In a recent interview Charles Barkley admitted to taking$20,000 dollars from an agent while he was enrolled at Auburn.
In an upcoming interview set to air this weekend, basketball legend Charles Barkley claims he accepted money from agents during his playing days at Auburn.
“I got some cash from agents,” Barkley says on the Season 5 premiere of In Depth with Graham Bensigner, which will air Saturday. “I’ve talked to the NCAA. I think that should be legal. I want some money too, everybody else is making money. I want to go on dates. I want to go buy myself some new suits. I want to buy myself some new sneakers, and I paid the agents back.”
Barkley played at Auburn for three seasons from 1981 to 1984. He skipped his senior season to enter the NBA Draft and went on to become one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history.
If he refused money from agents while at Auburn, Barkley says he likely would have left for the NBA after his freshman season.
“Most of these kids leave school for money,” he said. “What’s wrong with an agent letting me borrow some money, so I can give it to my mom and do some stuff I want to do? He’s making me stay in school by lending me money. The bank’s going to charge me interest. He’s helping me. I understand (he wants to represent me professionally) but I think more kids would stay in school.
“I think the most I took was $20,000. It made me stay in school another year. $20,000 is not a lot of money, but I was able to do some stuff for my mother and grandmother and I had some spending money. I’m cool. I don’t have to go into the real world of the NBA after one college season.”
According to Barkley, Auburn’s athletic department discouraged him from taking “serious classes,” fearing he could flunk them and become academically ineligible. He believes the college athletic system is “broken” and there is more cheating in recent years because more money is at stake.
When it comes to agents and money getting paid under the table to college athletes, little surprises me any more. With so much money at stake in college sports, programs and their boosters will do whatever is necessary to win.