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Josh Luchs: "Do I regret doing it? No"

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.

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48 Responses to “Josh Luchs: "Do I regret doing it? No"”
  1. Dayton Dolfan says: Oct 13, 2010 9:59 AM

    Seems to me, this whole thing is gettign out of hand. So he took JO to a Janet Concert? they want to make that criminal? ridiculous. these schools make millions off of these kids and they want to crucify them for taking a couple of thousand a month? I can see it being an NCAA rules violation, but it goes too far when they want to make these things criminal. Obviously the NCAA is using its influence to try to make these things criminal becasue they want to protect their millions. Saban can say agents are pimps, but so are all the coaches and the NCAA itself.

  2. TJ says: Oct 13, 2010 10:00 AM

    Don’t most of these kids get scholarships to these schools which is usually worth over $100k? They should if they don’t already provide some sort of campus card with balances on it that they can use towards groceries and places on campus to hang out. If it’s school related it should be no big deal.

  3. CT Pats Fan says: Oct 13, 2010 10:15 AM

    This is ridiculous – the only people in college who *can’t* make money, are the ones who are responsible for generating millions of dollars in TV contracts, ticket and merchandise sales.

  4. Slim Charles says: Oct 13, 2010 10:28 AM

    I’m just glad that this was happening at every school, so it’s harder for people to be sanctimonious pricks about it.
    Seriously, who cares? If he wants to blow his money on that then let him. They’re kids who play a game for a living, people need to stop acting like college football is some holy, pure institution. It’s a business like anything else,

  5. wydok says: Oct 13, 2010 10:28 AM

    Since these guys are agents and work with/for the NFLPA, and the NFLPA has no rules about this kind of thing, then why should the agents care if they are offering money to students? The agents don’t work for or belong to the NCAA.
    It’s the students’ responsibility to NOT take the money.

  6. chc4 says: Oct 13, 2010 10:31 AM

    CT Pats Fan — that’s false. Non-rev sports players can’t work either. It’s called Title IX. If you pay the football players you need to pay soccer, lacrosse, swimmers, etc.
    Title IX/political correctness is the problem.

  7. Ryan says: Oct 13, 2010 10:34 AM

    CT Pats Fan says:
    October 13, 2010 10:15 AM
    This is ridiculous – the only people in college who *can’t* make money, are the ones who are responsible for generating millions of dollars in TV contracts, ticket and merchandise sales.
    ___________________________________
    Exactly! This is just crazy. Now obviously these kids shouldn’t be getting cars and stuff like that, but this “problem” might go away, or at least lessen, if players got some kind of stipend for playing. Base it off of playing time or whatever, but these kids are making millions of dollars for these schools and, IMO, it’s criminal that the players get nothing!!! Sure, the full ride kid doesn’t have the issues of a walk on, but what happens when the walk on becomes a star? Either way you slice it, the guys in suits are lining their pockets and the kids get nothing.

  8. EDM says: Oct 13, 2010 10:39 AM

    looks like UCLA, WAZU, Ohio State, colorado and many other schools will need to forfeit games.

  9. bengal4life07 says: Oct 13, 2010 10:41 AM

    I’m giving Josh a standing ovation! Great article. Reggie Bush should get his Heisman back or every person that got one in the past 30 years should give theirs back too!

  10. Selgae says: Oct 13, 2010 10:43 AM

    Stop using “million” when you talk about college football earnings. The regular season take for the SEC is over $200 million. After you count all the TV money, BCS and league championships, we are in the BILLIONS range. And they have the nerve to suspend a player for selling a jersey for a $100……..

  11. Meldog says: Oct 13, 2010 10:48 AM

    I think concert tickets, family members plane tickets, grocery store gift cards, etc. should be allowed. Cash should not. Bail money is kinda sketchy but should be a private transaction between friends.
    Gifts are pretty common in business transactions. Cash for nothing is not.

