We mentioned earlier the story in Sports Illustrated where former agent Josh Luchs told the magazine tons of stuff that many people would probably prefer that others didn’t know. This includes, but is not limited to, paying college athletes.
There was also a part in there where he talks about ESPN’s draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. Here is the passage (we’re using a lot of block quotes today, huh? Plagiarism is so much easier than coming up with our own stuff):
In 2000, before a meeting with Stanford defensive lineman Willie Howard, Gary arranged for ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper to call. Gary and I were talking to Willie in Gary’s office when Gary’s phone rang, and he put it on speakerphone.
“Viper, how are you?” Gary said. That’s what he called Mel, Viper or Vipe. “Viper, I’m sitting here with the best defensive lineman in college football. Do you know who that is?”
“You must be with Willie Howard,” Mel said.
Gary used Mel like that all the time. In the agent business, people know Gary and Mel are close, and some people suspect that Mel ranks players more favorably if they are Gary’s clients.
Well, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal, ESPN is going to look into any potential relationship that Kiper has with Wichard or any other agents.
“Breaking–#ESPN Statement on Mel Kiper/Gary Wichard allegations in SI.com: “We just learned of the story today and are looking into it,” Mullen tweets.
Stay tuned on this one.