Sports Illustrated's 'Confessions Of An Agent' Targets Ryan Leaf, Leon Bender

Former Washington State players Ryan Leaf and Leon Bender were named in a Sports Illustrated report based on allegations by former NFL agent Josh Luchs. Many players from the 1997 Rose Bowl team were given benefits, according to Luchs.

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Cougfan.com: Ryan Leaf Responds To Sports Illustrated Article

Ryan Leaf was prominently mentioned in the Sports Illustrated article centering on allegations by former agent Josh Luchs. Luchs alleged Leaf took around $10,000 in benefits, including cash to pay off a credit card debt, a trip to Las Vegas and a monthly stipend totaling of around $500.

Now retired from the NFL and away from football, Leaf has been working in Canada as a business development manager and now lives in Montana again. He’s also taken up writing, penning columns for Washington State fansite Cougfan.com. They caught up with him today and he responded to the allegations by email, which was posted on the Cougfan message boards:

He (Josh) was a friend of a friend who liked to pick up the tab. We were just kids having fun. Of course, now, as an adult it’s clear that even talking with him was a very stupid thing to do, let alone going on spring break to Las Vegas. I can say, though, that much of what I read in Josh’s reflections was news to me, actually bordering on bizarre in some spots.

You can read the rest of his response here. He admits he was immature and, knowing the lessons he’s learned since then, he wouldn’t follow the same path or associate with Luchs. However, his response still leaves the issue murky as he doesn’t deny Luchs’ allegations but does admit Luchs picked up the tab at times.

Leaf also apologizes for WSU being portrayed in an unfavorable way in the national media today. It’s clear now, and from his actions in the recent past, that he cares greatly about the opinion of fans and alumni of Washington State.

Leaf’s statements fall in line with what Dave Muir said earlier today on 950 KJR. They both maintain neither knew Luchs was an agent and that he was simply a friend of a friend.

We’ll have more from Leaf as it becomes available.

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Dave Muir Responds to Sports Illustrated Allegations

Dave Muir, mentioned in the Sports Illustrated story about agents and improper benefits, was on 950 KJR with Ian Furness this afternoon and responded to the allegations that Ryan Leaf took money while at WSU.

Muir stated he was Leaf’s roommate and categorically denied the allegations, saying he spent "every waking moment" with Leaf and that the allegations are "completely false." Muir said the two were "barely getting by" and would take Gatorade from the team because they were that broke.

He also elaborated on the relationship Luchs had with Leaf and other players, saying he had no idea Luchs was an agent and thought he was "just a 20-year-old with some disposable income." He got the impression Luchs was a "hanger-on of football players" and nothing more.

When asked about the trip to Las Vegas, he said the trip "wasn’t some extravagant getaway as it’s been portrayed" and that they shared rooms at Harrah’s, spending as little money as possible.

Muir was angry about the allegations, calling Ryan "an easy target after his career in the NFL and the way it played out." He was most outraged about Leon Bender’s name "being dragged through the mud" and it was "tasteless and classless to bring up his name." Bender passed away after leaving Washington State.

Muir hypothesized that Luchs was "making one last gasp at a career and trying to make money" off the story by dragging former players through the mud. He admitted knowing Luchs, but said there was no indication Luchs was an agent.

Muir joins Torrey Hunter in denying the accusations. Singor Mobley, also a former Washington State player, has admitted to taking improper benefits from Luchs.

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