Dick Harmon: Agents may not always be looking out for their clients

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  • MichiganCoog Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 9, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    No davidutefan,

    Utah didn't play 4 quarters (except of course for Brandon Burton's play), but 2 unlucky bounces of the ball against BYU, that UTAH did not cause, and a horrible call by the zebras made that all work out for Utah. Consider yourselves very lucky to beat a bunch of freshman that had ya'll beat and bleeding profusely, that could have made that crash and burn of your Utes all the more painful after TCU and Notre Dame's beat-downs. That will not happen on September 17th this year, consider your Utes a punchless bunch of Freshman leaving LES at 1-2 and wondering what more disappointment lies in wait when the rest of the PAC12 administers some hurtin on Mr.Wynn and the rest of that young team.

    Get used to have a very painful maiden voyage into the PAC12, it aint gonna be pretty...

  • davidutefan Evanston, WY
    May 9, 2011 12:42 p.m.

    MichiganCoug: yes but, unlike the TDS, Utah generally play 4 quarters of football not, 3 1/2.

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    May 9, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    Give me a break, IMHO, there are a lot of disadvantaged students out there more worthy of scholarship monies than someone who just happens to be gifted athletically. And before you go running your mouth off, I'm a former NCAA athlete (football)and assistant high school football coach. Universities are for education and the expanding of the mind, not the furtherance of a bunch of entitlement minded, spoiled jocks who have never heard the word "no" in their entire life. Paying these kids would only further expand the underlying problems with collegiate athletics. Compassion for financial needs indeed. What about the students that have to work 2 or 3 jobs just to pay tuition? Don't other alumni also contribute to the university?

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    May 8, 2011 9:46 p.m.


    As for the scholarships being a rule. Changing scholarship amounts isnt eliminating gravity. The three point line is a rule change. Kicking off from the 35 is a rule change. The scholarship rule needs to change to match the financial reality.

    Perhaps you dont realize many of these athletes come from disadvantaged families -- disadvantaged to a degree you cannot imagine.

    Perhaps it has never occurred to you many of them may want to pursue a vocation where a degree is unnecessary, like general contracting or plumbing that matches their interests and pays them more than many college graduates. Many just want to play football.

    Others are in serious pursuit of a degree, and the shortfall in funds makes that pursuit more difficult.

    Frankly, it sickens and disgusts me that the same fans who are so excited and bragging about PAC membership and pursuit of excellence in that conference have no respect for the athletes who actually make that possible and have no compassion for their financial needs.

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    May 8, 2011 9:44 p.m.


    The money generated by college athletics has skyrocketed over the last decade yet scholarships dont even cover academic needs. At the same time the amount of time an athlete spends in conditioning, off-season conditioning, etc., has also increased dramatically, making it difficult to supplement those deficient scholarships.

    So where does all that money go?

    1-Millions go to coaches, who couldnt. The Utes are paying TWO basketball coaches who couldnt cut it.
    2-Millions go to coaches who can, yet while coaches like Whittingham make millions many times more than coaches did two decades ago scholarships havent increased comparatively.
    3-Millions go to window-dressing-facilities. Yes, nicer practice facilities are, well, nicer, but with functional but modest facilities players could have decent compensation.

    $250 more per month per football player just enough to cover the academic shortfall would cost the university $255,000 per year. That is a fraction of Whittinghams raises since hes been coach. That is less than the university is paying a failure of a basketball coach.

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    May 8, 2011 9:42 p.m.


    "A law passed in California earlier this month requires the state's colleges and universities to disclose more complete information about the actual costs of attendance, as well as details about uncovered medical expenses and policies on scholarship renewal and transferring to other schools."

    So not even their academic needs are covered at many schools the shortfall is much more than $3,000 -- much less other needs such as medical insurance.

    I dont know how you paid for your schooling, Magna boy, but three things you should know about college athletes:

    1-If you worked, you got paid more by the hour than a football player does, I guarantee it: Practice, conditioning, meetings, film study, travel, etc., all while attending school.
    2-If you truly believe that PAC football is all that, you will understand that a player is better at being a football player than you are at whatever you did for a job.
    3-Fans dont even care about you enough to hope you have your expenses covered.

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    May 8, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    Pac12Champs | 10:44 a.m. May 7, 2011
    Magna, UT

    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? 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?

    Congratulations on graduating. Now lets have a lesson on thoughtful analysis.

    "Isn't college amateur sports?" They already get paid. It is called a scholarship, in some cases a "full ride". Unfortunately, that full ride isn't. Google "athletic scholarship falls short."

    "The report by Ithaca College researchers and a national athletes' advocacy group shows that the average "full scholarship" Division I athlete winds up having to pay $2,951 annually in school-related expenses not covered by grants-in-aid.

    The shortfall represents the difference between educational expenses such as tuition, student fees, room and board and ancillary costs not covered by scholarships, from campus parking fees to calculators and computer disks required for classes.

  • sls Columbia, MO
    May 8, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    This situation is proof that all is not so spiffy in Uteland, despite all the rah-rah talk about joining the PAC and all the supposedly promised money that will trickle down after a couple of years.

    Other proofs are the transfer of basketball players from a program that is trying to right itself after a long span of mediocrity.

    And if you want to know about how great the PAC is, just ask the USC and Oregon State tranfers who decided to go to BYU. They will underscore the fact that the rah-rah talk is just that.