  12. jklinger24 says: Oct 13, 2010 10:51 AM

    The irony in the amount of cash the schools and the NCAA makes off these kids makes me sick. I’m not saying its right or that they should get paid or anything like that.
    But during one of the games this weekend two things happened. One, they talked about this UNC/NCAA situation and the agents getting paid – and this went on for 10-15 minutes or so during play. Then, a quarter later, they showed a “defensive breakdown” of two opponents in a game being played later – using EAs NCAA 11 ! So on one hand its, hey we cant pay these kids, they are already getting a free education.
    On the other hand its oh wait, look at this million dollar game franchise we have featuring these players!

  13. PolegoJim says: Oct 13, 2010 10:51 AM

    Stop trying to manage every part of these businesses… and that is what they are. BUSINESS.
    Inividual resolution has worked for decades, leave them alone.

  14. ACS2 says: Oct 13, 2010 10:57 AM

    Ryan says:
    October 13, 2010 10:34 AM
    Base it off of playing time or whatever, but these kids are making millions of dollars for these schools and, IMO, it’s criminal that the players get nothing!!!
    ———
    Millions of kids nationwide (and worldwide) would love get that “nothing”. Free college? That’s not nothing.

  15. FinFan68 says: Oct 13, 2010 10:59 AM

    All this stuff is making the Reggie Bush saga look a little sanctimonious. Based off Luch’s account in the SI article it would seem that a relatively high percentage of these college athletes have their hands out and get paid in one way or another…and a lot of them just screw over the agents and go with someone else. I think sports agents and the attitude and greed of today’s athletes are ruining the game. I can’t stand Ryan Leaf but it looks like he had some class about it because after he screwed over Luch, Leaf paid him back the money he took. Upon reading the article, I see no reason to question any of what Luch has claimed.

  16. xxxsixeightxxx says: Oct 13, 2010 11:03 AM

    College football is a joke anyway. Michigan has probably already made $1,000,000 off Denard Robinson jerseys while he sits in his dorm in Michigan eating 10 cent Ramen noodles. If someone is giving him 1,000 a month he deserves it. College teams get millions for making it to a bowl game, the players that got them there get a cramped motel room in Tempe and jetlag.

  17. unruhly27 says: Oct 13, 2010 11:07 AM

    he just confirmed what everone already knew. give Bush his trophy back!!! let the agents take care of your kids atleast they are not spending your money.

  18. jcjets says: Oct 13, 2010 11:08 AM

    A small percentage of Div 1 players move on to the NFL, and yes Scholarship players do get a free education, but for all the money these schools make, they deserve a portion of the pie for all the blood, sweat and tears they put into it.

  19. ignoringthehaters says: Oct 13, 2010 11:09 AM

    News flash: Lawyers, media, and agents are terrible people who care nothing but for themselves. Almost as pathetic as that dirty girl from Duke trying to make a buck off of all the people she banged. Despicable human beings all of them

  20. xxxsixeightxxx says: Oct 13, 2010 11:10 AM

    I cant wait til someone rolls over on recruiting violations like this so people can stop thinking only Florida State and USC do it. Its 3/4 of the teams. Also if ur worried about makin college football look bad dont worry the popularity contest that is the national championship been doin that for 100 years. If the NFL was run like that we’d be watching the Steelers and Cowboys in the BCS Superbowl every year. College football is a joke.

  21. Dave says: Oct 13, 2010 11:10 AM

    They should give these kids a choice – scholarship or stipend. If you think you’re good enough to make it to the pros, take the stipend, practice and play your butt off and you’re rolling in dough. If you aren’t sure, take the scholarship and give yourself something to fall back on. Colorado University has 3 Nobel winners on faculty, but the football team brings in 10 times the money that they do. “Student athlete” is a farcical label – these kids are indentured servants being milked for their revenue generating abilities.

