Gary used Mel [Kiper, Jr] like that all the time. In the agent business, people know Gary and Mel are close, and some people suspect that Mel ranks players more favorably if they are Gary’s clients.
One guy who needed money was Ryan Leaf, which was why in 1996 I met with the Cougars’ quarterback at a hotel near campus. This was before his junior season, and Ryan was on the cusp of stardom. He was a whale. I knew that if I could sign him, it would change my life. At the hotel, Ryan made it clear that he had significant credit card debt, something like $5,000, and needed help. I knew that if I just paid off his debt, he would forget about me and have no reason to develop a relationship. “But I want to help,” I said. “How much do you think you would need each month to make your life easier?” He said he needed around $500 a month, which wasn’t much to pay for a player with Ryan’s potential earnings. In the bathroom of that hotel, he signed an undated representation contract and a loan agreement for the money.
From George Dohrmann’s remarkable expose in the new Sports Illustrated about sports agents and their routine cash payments to college athletes. Read every word. (via devingo)
Seconded. This is amazing. And it also explains so much about Ryan Leaf….