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CONFESSIONS OF AN AGENT
Josh Luchs
October 18, 2010
This man says he paid thousands of dollars to dozens of college football players. Whatever they needed—a concert ticket, a free trip, a meal—he gave them, all in violation of NCAA rules. Now he says he wants to come clean about his two decades inside the dirtiest business in sports
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October 18, 2010

Confessions Of An Agent

This man says he paid thousands of dollars to dozens of college football players. Whatever they needed—a concert ticket, a free trip, a meal—he gave them, all in violation of NCAA rules. Now he says he wants to come clean about his two decades inside the dirtiest business in sports

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A year after I left Gary, I sued him for breach of contract because he had stopped paying me the 25% I was owed on the clients I helped him recruit. Just before I filed my lawsuit, one of those clients, wideout Keenan Howry, sent me a commission check for $5,320. I was not sure what to do with it. I wasn't going to give it to Gary so I gave the check to my lawyer, who deposited it into a trust account.

In 2007 I lost my lawsuit against Gary. During the lawsuit, Gary's lawyer sent me a letter that stated that if I didn't settle the case for $50,000, Gary would file a grievance against Keenan over that $5,320 check, which he ultimately did. The union looked into the matter and determined that because I had given the check to my lawyer rather than passing it on to Gary, I had breached my fiduciary duty to Keenan. The NFLPA suspended me for a year and fined me $25,000.

Gary, his lawyer and the union knew where that check was; Keenan was also fully aware that I had given it to my lawyer. There was no intent to do anything wrong, and yet when the suspension came down, it came across as if I had stolen that check, as if I were some sort of thief.

I know people may not believe my version of events. Gary and the NFLPA will have a different view, I'm sure. I should have been suspended 100 times for all the players I paid, but not for what they did suspend me for.

Because of the suspension, I was done at Gersh after a little more than two years there. The agency didn't have much use for an agent who couldn't work for 12 months and who had that on his résumé. To survive as an agent after the suspension, with other agents using it to recruit against me, I would have had to start paying players again. I wouldn't do it.

On Jan. 28, 2008, the day the NFLPA declined the appeal of my suspension, I walked into a commercial real estate office near my home in Encino and signed up for a training program.

That was it. I would keep the two loyal clients who didn't leave me after the suspension, but I wouldn't recruit anymore. For all intents and purposes, I was done as an agent.

RESPONSES

Through a New York Jets spokesperson, Santonio Holmes denied taking money from any agent while in college or telling Luchs and Steve Feldman that he had taken money. Feldman confirmed to SI that Holmes told him and Luchs that an agent was paying him.

COMING CLEAN

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