  22. Dutchman says: Oct 13, 2010 11:11 AM

    The root cause of this is the NFL, not the NCAA (maybe both). If the NFL would sponsor a minor league program, or allow ALL players to be drafted it would justify the NCAA rules. MLB, and NHL have it right, having both colligiate and minor leagues, and they are the least popular sports.

  23. enders says: Oct 13, 2010 11:12 AM

    Its kind of sad that people think sports players getting a free education, that would cost other people close to 100,000, isn’t payment enough. They are giving these kids an education for free, an education that a lot of them probably wouldn’t of pursued, or if they had they would of chosen somewhere cheaper. Besides just the monetary value of that scholarship, they are giving them a MUCH better chance at finding a good paying job after college. Whether that be in the NFL, or just looking for a job like a normal person.
    If they need money so bad, go get a frickin job! Like every other college student has to do if they need money. Its probably a hell of a lot easier for a college athlete to find a job than it is for a random college student to find one.

  24. Dutchman says: Oct 13, 2010 11:13 AM

    These players get a FREE education…I can’t believe people don’t consider that compensation. And the better athletes go to BIG TIME programs, with the best facilities.

  25. FinFan68 says: Oct 13, 2010 11:15 AM

    I think the rule application is stupid. I can understand the issue if it was the COLLEGE paying the kids (they do that in other ways) but this is a THIRD PARTY with no school affiliation. The agents are simply trying to get the college players to hire them when it comes time to negotiate an NFL salary. If the NFL institutes a modest rookie pay scale, most of these “issues” would go away. People believe the draft order should dictate the level of pay (#1 overall pick makes more than #2 pick, etc.) That’s ridiculous. The pick order is determined by team need not athlete skill. If the Rams were to pick #1 this year, they would not pick a QB (because they just got Bradford)even though the top two players may be QBs. A first round pick is a first round pick. Make their salaries as equal as possible based on what round the player is drafted in.

  26. enders says: Oct 13, 2010 11:17 AM

    And saying the players make millions for the school, so they should be paid, is a bad argument. The notoriety the players get while being in college, is what is making players their millions when they get to the Pro level.
    Without college, they would never make it to the Pros.
    So in the short run, the college is paying the players through scholarships, in the long run they are providing the means to which the players make millions immediately after college.

  27. dbartdog says: Oct 13, 2010 11:18 AM

    This is so much BS…look, the real problem is the PED in the game. Test for it and clean the game up. It’s ridiculous to think these guys are students…for the vast majority, that’s not the case!

  28. turbodiesel26 says: Oct 13, 2010 11:22 AM

    So, would you also pay the kid going to Frostburg, or Salisbury State the same as the kid going to Alabama? We seem to confuse the millions of dollars the huge conferences make, and the amount of expenses the smaller conference or lower division schools have to take on. The very best thing that the NCAA could do to fix this whole problem is simply allow these “Student/Athletes” to have a job, just like the other students. If they need extra money, work for it like the rest of the college.

  29. lions51 says: Oct 13, 2010 11:24 AM

    All these kids get $100k+ education for playing football. There are thousands of kids out there that would love to go to college for an education but they can’t afford to do so.
    All these players need realize they are there for an education not for football or any other sport.
    I heard a rumor that it costs Michigan $250k for each 4 year scholarship football player.

  30. greenmeattruck says: Oct 13, 2010 11:25 AM

    the one that he should regret is bailing that kid out of jail, when it was later determined that the kid deserved to be locked up. if it were just an average student without atheletic involvement, he would have sat in there until the judge was ready to release him. why should someone be bailed out on a criminal offense simply because he’s involved in atheletics?! let him learn a lesson and sit, and maybe even miss a game or two!the system is designed to work that way, and he interfered. BAD idea!

  31. Other Bears says: Oct 13, 2010 11:29 AM

    Yeah – they get a free education. They put them in easy classes and pass all the good players so they can put out for thier schools. If those on the bubble for getting into the NFL don’t make it, they will all get high-paying jobs with their degrees. Who are you kidding? These kids are expected to prioritize football over their educations (in most cases). The fact that it’s an expensive school doesn’t mean that they’re actually getting a $100,000 education. Get real.

