Josh Luchs, the former agent who gave a first-person account to Sports Illustrated about how he paid more than 30 college football players in violation of NCAA rules, said in a radio interview today that he was just helping young men who needed money.
“If it was against the rules it was wrong,” Luchs said on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. “Do I regret doing it? No, not necessarily. I didn’t give guys money so they could go out and buy watches and cars. A lot of these guys came from a place where they were being thrust into these big schools and these environments, and a lot of people around them, some of them at private schools, the people around them have money, the people around them are going out and enjoying themselves and enjoying the college experience, and a lot of these kids didn’t even have enough money to buy groceries. I’m not trying to paint myself as Mother Teresa, but clearly, at least in my case, the money served a purpose.”
Well, it’s nice of him not to paint himself as Mother Teresa.
But it’s fairly ridiculous of Luchs to act like his purpose was to help young men buy groceries, especially when he admits in the Sports Illustrated article that he paid for things like a hotel room in Las Vegas for Ryan Leaf, a ticket to a Janet Jackson concert for Jonathan Ogden, and bail money to get Bruce Walker out of jail on charges that would later lead to a no contest plea for disturbing the peace.
Luchs also had some interesting comments about the situation at North Carolina, which is currently embroiled in an NCAA investigation regarding players’ relationships with agents. Luchs defended coach Butch Davis.
“When I look now at Butch Davis, and what he’s going through in North Carolina, I doubt very seriously that he knew everything that was going on with that program, and I don’t think anybody should expect him to.”
And in a snippet of the ESPN Radio interview that may have been awkward for ESPN, Luchs weighed in on the relationship between ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper and agent Gary Wichard.
“What Mel did do in these situations, whether he realizes it or not, he allowed himself to be used in the recruiting process,” Luchs said.