Comments about ‘Dick Harmon: Agents may not always be looking out for their clients’

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Published: Friday, May 6 2011 8:00 p.m. MDT

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Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Have I been missing something? Typically, I choose not to read this Mr. Harmon's articles. I did read this one and found it to be objective and an excellent read! I am in total agreement with his conclusions in this particular instance and also with his assessment of the problem in general. Maybe, just maybe, future athletes will benefit from this article!! Well said, Mr. Harmon!

Spanish Fork, UT

I think that in light of the situation with the NFL and the possible lockout, the NCAA should allow an exception and accept all underclassmen that didn't get drafted to have their eligibility reinstated. This would be a huge gesture by the NCAA. Obviously all monies paid to the student athlete by agents would have to be repaid, and the agents in question would have to allow the student athletes out of their contracts, which would only happen on a cold day in he11. But, in a perfect world. . . well, in a perfect world there wouldn't be an NFL lockout.

In My Humble Opinion
South Jordan, UT

Utah's increase of PAC money over MWC money is $20 million per year. Many other schools, BYU included, are also getting a massive increase in cash. A good portion of this increase across the nation should go to players, instead of into buildings. If players were getting more money, fewer would make Silva's mistake.

Jim Marshall
Clearfield, UT

I'm a little surprised that no interviews took place. If you had dug into the story even a little you would know that Sealvers case was different because of academics.

Ogden, UT

The desire for more and more money will eventually be the demise of sports.

Iowa City, IA

He rolled the dice and it came up snake eyes.

Vernal, UT

If college players start getting paid, then isn't it just a business? At that point, I would have to ask why any State-owned organization has a sports team if that sports team is not a money maker. At some point, we would just be subsidizing a business. And I think football (or any other sport) isn't something that we need to put tax dollars into, as compared to other forms of "education". Maybe the NFL needs to come up with a minor league, to keep recruits coming. (And, of course, private schools are free to do whatever they want, if they can afford it)

As for the guys that got greedy and gambled on that million dollar paycheck, oh, well. You spin the wheel and take your chances.

South Jordan, UT

Re: in my humble opinion.

As soon as paying players becomes the norm,the gap between those with and those without will increase even more. Teams like AlAbama who already live on the edge of the rules will start getting in bidding wars for talent. It's debatable but I enjoy the amateur status the athletes maintain. Rather than pay them, offer them additional scholarships after their 4 years of eligibility. Also, you have to do the same for non revenue sports like swimming, skiing, track and soccer. Gets expensive.

Boise, ID

Players are paid with scholarships, housing, food, tutors, etc. If you want to get paid money, get a job or play professionally.

Looking at this players decision making skills, do you really think making a bunch of money will solve his problems?

In My Humble Opinion
South Jordan, UT

First of all, you think NCAA sports isn't a business now? The NCAA basketball tournament package is $10.8 billion over 14 years. The PAC deal alone is billions. Coaches are getting $1+ per year. You could give every Ute football player an additional $500 monthly and I'll bet Whit would STILL make a million a year. Oh, and $500 monthly is just about the equivalent of the shortfall between what a scholarship pays and what a player needs BEYOND their scholarship to cover reasonable expenses -- like clothing and an occasional date. $500 monthly = $500,000 annually -- out of $20M.

Only two athletic programs in the country make money. Why? Because they pay athletes? NO. Because they build keep-up-with-the-Jones' Taj Mahal facilities, and pay coaches $multi-million severance packages to BAD coaches. Pay the players FIRST, and their won't be the bricks-and-mortar arms race Whit talks about.

People sit in stadiums or comfortable homes, or their mother's basement and spout "amateur athletics" like the Olympics used to. Come on, folks. These are people, not play station characters.

It is hypocritical to brag about teams but not pay players.

In My Humble Opinion
South Jordan, UT

Ohio State is being investigated for 50 under-the-table car sales to athletes. More dollars to athletes means less temptation to cheat.

You have players whose families live in poverty, whose parents can afford to see them in person in a game. We aren't talking about get-rich money, we're talking about live-OK money.

More money to players will actually DECREASE the difference between the haves and have-nots of college sports. Nearly every have lives in a huge population center within driving distance of recruits. Utah is planning on competing in the PAC by recruiting across the PAC. If a player's family can afford to see them play, that is a plus in being recruited to that school. If their parents can fly to a game, they will be more likely to let the kid got to Utah.

