I knew as soon as I saw this segment on The Dan Patrick Show today on DirecTV that it was sure to make headlines. Charles Barkley opens up about one of the main issues affecting big-time ‘student’ athletes today, the fact agents (and whoever else) ‘lend’ money to college kids sure to have a future in pro sports, hoping to represent them sometime in the future. Barkley thinks the only thing Reggie Bush did wrong was not pay back the people who did it for him while at USC. In fact, Barkley took money from several wannabe agents, too. Wait, huh?
That certainly opens a can of worms.
If it happened to Barkley a million years ago, how far does this ‘tradition’ go back? And about or around whom did it begin? If it happened with Barkley, then it happened with Jordan and Isiah. If it happened with Jordan, it happened with Magic & Bird. Hell, Bird already knew he was going to play for the Celtics by the time his senior year rolled around, so he was virtually a no-risk loan for a scumbagent to make. Did this practice take place with Walton, maybe even Kareem at UCLA? How many dozens of coaches are now going to have to claim they had ‘no direct knowledge’ of what are sure to be hundreds of future allegations?
I have a feeling this is not the way David Stern/Roger Goodell/Auburn officials/NCAA investigators wanted to start off their weekends.