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"I came out of high school I was 17 years old, you dig? From being a high school student to having to deal with this business aspect. That's what college sports is, and nobody should think otherwise. I was recruited by every major university. I had guys put 5-6-7,000 dollars on the table and say, 'Here, all you got to do is sign this piece of paper.' I'm not going to hurt anybody by telling who it was, that's not my thing.
"But, hey, I wound up going to a school like Northern Illinois, in DeKalb. All right, hey, 1969, I was Public League scoring champion, and I went to Northern Illinois, a school that never had a team anybody ever heard of in any sport. The next year James Bradley—recruited by everybody, including UCLA—he came to Northern. And Cleveland Ivey was there, from Carver. He'd been Public League scoring champion, too.
"You understand what I'm telling you? Northern Illinois, the little school out in the corn. We were ranked 20th and got featured in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. We would've had a championship team, but the NCAA came out and started looking. Don't think that Northern got there by saying, 'All right, we're going to give you guys four years of education.'
"When I left college I took a pay cut. People want to think guys don't get paid for playing basketball in college, that's their business. We're psyched into thinking that it's good, healthy, all-American fun. That's the thing that hurts the most. All the crap they shoot into your mind. But I was treated super at Northern Illinois.
"But if you get ineligible or decide you want to be in business school, which is what I wanted to do, they're going to come snatch that scholarship from under your ass. I could've got my degree at Northern. I could've graduated on time. I had a 3.2 average. I always carried a full load—over a full load. I was going for a B.S. in phys ed, but I took a lot of history courses—Roman History, all of 'em. Hey, it ain't so tough to get good grades. There's always a way to get around anything. I'm very intelligent, but I'm not above taking a break.
"But I went from being almost like a god to no one really caring. You don't see that until you're 20 or 21, when your four years of eligibility are up. I need six hours to get my degree.
"I got drafted by the Bulls in the seventh round in 1973. It was a big letdown, you understand what I'm saying? I went from seeing headlines—HARRIS NEAR SILVER LINING, MILLION DOLLAR DECISION—to being drafted in the seventh. Hey, that will make you deal with reality.
"The Bulls gave me a $2,000 bonus, and I wound up getting cut. 'Attitude,' they said. It's been six years since I left college. I've been kept in limbo all that time. I played in the Eastern League, I played overseas—in the Philippines, in Europe—you understand what I'm saying? I could still be a force in the league.
"I've gotten by. I can get up in the morning and put on Pierre Cardin slacks. I've got two Cadillacs to drive. A lot of guys work all their lives and never get to drive a 'hog.'
"Last year I was counselor for a job-placement agency, but it's closed down now. I was interviewing kids at a halfway house. I was trying to show kids what's in my life, you understand what I'm saying? I want to be a positive influence.