Brooks insists he never accepted anything from agents and didn't sign with any while still at Baton Rouge. But agents, players and general managers interviewed by SI estimated that from 30% to 70% of the highest draft picks in football and basketball sign early with agents. Most, if not all, of these players are presumed to accept cash and other inducements.
The pursuit of prospective clients gets especially hot and heavy at postseason all-star games, at which agents, in a frenzy of activity, go after blue-chippers, who can then sign without violating NCAA regulations. At the Aloha Classic in Honolulu in April, Scottie Pippen, a 6'7" University of Central Arkansas forward later drafted in the first round by Seattle and traded to the Chicago Bulls, told SI's Bruce Selcraig that agents talked to him in his hotel room, in the lobby, on the beach. Wherever he went, they went. They took him to play golf, they took him to dinner, they drove him around the island. "It seemed like each agent wanted to keep me away from the other agents," says Pippen.
Last January, Lou Brock Jr., the son of baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock, went to the Senior Bowl in Mobile. A USC defensive back later drafted in the second round by the San Diego Chargers, the younger Brock got a quick lesson in agenting. "I see that a lot of these guys [players] are uninformed," he said. "They're sort of scared." Then he added, "And this is the perfect arena for a con man."