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The SHADOW
Charles P. Pierce
December 16, 1991
Who knows what evil lurks in college hoops? Rob Johnson does, and that's what scares so many coaches
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December 16, 1991

The Shadow

Who knows what evil lurks in college hoops? Rob Johnson does, and that's what scares so many coaches

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In July, Johnson accompanied Aggie assistant Fletcher Cockrell to a summer league game in New York City, and then he went with Davis and Cockrell to Rochester, where they courted a young player named Arthur Long, a star at East High, Scott's alma mater. By September, Davis had left his rented Lincoln in New York with Johnson, who found the cellular phone eminently convenient.

Scott, however, was just a bit lost in College Station. At one point during the summer he claimed to have overheard one of the A&M coaches say, "Tony Scott's just not that———good." Bewildered, he left A&M in early 1991, feeling betrayed by those he trusted. He went home to Rochester. The Post-Standard had published his story. Davis was forced to resign. Johnson got a little more famous. Last August, Scott got busted in New York and was charged with cocaine possession. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge—disorderly conduct—and was sentenced to community service.

"I'd tell kids to listen to their families," Scott says. "I made my own decisions in basketball because my parents left it up to me. I wish I never transferred."

Johnson is not there now. He is the invisible man. "I don't know what he does," Boeheim says.

Johnson claims to be confused by all of this. "I don't go out and get kids," he says. "They come to me. It's not like I go to games and say I can do this or that. People right now are thinking, 'Rob Johnson, you know, scum,' because they don't know my story. They were asking me to go on ABC, on Nightline. My attorney told me not to. I can't wait until everybody knows my side."

His voice is fading again, unsure and distrustful, lost amid the hubbub of the lobby bar. Rob Johnson—penny-ante operator or high-rent flesh peddler, whom not even Ted Koppel could corner—can barely be heard. He's asking for cab fare home.

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