  32. deucez2 says: Oct 13, 2010 11:37 AM

    @EDM – False. There is a 5 year statue of limitations in college football. These events occured prior to 2005. None of these schools will vacate wins.

  33. enders says: Oct 13, 2010 11:38 AM

    # Dutchman says: October 13, 2010 11:11 AM
    The root cause of this is the NFL, not the NCAA (maybe both). If the NFL would sponsor a minor league program, or allow ALL players to be drafted it would justify the NCAA rules. MLB, and NHL have it right, having both colligiate and minor leagues, and they are the least popular sports.
    ———————
    The NFL having a minor league program would be retarded. How can you say the two of the least popular sports have it right, when they are the least popular?

  34. enders says: Oct 13, 2010 11:44 AM

    The real people at fault here is the NFLPA. They only allow the agents to take 3% from the players, which makes it a ton more competitive for the agents to get as many players as they can. Which results in agents doing whatever they can to gain an edge, like paying the players.
    The NFLPA needs to raise it up to the same level as the NBA and MLB which I think is 5%. That would at least cut back on the competitiveness of the agents a little since they would then be making nearly twice as much per client.

  35. Disagreelos says: Oct 13, 2010 11:52 AM

    Suspending these players for taking a little bit of cash compared to what they’ll see in the future. You would’ve thought they were taking steroids. Smh

  36. enders says: Oct 13, 2010 11:55 AM

    # Other Bears says: October 13, 2010 11:29 AM
    Yeah – they get a free education. They put them in easy classes and pass all the good players so they can put out for thier schools. If those on the bubble for getting into the NFL don’t make it, they will all get high-paying jobs with their degrees. Who are you kidding? These kids are expected to prioritize football over their educations (in most cases). The fact that it’s an expensive school doesn’t mean that they’re actually getting a $100,000 education. Get real.
    ————————
    Yes it does. An easier class =/= a cheaper class, it still costs the same. Whether they are being passed undeservedly doesn’t really matter. They will still have a degree to help them get a job if football doesn’t work out for them.
    But lets be real, the players that are making these schools millions of dollars are the ones who will be going to the NFL and making millions of dollars there. A college star who is making the college a ton of money will have a roster spot on an NFL team for multiple years atleast, even if they suck in the NFL. But even if the NFL teams do eventually decide the player sucks and will never make it in the NFL, by then the player will have accumulated more money from the NFL than they would have in their entire life had they never gone to college.

  37. JCD says: Oct 13, 2010 12:10 PM

    “Michigan has probably already made $1,000,000 off Denard Robinson jerseys while he sits in his dorm in Michigan eating 10 cent Ramen noodles”
    Right…I’m sure Michigan doesn’t have a freakin’ nutritionist and chef preparing their teams’ meals round the clock. These players have access to the best the school has to offer, no one is going hungry in order to play football, that assertion is ridiculous.

  38. pakrguru says: Oct 13, 2010 12:10 PM

    Not only do these players get a free college education, something which would cost upwards of $100k, but the fact that college graduates earn up to 75% more over their lifetime than people without a degree means they are verrrryyy well compensated. My brother was a scholarship player at a Div 1 school, and he still got a Pell Grant (money which does not have to paid back) every semester.
    Do conferences, and schools, make a substantial amount of money on NCAA athletes? Yes they do. However, those athletes are already compensated. Those athletes which come from poor backgrounds not only get an education, they get an opportunity to earn a degree, which should improve their livihood after college. Something the average person who is highly skilled at another profession has to PAY for at an institution. If they choose not to partake in their own education and waste it away, that is a life choice they must live with.
    Athletic departments essentially invest in players. If they perform well, the school does well in terms of bowl money, TV appearance money, jersey sales, etc. If they do poorly, the athlete still gets compensated, and the school makes next to nothing off a $100K investment. For every Denard Robinson, there are 20+ players who bring in zero dollars for the institution, but they still get that free education.
    Do the math. If there are 80 scholarship football players on a college team, 120 teams, that means roughly 2,400 players are reaching the level of senior in college every year. 300 of them either get drafted, or as an undrafted free agent, are potentially employed by the NFL. That means about 2,000 of them are not qualified to perform the very function for which they are “employed” at in college at the professional level. You’re suggesting they should be compensated over and above what they already get? Charles Barkley says thats TURABLE.

