Luchs Scandal Unmasks Sleazy Age in Football: Paying Student-Athletes Is Absurd

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IOctober 14, 2010

18 Oct 1997:  Quarterback Ryan Leaf of the Washington State Cougars looks to pass the ball during a game against the California Golden Bears at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington.  Washington State won the game, 63-37. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule Jr.
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

How fascinating is it that former agent Josh Luchs gave Ryan Leaf $500 a month, confident of wooing in the megastar quarterback as a client. This and other stories Luchs shared in an interview with Sports Illustrated exposes all the duplicity transpiring in collegiate sports and sadly ruptures its integrity and tenor.

Amid an age that isn’t to be trusted, in a country suffering from an economic downturn and mired in a disoriented state of mind, agents lavishing college athletes with money is a staggering development. If you haven’t noticed, the latest brouhaha to disturb our senses broke in the news as the scandal has been active for a long time now. Get used to it. This insidious nonsense is not disappearing any time soon.

Eternally, the idiots wearing suits will pose as businessmen and commit fraud and offer money to athletes as a way to bribe players. There’s a reason scandals are constantly staining college football in a nation that focus strongly on greed and ego, rather than emphasis pertaining to education or even preparing for a better tomorrow.

In clarity, the committees and trustees allow too much prevalence in renowned programs that unfortunately tarnish the symbolical perception, and ruin the monumental inkling of royalty.

By an ugly controversy shamefully eclipsing the values, a disoriented association is hampered in dysfunction. Stories about ongoing improper benefits sold to student athletes is disgraceful and pathetic, but as long as overseers refuse to address the issue and regulate a severe policy, agents will be a convenience for destitute players. Weren’t they aware of this ongoing ignominy a long time ago? Isn’t it humiliating and giddy, downplaying the repulsive sins?


As it seems, everyone responsible was dismissive and bombastic. In the recent chatter of agents paying college athletes, as similar infractions emerge as a frequent pattern, outrageously the Sports Illustrated article, “Confessions of an Agent” is the most stunning story of investigative journalism that finally brings out the truth of unscrupulous agents.

There is no conceivable way that the NCAA prevents agents from taking advantage or manipulating kids, unless they constitute a bylaw.As long as agents are allowed to manipulate and provide extra benefits in a fraudulent business, the more allegations are seen as an ugly predicament. By the time athletes veer into their collegiate careers as top-notch stars, the defiance and negligence of agents suddenly misleads and baits the minds of young, unaware athletic stars.

It isn’t often, especially in sports, when an athlete at a university rejects millions from an agent. Many of whom departed high school as gifted players couldn’t afford to buy expensive SUVs, spacious estates or even support their families, but attained a wealthy lifestyle by receiving improper benefits. Like the rest of us, athletes are trying to find an easy way in life, when really there is no such thing as finding an easy way in life.

Embedded in much controversy for all the insanity involving sports agents who lavished student athletes with improprieties, agents lose all respect for sadly dictating players’ consciousness. For instance, the slimy businessmen enrich their popularity and become richer by jipping players. That is like snatching candy from a baby. The vanity of stability in sports is awful, and agents contribute to the troubles happening this era.

Even though this has been a flaw mangling in the sport for decades, the most current disclosure of multiple claims made by Luchs that he paid players and provided extra benefits before leaving the business is shocking, as we haven’t uncovered a shred of truth. By confessing to the world and telling a well-known sports source that he paid players during his career gives all the credibility to Luchs for his colossal admission.

For all the talk swirling in football about infractions, Luchs' justification is the flimsiest excuse ever heard. Sorry, I am not buying the lame defense one bit, and you shouldn’t either. Much of the responsibility falls on Luchs’ foolishness for deciding to give players money while owning the spotlight as superstars on the collegiate level.

Here’s his defense.

“A lot of these kids didn’t even have enough money to buy groceries,” he said during one of his radio interviews. “I’m not trying to paint myself as Mother Teresa, but clearly, at least in my case, the money served a purpose.”

