Bills’ Harmon Opens the Case Against Agents

From Associated Press

Buffalo Bills running back Ronnie Harmon told a jury today that sports agents Lloyd Bloom and Norby Walters sought to represent him while he was a junior at Iowa, telling him that “there’s nothing to gain” by waiting.

“He (Bloom) said that this was my lucky day . . . and that he wanted to represent me,” said Harmon, the first witness in the trial of Bloom and Walters.

Bloom, 29, and Walters, 58, both based in New York, are charged with racketeering, mail fraud, wire fraud and extortion in what authorities contend was a scheme to defraud colleges and universities by signing athletes to professional contracts before their college eligibility had expired.

Testimony began today in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge George Marovich.


Granted Immunity

Harmon testified under an agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office in which he was granted immunity from prosecution. In return, he agreed to pay back scholarship money to Iowa and to perform community service.

Harmon said Walters and Bloom flew him and his father to New York as they tried to persuade him to sign an agreement allowing them to represent him in 1985.