Saint Louis, MO

I was in a student ward with Hema Heimuli at the Y back in the mid-90's, and though I didn't know him well, was vaguely aware that he had a lousy experience with an agent as well. It wasn't a situation where he was convinced to come out too early (he played out his eligibility), but my recollection is he passed up at least one opportunity to make a team as an undrafted free agent on the advice of his agent. Problem is, that ended up being his only NFL offer. Whoops. I'm not sure if he ever made a dime playing football. He may or may not have made the team that invited him to camp, but it bites knowing that you missed your one opportunity just by saying "no" based on someone's bad advice.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Well said MiP, Mr Silva went against the advice of many people, including his coaches, only to have to go pump gas or sell shoes, by going undrafted. He can't blame anyone but himself for getting too greedy.

The same can be said about many of my cougar players over the years. With the exception of Austin Collie, and to a lesser extent, Shawn Bradley; almost always those that left early: Luke Staley, John Walsh and many other ended up w/ snake eyes, and are no-where near to where they might have gone in the NFL, had the stuck it out thru their Sr. Seasons. Look what it did for Jimmer, he stayed for his Sr. season, and become the POY in College.

If you are playing an NCAA sport, you better make sure to get a degree that is more than something like Communications or some other weak degree, so as to have your bases covered. Many of these student athletes do nothing with their education and then don't make the NFL or NBA, only to have low income jobs the rest of their lives after all the excitement of playing in College.

Howard S.
Taylorsville, UT

No direct interviews or quotes from an agent, a coach, a family member, or Siliga himself.

Informed, insightful commentary is not Harmon's strength.

Instead of doing a little work, Dick chooses to feign concern for Siliga and his decision in order to offer a subtle, unfavorably comparison with that of Matt Reynolds who chose to forgo the draft.

Dick, just stick with spinning for the Cougars, you don't appear to be qualified to cover a BCS team.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

...on Second thought, Mr Siliga made a choice based on some obvious facts. Returning to play for his Sr. season, very well could have been detrimental to his chances for making the NFL for 2012, as I'm sure why Brandon Burton bolted early as well...They both can see the writing on the wall about prospect of failure for the Utes and their inagural season in the PAC12, being a major face-plant. With the loss of all 3 RB's, your top 2 OL players, a disasterous finish to their 2010 season, too many negatives loomed ahead.

Bringing an also-ran OC in Norm Chow (who has done nothing with his career since departing USC in after a tiff w/ Pete Carrol); a lousy QB in Jordan Wynn, who would've stayed behind to suffer thru a potential losing season and some major stompings administered by the likes of USC, BYU, and ASU this coming fall, w/ the potential of ending up like their Basketball brothers on the hill, made all the sense in the world to leave a sports program headed for the PAC12's basement along side of WSU...not even a $21miltvdeal mattered.

Salt Lake City, UT

I understand this is an editorial but it is just pure conjecture. Where are the quotes to back up your assertions? No comment from Whittingham, Mendenhall, or any other coaches. How about some insight from other players who have come out early or the player in question specifically? Lazy, Lazy, Lazy... It is the easiest thing in the world to blame the agent and he may be the culprit but there is no context to this article. Maybe he had personal or family issues, how about academic issues or money issues? I guese what I am saying is that this article delves no deeper than I can do myself from home not knowing anything directly.

Magna, UT

I am as big a Utes fan as there is. I wrote a few days ago that I felt bad for Shaky and Zane Taylor, who went undrafted and have to wait for the NFL to clean itself up, before they can sign as undrafted free agents. However, I have 0 sympathy for Siliga. His on the field play was patchy and as has been frequently said on these boards recently, he was counseled NOT to embark on this unsure journey. Rather, he could have been a cornerstone on one of the best D-Lines in the country, playing in a league where he'd have received a TON of exposure this year. Greed does not pay.

As for the fools who say the NCAA should just give in and pay these players, what rule should the NCAA throw out next? Moreover, isn't college amateur sports? Furthermore, are they gonna have to pay walk-ons too, because even the worst guy on an NFL roster makes a payday? Also, you pay these guys and what incentives do they have to work hard? I just graduated yesterday, from the U, shouldn't the fact these players can earn degrees count?

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Life boils down to one simple thing, the choices we make, good or bad. It's to early to tell if Siliga made the wrong choice, but the odds and current circumstances don't bode well for his chances.

Good luck son!

Murray, UT

Here's the deal.

It's always in the University's/Staff's best interest to have a starter stay another year.

It's always in the agent's best interest to sign clients.

The issue is finding the person that is selflessly, always, in the kid's best interest AND is knowledgeable in the process.

And before you say it, no, it is universally NOT his family.

Rueben L
Folsom, CA

The article was maybe a little overly dramatic. Each situation is different, and there probably were other issues involved in this case--financial, academic, etc.--I don't have any inside info, just guessing. But the message about agents is on the mark, I just wish Harmon would have given the agent's name. Let the microscope be put on him in this situation.

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