  • MichiganCoog Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 8, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    Hey Ticky and Gonefishin,

    17-16 was in fact the score. Yes, BYU lost and Utah won...but you have to admit, both of you probabily had no fingernails left about the time that Brandon Burton made that play...a great one I might add. But here's the reality...Utah's so-called awesome team BARELY beat a freshman and sophmore dominated team, who for 3.5 quarter of that game had UTAH on the ropes w/ 2 black eyes. Took one last swing to land the knock-out blow to send your veteran team to the locker room in tears...but didn't. Why, because they were freshman and sophmores. Now that Brandon Burton is gone, along with most of your skill players to graduation, and untimely bolts to the NFL (Siliga and others that didn't cut it, and will be pumping gas sometime soon), leaves your UTE team in the same state BYU's was last year, to start out.

    Don't kid yourselves into thinking that Utah stands any kind of chance entering the PAC12 this season...New OC, no returning running backs...I think you get the picture. Face reality boys, Utah'sintroublenextfall!

  • DRomney Beverly Hills, CA
    May 7, 2011 11:45 p.m.

    Sounds about right. Agents are all the same...sports, film, music. Unfortunately CA is crawling with them.

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    May 7, 2011 10:26 p.m.

    This may have been bad for Utah and maybe the player but the rest of the story is that it is also bad for the agent.

    The agents have to front (provide financial support) the athletes until they sign a contract. No contract, no money to pay back the agent loans.

    The door swings both ways. Getting a client who is iffy on being drafted can be a very bad deal. It is a business deal for both the player and the agent and a calculated risk by both.

    Playing an extra year does not always improve your draft status. That is a very big player risk. You go when you think you have the best chance. An agent picks you up if they think you have a chance.

    It is easy to whine about the agents. However, it is usually the boosters who get the players in trouble. Further, the schools are just using the athletes for cheap labor. Playing football is a 40 hr a week job. The scholarships etc. cost the schools very little in actual money as they just expand the class size or hire an extra adjunct at $25-100 per athlete per class.

  • gonefishn Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2011 10:22 p.m.

    michigan coog
    With the exception of two Utah blowouts on the way to two BCS games, Utah and BYU games have been very close. So when you say that the Utes are going to fail as badly as you think, isn't that an indictment of BYU?
    Think before you post.

  • Ticky Burden salt lake city, ut
    May 7, 2011 8:57 p.m.

    Michigan Coog ... Has BYU figured out how to block for a field goal attempt yet ?? BWAH HA HA HA 17 - 16 !!! Enjoy your quest .

  • bballjunkie Cedar Hills, UT
    May 7, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    Howard S.

    Maybe you should do it then, you seemed over qualified to write for the utes and the so called BCS teams. lol

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    May 7, 2011 7:27 p.m.

    Don't agree with Article Reader at all. You take your chances and let the chips fall as they may. Student Athletes should always be students first. The purpose of a University is to educate not to get jocks up to speed for the next level. The rules for agents even contacting players need to be intentionally tightened and most of these student athletes need to be reined in and lectured to until they realize that their scholarships are intended more for their education than for paving a road to the pro's which a majority of them won't make it to anyways. Siliga was counseled by Whittingham and his. He made his decision despite those obvious warnings. So it's time to sleep in the bed that he chose. Brandon Burton too could have just as easily stayed and possibly have made a lot better situation for himself by playing next season. especially in light of the fact that he fell clear to the 5th round when many thought that he might make the 2nd. I don't think that he made a wise decission either.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    May 7, 2011 2:05 p.m.

    The objective of the agent and the objective of the player are generally not the same. Players probably think otherwise, but the agent is caring first for his own business. He make give much more time to one player over the others or focus on dollars verses what might be best for the player. They worry about their working relationship with the teams and may not go to bat for a player if they see it being a long term problem for them. There's nothing wrong with this, it is just life. Players need to trust the agent, but not completely and certainly not blindly.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    May 7, 2011 12:02 p.m.

    Thank goodness The Jimmer was wiser than some of these poor guys. I feel for them, as you can't expect all young men to have the wisdom to be patient.

    The country got to see a special year from a special kid in college basketball this past year. Kudos to Jimmer's wisdom and the wisdom and advice from those around him that he was smart enough to listen to.

    Jimmer and family were even smart enough to research agents and how to use them.

    Now, if the NCAA relaxed the rules so that if a player doesn't get drafted in their sport, they could fire their agent and reclaim their eligibility to return to school for another year.

    Whether that would open up a can of worms is debatable. There are certainly pros and cons to it.

    I'm against paying college players to perform in their sport. Those on scholarship are already being paid in that sense. College doesn't need to be a farm league for the pros.

    What's in it for me? As a fan, I can enjoy watching college sports knowing a school hasn't bought themselves a title.

  • gizmo33 St. George, Utah
    May 7, 2011 11:29 a.m.

    no one forced him to make that decision. some you win and some you lose and life gos on

  • Rueben L Folsom, CA
    May 7, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    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.

  • SLCguy Murray, UT
    May 7, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    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.

  • Ibleedcrimson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 7, 2011 10:55 a.m.

    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!

  • Pac12Champs Magna, UT
    May 7, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    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?

  • gonefishn Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    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.

  • MichiganCoog Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 7, 2011 10:09 a.m.

    ...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.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    May 7, 2011 10:04 a.m.

    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.

  • MichiganCoog Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 7, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    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.

  • Sloppyj30 Saint Louis, MO
    May 7, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    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.

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    May 7, 2011 9:05 a.m.

    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.

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    May 7, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    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.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    May 7, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    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?

  • KamUte South Jordan, UT
    May 7, 2011 7:52 a.m.

    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.

  • Emophiliac Vernal, UT
    May 7, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    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.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    May 7, 2011 7:18 a.m.

    He rolled the dice and it came up snake eyes.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    May 7, 2011 6:47 a.m.

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

  • Jim Marshall Clearfield, UT
    May 7, 2011 5:18 a.m.

    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.

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    May 7, 2011 2:52 a.m.

    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.

  • Article-Reader Spanish Fork, UT
    May 7, 2011 12:11 a.m.

    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.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    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!