Did he use the Mother Teresa analogy? Indeed. However, it’s a rational comparison in a way. But essentially, Luchs is not Mother Teresa. He is, nonetheless, a fraudulent buffoon just as liable as the athletes themselves, matured enough to know the difference between wrongdoings and good deeds.

Thrust into the staggering publicity after stepping down from the business, he is now making headlines for satisfying players by pampering them with millions, more than enough to feed and nourish their impoverished families. But for years now, you should have had a wary suspicion about the biggest quarterback bust in NFL history. Leaf was the centerpiece of Washington State’s 1997 Rose Bowl team, but evolved into an absolute disappointment on the NFL level.

As the ex-agent alleges in the article, the story and accusations have the media buzzing. All of the sudden, Leaf is a wanted man again, or should be at least. Decades ago, Luchs said he gave Leaf more than $10,000 in regular payments of $500 and said his wannabe client repaid a bulk of the money after he signed with the San Diego Chargers.

In reality, Luchs believe schools need to pay athletes megabucks. Sorry, but they are college students, not professionals. The general idea sends a bad message to students, seeking an education for the betterment in life or seeking to be knowledgeable or seeking for a career.

When it comes to college students, the only thing offering money improves are the ratings of kids trying out to be athletes. Maybe even the geeks on campus would try out or begin participating in sporting activities in high school to be regarded as a top prospect in the nation. It would be folly to suggest that students earn cash to perform in a sport. Doesn’t that take away from the integrity? Absolutely.

The transition to paying players won’t solve a damn thing. However, of course, classes will be overly populated and more stars will emerge into premier stars. If nothing else, it would take away from the enthusiasm and spirit.

My advice to the NCAA is not to listen to Luchs' absurdity. In all honesty, he’s only saying this because he feels sorry for players and himself, looking to clean his reputation and put the madness behind him. At certain times, we can speculate that this game is concern with greed and ego, not emphasizing the importance of education.

As long as nobody really minds that agents have a large influence on students in a wrecking era, the existence of agents will continuously outrage our senses and leave us leery or discreet about the misleading businessmen. For years, we’ve witnessed infractions and sanctions cast a cloud that hovered over the school for violating rules. If they were to get paid as a cure of minimizing transgressions, then they wouldn’t be known as amateurs but professionals in college.

If so, then pay the students for attending classes in study halls and studying constantly, too. Would that minimize sports agents of tarnishing an entire program? Oh, sure, blame it on the kids or trustees. But agents aren’t the victims in this ordeal, and if anything, they are frauds.

So when Luchs said he paid more than 30 players cash or either offered free meals and concert tickets, it presumably rationalized that players are getting paid today. The hypocrisy is occurring in the realm of America’s most famous sport, all because no one cares to rectify the situation, dismantling the perspective and demolishing the honesty of the game.   

Because we are hearing the latest on an ugly scandal that exists today, the names are unmasking after Luchs confessed in an informative and shocking article. Among those names, former USC wide receiver R. Jay Soward admitted to accepting Luchs’ benefits.

“I would do it again. I have four sons, and if somebody offered my son money in college and it meant he didn’t have to be hungry,” Soward said. “I would tell him to take it.”

In all likelihood, I’ll take it too. Why not? Someone offered it to me. Still, it doesn’t make it right.

The problem is, the NCAA took a survey and it showed merely 25 of the 119 Football Subdivision programs earned money in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. The problem with student athletes is that they want gifts for a little bit of nothing. These days, everyone has to earn their stuff. Nothing should be given to anyone.

Consider it cheating now in college athletics, with the multitude of sordid agents building a relationship with universities and athletes. No one cares about NCAA rules. There’s too much money involved, so student-athletes treat the industry like it is a business and not a university.

Right now, it doesn’t even seem logical to pay student-athletes with all the financial struggles amongst an economic crisis. Universities aren’t financially stabled to make payments to players. The shortage of payroll is financially affecting low-class schools that would have to likely pay a similar rate in salary as the richest schools.

Where is the money in the battered times? Schools have no extra money to waste on college students. And in a disoriented system, agents have no business associating with student-athletes.