State's Tony Banks; Arizona's Rob Waldrop; Tennessee's Chuck Webb; Portland State's Darick Holmes; Illinois' Mel Agee; USC's Travis Claridge, Phalen Pounds, R. Jay Soward and Delon Washington; Colorado's Kanavis McGhee, Joel Steed and Greg Thomas; Washington State's Leon Bender, Torey Hunter, Singor Mobley and John Rushing; and UCLA's Chris Alexander, Ryan Fien, Carl Greenwood, Othello Henderson, Vaughn Parker, Matt Soenksen and Bruce Walker.
    Alexander, Greenwood, Henderson, Mobley, Soenksen, Soward, and Walker confirmed receiving money. Fien, Hunter, Steed and Waldrop said they did not receive money from Luchs.
    Banks, Parker, Pounds and Rushing declined to comment on the allegations. Holmes, McGhee, Thomas, Washington and Webb did not respond to requests to comment.
    Agee, Claridge and Bender are deceased.
    Luchs says Dana Stubblefield, J.J. Stokes and Keyshawn Johnson declined to take money from him.
     
  2. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Despicable. Sports agents should know better.
     
  3. BoltsFanUK

    BoltsFanUK Well-Known Member

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    In some cases the players contacted him asking for money so its not just on the agent
     
  4. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Yes, cue the fake outrage. Anyone that doesn't think this is going on is delusional.

    I think the real crime is that universities are making millions off of players and the players get very little in return. I know they get a free education, blah blah blah. But these schools make vast amounts of money on the backs of these kids. It's only fair that the players should get a piece of the pie. This was really driven home to me when I saw the latest EA NCAA game featuring all the greatest college players on their respective teams. EA pays the university to use a player's likeness, and the player does not see d*ck. That's just wrong.
     
  5. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    In other news, scientists discover the Earth is round.
     
  6. LaDeezie21

    LaDeezie21 BoltTalker

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    Pretty much

    Oh wait....I'm supposed to be outraged -- Oh screw it.
     
  7. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    does this mean we have to give Ryan Leaf back and all his time and records and even his existence doesn’t count?
     
  8. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    Ryan Leaf was also voted the biggest sports jerk of all time, does he have to give that award back?
     
  9. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    I don't know. I wouldn't complain if I was being given a $100,000 scholarship a year. It's college, not like you should even consider yourself a pro. Wanting to be compensated like one is understandable, and maybe a group of them should raise a stink about Electronic Arts using their likeness, but it's probably best to just be thankful that the university is giving you an education, and a chance to be a superstar athlete (with a contract to match).

    If you're talking about the non-profit profits from selling merchandise, tickets, and related commodities then it has been discussed at length in court rooms across the country. Because the schools are by definition non-profit, there really isn't a problem with not compensating players for the revenue generated from sporting events and athletic departments.
     
  10. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Since Ryan was ineligible, I think they should give us the rights to Peyton Manning. We can keep Rivers and trade Manning back to the Colts for Freenie, Mathis and Reggie Wayne.
     
  11. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    A $100,000/year scholarship? On what planet? The value of tuition room and board is not $100,000, not even at the most expensive schools.

    A court may rule it legal. It does not mean it's right. The amount these players earn in scholarships is in no way proportional to the amount of revenue they generate for the schools. I think they should treat college football like the minor leagues in baseball. That's what college football essentially is--a developmental league for the NFL.
     
  12. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

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    No, he just has to pass it on to JaLardass Russell.
     
  13. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Ok, the most expensive ones (Stanford and Vanderbilt came to mind) are $50,000 a year. I had doubled it. They generate revenue for non-profits, so they're not employees and they're not contracted. You could even call it voluntary.
     
  14. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    The fact that the schools are "non-profit" is really beside the point. Of course college athletics is a voluntary activity. Work is also a voluntary activity. The fact is, for the best college football players, professional football will be their main career in life. But they are prohibited from making a living in their chosen profession until they have been out of high school for a certain number of years. Their only option is to play college football where they risk injury and millions in future earning potential. The players aren't allowed to get paid, but the universities make millions off of them. Seems pretty unfair to me.
     

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