Former NFL agent Josh Luchs just revealed more about the seedy world of college football recruiting than anyone has dared to confess.His tell-all interview with Sports Illustrated will be making waves for sometime to come.
In his 20 years as an agent representing more than 60 players, Luchs paid collegiate athletes, pissed in cups to help athletes pass drug tests, and even used a famous TV personality to bolster his standing with athletes.
No one will face sanctions thanks to the NCAA’s statute of limitations, but it doesn’t make the revelations any less surprising.
Most stunning of all is that Luchs named names and pointed fingers at both former players and other agents. We’re guessing he won’t be welcomed at many company reunions after this.
- Rob Waldrop (Arizona)
- Greg Thomas (Colorado)
- Joel Steed (Colorado)
- Kanavis McGhee (Colorado)
- Mel Agee (Illinois)
- Tony Banks (Michigan State)
- Darick Holmes (Portland State)
- Chris Mims (Tennessee)
- Chuck Webb (Tennessee)
- Carl Greenwood (UCLA)
- Othello Henderson (UCLA)
- Jamir Miller (UCLA)
- Vaughn Parker (UCLA)
- Ryan Fien (UCLA)
- Travis Claridge (USC)
- Delon Washington (USC)
- Phalen Pounds (USC)
- R. Jay Soward (USC)
- Torey Hunter (USC)
- Singor Mobley (USC)
- John Rushing (USC)
- Leon Bender (USC)
- Ryan Leaf (Washington State)
Before Luchs ever started as an agent, he was a ball boy for three summers with the Oakland Raiders. He befriended Townsend, who asked for a urine sample in an effort to aid his passing a drug test. Though he failed the test when doctors demanded he urinate in their presence, this display of loyalty led Townsend to encourage Luchs to become an agent.
Luchs paid 1998 second overall pick Ryan Leaf $500 a month for nearly two years. The agent partied with the future bust, introduced him to L.A. girls, and consistently hosted Leaf at his house. Regardless, Luchs fell out of favour when he wouldn't pay for Leaf's college teammates' hotel room during a Vegas binge.
Luchs told of one incident where he was recruiting Stanford's Willie Howard with (now troubled) agent Gary Wichard. He alleges that Wichard purposefully told his friend, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper to call during a meeting with Howard. Many agents suspected that Kiper ranked Wichard's players higher, Luchs said.
Future 49er great Dana Stubblefield refused a 10 grand payout. J.J. Stokes wouldn't take money, and most surprisingly, neither would Rod Tidwell-esque receiver Keyshawn Johnson.
Luchs reported that Gary Wichard called John Blake a 'partner,' and that he was crucial in steering players towards Wichard. Luchs calls Blake 'one of the best recruiters I have ever seen.' North Carolina is now facing NCAA punishment for allegedly doing exactly that.
Luchs first attempt at recruiting a player, ended with him giving University of Colorado's Kanavis McGee $2,500. Luchs was never able to get in touch with him again, McGee's team teammates began asking for similar handouts.
Early on, Luchs learned that the best way to become an agent is to start locally, latching on to one particular team. Drew Rosenhaus, for example, launched his career by buddying up with the Miami Hurricanes football team.
Luchs took hall-of-fame tackle Jonathan Ogden to a Janet Jackson concert as part of his recruiting effort. 'Ogden was a '6'9' guy who weighed more than 300 pounds and who screamed 'Janet!' the whole night like a teenage girl.'
George Townsend, Carl Greenwood, Othello Henderson, Matt Soenksen, Chris Alexander, Bruce Walker, Jonathan Ogden, R. Jay Soward, and Singor Mobley mostly confirmed Luchs's account.
Ryan Leaf remembers Luchs, but doesn't remember him ever mentioning he was an agent. Kiper remembers the conversation with Howard but denies that the call was purposefully made during the meeting or that he ranked Wichard's players higher.
Joel Steed, Ryan Fien, and Torey Hunter denied the report.
Gary Wichard, John Blake, Phalen Pounds, Vaughn Parker, Jamir Miller, Tony Banks, and John Rushing did not comment.
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