Don’t Give Money to Amateur Athletes

Stop what you’re doing and go read George Dohrmann’s latest piece in Sports Illustrated. I don’t care whether you’re interested in sports or not; you need to read this. It’s a first-person account of a retiring agent’s illegal dealings with amateur athletes. If I was a sportswriter, I’d say something like, “This is why we do what we do. For stories like this.”

But seriously, go read it. Here’s a taste:

That night I sat in my hotel room making a list of pros and cons in my head. Sure, it was breaking NCAA rules, but I would be helping Kanavis out. How would I feel if my mom was sick and I didn’t have money to help her? I went through this for hours and finally decided to do it. The next morning I went to the bank, pulled out some of my bar mitzvah money, $2,500 in cash, showed up at Kanavis’s door and told him,

“Kanavis, I gave this a lot of thought, and I want to help you out. I know how I would feel if it was my mom.”

“Thank you so much,” he said. “You’re my boy, man. You’re really coming through for me.”

I went back to my hotel and for a little while I felt good, but then the phone rang. It was a teammate of Kanavis’s calling.

“Hey, man, Kanavis told me you’re a pretty good dude,” he said. “I got this problem, and I need some help. My father is really sick and he is losing his apartment and I need $2,500. Do you think you can help me out the way you helped Kanavis?”

My heart dropped. I hung up and got the hell out of there. The whole flight home I was kicking myself. How could I be so stupid?

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About Ryan O'Hanlon

Ryan O'Hanlon is the managing editor of the Good Men Project. He used to play soccer and go to college. He's still trying to get over it. You can follow him on Twitter @rwohan.

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