Former NFL Agent Confesses To SI About Paying College Players
Josh Luchs used to be a thriving sports agent, but now he's out of the business. And as of today, that's bad news for a whole lot of people...thanks to a blockbuster Sports Illustrated story where Luchs admits to paying players, mentions shady dealings by many others - and names names.
There are heartwarming tales of his early days working as a Raiders ball boy (and helping premier pass rusher Greg Townsend pass a drug test by providing him with a clean urine sample), and the strict standards he met to become an agent: "I filled out the paperwork required by the NFLPA, just a few forms, and paid about $300."
And then, paying players. There was the University of Colorado's Kanavis McGhee (that one didn't work); there were UCLA's Carl Greenwood, Othello Henderson, Matt Soenksen, and Chris Alexander, and Jamir Miller (those did); there were, in general, just a whole ton of kids from L.A.
There was also Ryan Leaf, a tale tat featured a whole lot of payments from Luchs, some betrayal by Leaf, and even what Luchs described as a "somewhat redeeming" act from Leaf. Oh, and there's plenty on Gary Wichard - the agent tied to disgraced former UNC assistant John Blake - not to mention Wichard's relationship with Mel Kiper.
Simply put, there's a ton here (and judging by the reactions SI said they got when they contacted the subjects of Luchs' stories, a lot of legitimate dirt), and we recommend you read it. Deadspin asked who comes out of this story looking the worst, and we think we have the answer. It lies in the following from Fuchs' story:
"I will never forget the first time I paid a player...I was 20 years old -- the youngest agent ever certified by the NFL Players Association -- and had less than a year's experience..."
"How does a dyslexic Jewish kid with no college degree become an NFL agent?"
Well, um, yes - how does that happen, exactly? Oh, wait, Fuchs gave the answer to that. Let's refresh our memories:
"I filled out the paperwork required by the NFLPA, just a few forms, and paid about $300. I was 19."
Well, when the barrier to entry is that low, of course there will be insane numbers of people competing for a relatively small number of players. Any system that could have let a 19-year-old become an "agent" is completely dysfunctional. Plenty of people don't come out of this story looking good, but for having the system in place that enabled everything else, the NFLPA looks like the worst of the worst.
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