Agent Josh Luchs tells Sports Illustrated he paid college football players, including some from UCLA, USC

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Keyshawn Johnson would not take any of sports agent Josh Luchs’ money while playing football for USC. Neither would UCLA’s J.J. Stokes or Kansas’ Dana Stubblefield.

Those three players are among the few people who come out looking good in Luchs’ tell-all, ‘Confessions of an Agent,’ which is the cover story of the Oct. 18 issue of Sports Illustrated and appears in full now on

Through writer George Dohrmann, Luchs tells of paying more than 30 college football players as well as other tales from his 20 years as an agent based in the Los Angeles area.

Several UCLA players and a handful from USC and other colleges are mentioned by name as willing recipients of Luchs’ handouts, which are said to have occurred between 1991 and 1997. Sports Illustrated contacted everyone mentioned in the article, and their responses (or lack thereof) are included.


Some of them, including former USC receiver R. Jay Soward, admit to taking the payments.

‘I would do it again,’ Soward said. ‘I have four sons, and if somebody offered my son money in college and it meant he didn’t have to be hungry, I would tell him to take it.’
A sidebar to the article on states, ‘Neither the schools nor the players in this story are likely to face NCAA scrutiny. The NCAA has a four-year statute of limitations on violations, and the most recent violation alleged by Luchs occurred in 2005. There are exceptions to the statute, but none appear applicable.’

Luchs offers a lot of insight into a field that is viewed by most to be one of the slimiest around. And although the article might not do much to change that notion, Luchs does provide a different perspective from the one many of us have of the relationship between agents and student-athletes:

One of the misconceptions about the agent business is that the kids are victims, preyed on by people like me. When Alabama coach Nick Saban and others rail against the agent business, they don’t mention that most of the time the player or someone from his family approaches us. Guys see that one of their teammates has some cash, ask him about it, and suddenly my phone rings. It was rare to find a player who wouldn’t take the money.
It’s a fascinating read.

-- Chuck Schilken

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