Andre Agassi: Friend Or Fraud?

Allan WexlerCorrespondent INovember 11, 2009

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 09:  Copies of former tennis player Andre Agassi's new autobiography, 'Open' are displayed at his first book signing at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas November 9, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

So all of you are out there running around trying to get a copy of Andre Agassi's most recent book. a tell all tale of many things including how he's always been a victim of his father's lust for his tennis success and how he duped the ATP regarding his recreational use of a banned drug after testing positive.

Did Andre have any advice before he wrote this book, or did he "choke" again in the crunch.  Is his desire to be at the forefront so great that he failed to see the damage this book would do to his reputation? Can he be believed with his confessions in this book when he is an admitted liar who lied to his fan base throughout his professional career, only to come clean after he has pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars in winnings and endorsements, etc?

My take on this is that Andre has made a huge mistake, and that the five (5) million dollar advance he received for writing this book got in the way of his good judgment. I might have accepted that he admitted to recreational use of a banned substance, but to go to great lengths to show how he fooled the ATP into thinking this was all a huge mistake was one step too far.

I don't condone the action(s) of the ATP either here. They are not without blame and need to explain their position in this mess when they subsequently (many years later) suspended Richard Gasquet who profeered the same excuse as Andre but not with the same results. Clearly, their rules favor the Andre Agassi's of the tennis world which does not sit well with me.

Andre may feel that he has accomplished a great deal in his life and has made numerous contributions to his community and many charitable contributions, but this doesn't give him a license to now confess, with immunity, sins which he feels he needs to own up to.

I have a hard time believing that he hated tennis so much that he couldn't have quit after 2 or 3 years on the tour with the financial independence he had at that time, or that he could have played with so much seeming passion all those years under the guise of hatred for the sport. Wouldn't it have been easier to lose early in his career and then call it all off on the basis that he wasn't good enough? In the late 1980's and early 1990's I saw a young man in love with the adulation he received from the moment he was introduced to the sport, and to condemn his father at this point in time is a low blow and one, if true, need not be paraded around for the world to witness. Or did Andre fail to even consider the effect this might have on his family? Seems to me that Andre didn't give too much thought to many issues prior to considering the publication of this book.

Love is blind. For Andre it was the 5 Million dollars that blinded him, marred his judgment and permitted a book with little credibility to be published. He lied to us once. Is he lying again?

Now it's up to the ATP and some of his sponsors. Strip him of titles, ban him from the spotlight at professional events and cut his sponsorships. That would be a fair trade for a guy who is laughing at all the fans for fooling them for so long.