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?