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Illegal Procedure

Sports agent writes about 'dirty business'

July 12, 2012
The Daily News

The events of the past year or so have been a reminder that college football is all but inseparable from corruption.

Yet the players, coaches and agents won't admit it.

Rare is the insider willing to give an unvarnished account of himself and his profession, for whom getting the truth out supersedes self-interest.

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Until Josh Luchs started stirring the pot, first in a Sports Illustrated cover story in 2010, and now in "Illegal Procedure: A Sports Agent Comes Clean on the Dirty Business of College Football" (Bloomsbury, 272 pages).

For two decades as a sports agent, Luchs made illegal deals with college athletes - from paying players, to feeding them Wonderlic IQ tests, to getting coaches to funnel prospects, to buying trips, tickets, favors and more in exchange for the promise of representing these players on their lucrative pro contracts.

In "Illegal Procedure," Luchs and co-author James Dale tell the whole story:

- tricks of the agent trade that led to his relationships with marquee prospects such as Ryan Leaf, Terrell Suggs and Maurice Clarett.

- what agents, coaches, boosters and even players' mothers will do to make a buck.

- the powerful football programs whose players are the economic resource everyone wants but no one admits to paying for.

Luchs is willing to name names, too. Included are:

- Agent Doc Daniels' 8 Steps for the right way to pay college athletes.

- Agent Gary Wichard's very creative "Game Plans" to get athletes to sign with him.

- ESPN reporter Mel Kiper's alleged influence over who gets drafted and for how much

- How Gary Uberstine's representation of USC Coach Pete Carroll seemed to coincide with Uberstine signing a remarkable number of USC players.

- Not even sparing himself, how Luchs was suspended, and how the NFL players association regulates agent activity from the sidelines.

Since he's left the business, Luchs has taken on a new role - whistle-blowing, truth-telling reformer. In schools, at NCAA meetings, and even before a congressional roundtable, Luchs has offered insight into how agents go about winning players, and what kinds of reforms will and will not work, and includes here original and realistic ideas for how to repair this broken system.

"Illegal Procedure" shines a light into the dark corners of the world of college football, showing how the secret deals get made, who takes the risk, and above all what needs to change.



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