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May 22, 2008

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private

I strongly disagree with your blanket defense of BDA, Bill Duffy and Calvin Andrews. I worked for years with Bill and BDA. I will state that, while Bill, at most times, is a great person, things are not always what they seem when money is involved. Let the facts play out. They are what they are.

Marc Isenberg

There is no question that I have given Duffy and Andrews the presumption of innocence. Yes the facts are what they are. But you contradict this point when you offer an anonymous opinion based on whatever credibility you think you have because you supposedly "worked for years with Bill and BDA."

Garrett Sanders

To Private...show yourself!!! When did Mark ever defend BDA??? He said they are good guys and we all need to slow down and let the process play out. Read all his posts on the subject...he's done a great job laying out the facts and not rushing to judgement. This is definitely not how most in the media and on internet have approached this story.

private

Let's be realistic here - "Higher power than I coming to Duffy defense". You are being an advocate for Bill. I was in the agent industry for many years and was glad to get out. In truth, I really liked Bill and viewed him as a mentor and friend. But, I must tell you that I am not surprised at all concerning the recent turn of events concerning BDA. Money oftentimes erodes integrity. By the way, I see no need to "reveal myself" to somehow prove my credibility. Let the facts play out. But remember, integrity is not something you act, it a part of what you are. Being nice is not the same as being honest.

Marc Isenberg

If the media was a real court (it's not!), I would be a character witness. Nothing more, nothing less. That is not a blanket defense, as some have suggested. I've watched this situation closely...ESPN's investigation did not document that the money came from BDA and its reps. This is a question for those involved with oversight of these matters.

outsider

Is it just the agent business or is it the whole business of basketball that has lost its moral compass??

private

Outsider - I certainly understand your concern. I am asked about the agent business all the time by those who know that I used to represent athletes. Even now I hear people say, why punish one Firm or agent when many agents pay runners and athletes? The key is that a system that ignores agent payments to amateur athletes creates fertile ground for success by those agents that are the most dishonest and the most willing to break rules. Resultantly, the point of emphasis consistently moves away from the athlete selecting the agent that has his true interests at heart. Allowing dishonesty also removes the competitive balance amongst agents allowing a few dominant agents to control the industry through economics versus performance. I am not passing judgment on Bill or Calvin, but it is critical that the rules that were implemented to protect our young athletes be enforced.

Marc Isenberg

I agree with much of what Private has written about the general state of the agent industry. I took issue with some of the specific comments made about BDA, but that's neither here, nor there. We're all better served by focusing on the overall problems and possible solutions.

I have repeatedly made the argument that elite athletes should not take money from agents and their reps...most recently on this blog...

Cheating accusations are not cheating...and why college athlete cheaters won't prosper
http://moneyplayers.typepad.com/blog/2008/05/cheating-accusa.html

and in my book, Money Players...
http://moneyplayers.typepad.com/blog/2008/02/a-game-llc-is-p.html

Unfortunately, there's a culture in sports that either looks the other way when cheating occurs (perhaps because everyone/most are cheating to some degree??) or is selectively enforced (one whistleblower with questionable motives shedding light on one situation is hardly going to root out the problem). There are definitely issues with agents that must be addressed, but I would add: 1) Not all agents are bad and 2) these problems run far deeper than just agents.

Good discussion. Thanks.

private

Marc - I agree to your last comment 100%. And, thanks for providing us a forum in which to voice these opinions.

Marc Isenberg

Private -- Appreciate your input. I believe strongly in due process and innocent until proven guilty...I am also committed to trying to figure out ways to improve basketball for the players. There will be much more written on this topic on Money Players.

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