Agents paying college athletes has long been accepted as something that happens despite the NCAA’s rules against doing so. Agents are looking for an advantage, an inside-track to signing a client who has potential to go pro, and are willing to bend or even outright break the rules to get their man.
Sometimes the athletes family is even involved in the ordeal, getting help with rent or plane tickets for road games. Agents will foot bill after bill if it helps them increase their chances of landing a client.
But when you deal in under-the-table situations with no signed contracts, there are going to be times that a player spurns the agent who has invested a considerable amount of money in him. When that happens, you get spurned agents like Noah Lookofsky who are willing to share stories of these arrangements.
According to Lookofsky, he gave former UCLA standout Tyler Honeycutt over $50,000 before Honeycutt eventually signed with another agent.
Lookofsky claims he had invested $55,800 in the UCLA forward while Honeycutt was in high school and college in hopes of landing him as a client as he entered the NBA Draft.
“I’m at a point where I’m no longer representing players, and the truth should come out,” Lookofsky told SB Nation in an exclusive interview. “This is what happens every day for people to sign a player. And it sucks.”
Lookofsky’s claim that this is a common occurence with agents and athletes comes as a surprise to just about no one.
The NCAA and UCLA did eventually investigate the situation after Lookofsky told then-Bruin head coach Ben Howland in an attempt to get his money back, but according to a statement by UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, Lookofsky refused to cooperate in the investigation.
During the investigation of these claims, Lookofsky refused to provide additional information to verify his assertions and was unwilling to meet with investigators from the NCAA and UCLA to tell his story.
The NCAA informed UCLA that it considered the case closed with no finding against the institution or any individual.
Due to this, it seems that UCLA will be in the clear with regards to these allegations and not at risk of forfeiting any wins from the 2009 through 2011 seasons that Honeycutt was a Bruin.
At the end of the day, this is just another reminder of how messed up the money situation is in the NCAA.
Until players are paid for their play, they will always be looking for help because at the end of the day, most of them are broke college students.