  39. GC in DC says: Oct 13, 2010 12:12 PM

    It’s hard to say that Jonathan Ogden was a charity case who couldn’t afford to buy a Janet Jackson concert ticket on his own. His dad is an investment banker in Washington DC and he himself went to St. Albans, one of the fancier private schools in the country.

  40. FrankZappa says: Oct 13, 2010 12:49 PM

    just because something is against the rules doesn’t mean it’s wrong…college players SHOULD be paid, so he did the RIGHT thing…just like anybody nonviolently breaking a society’s fascist rules is right, it is called fighting back, and more people need to do it…look where obeying all the rules got Germany 80 years ago…there are no real wars except the rich against the poor

  41. Daytona Ken says: Oct 13, 2010 12:54 PM

    The NCAA and the associated college are the worst kind of hypocrites and will burn in hell. But don’t think for a moment that and agent gives a college athlete a cent without hoping to get something in return.

  42. BigSuede says: Oct 13, 2010 1:11 PM

    Enders- I dont know if you understand the current economy. Just having a degree isn’t enough, you actually need to have learned something.
    I went to UCLA 10 years back, graduated magna cum laude. My degree didn’t help a lick, but my GPA and scholastic awards did impress my employers, making sure i got a good job. The reason I got such high grades was because I was able to focus on school 100%. My parents wouldnt allow me to work even 10 hours a week because it would be a distraction.
    I knew many UCLA football players while I was on campus. They literally put in about 40+ hours a week on football related activities. Work outs 2 hours every day, then practice, then treatment, games….. And many took very easy classes which would never help them in the real world. It is near impossible to be a football player and be able to focus enough on schoolwork to be a top student.
    Fact is that a college degree really has little worth nowadays. Many people get degrees everyday that are essentially worthless. To argue that the university’s are providing this huge benefit to their players is just false. We aren’t living in the 1950′s any longer. A college degree doesn’t equal a ticket to a decent job.

  43. Ron Leflore says: Oct 13, 2010 1:11 PM

    Someone needs to remind the NCAA that they have student athletes, not necessarily amateur athletes.

  44. washington chadsucks says: Oct 13, 2010 1:13 PM

    Funny PFT is downgrading agents. Most all of this site’s stories come from agents trying to futher their agenda with players. How do you think all these stories get broken?

  45. dabbflappy says: Oct 13, 2010 1:44 PM

    Let’s not forget the larger issue.
    The NCAA and the greed of the schools has created a situation where hundreds of millions of dollars are being made on the work of these athletes, coaches are getting paid millions of dollars for coaching these athletes… yet the athletes themselves are getting no money whatsoever.
    Until that’s fixed there will always be Luchs’ to fill in the gap.
    I don’t blame Luchs or the players. I blame the NCAA and the greed of the college presidents and athletic directors.

  46. Other Bears says: Oct 13, 2010 1:59 PM

    Thanks for saving me the trouble, BigSuede.

  47. Ridge_Runner says: Oct 13, 2010 3:30 PM

    The schools grant “scholarships” and all that entails to an awful lot of “students” who aren’t useful for much else than playing football. So how can one say an agent is “wrong” for giving extra perks to these same players who are raking in free room, board and education from a school that stands to profit large from winning a title in the BCS? The whole thing seems awfully hypocritical to me.

  48. funi says: Oct 13, 2010 6:46 PM

    Wish Luchs would have said, Golic was a name on a previous list who took money years ago!

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