Former Agent Josh Luchs confesses about giving money to NFL players, Janet Jackson tickets to Ogden

October 13, 2010 | Ryan Chell

Several players he dealt with had ties to the Baltimore area. Future Ravens starting quarterback Tony Banks received several hundred dollars a month from Luchs. Longtime Ravens All-Pro tackle and future Hall-of-Famer Jonathan Odgen, before entering the draft out of UCLA, declined a similar offer in cash but did go with Luchs to see Janet Jackson in concert with tickets Luchs received.

And his relationship with longtime player-agent Gary Wichard, now in the headlines for his sketchy relationship with both ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. and North Carolina assistant coach John Blake, has also brought about more questions regarding some of Wichard’s clients, who include other prominent Ravens like tight end Todd Heap and LB Terrell Suggs, both at Arizona State.

Wichard allegedly used his position and his relationship with Kiper to set up “random” phone calls with one of his potential targets in a client. Wichard and a prospect would be in a room, Kiper would supposedly call into Wichard’s office, and he would be placed on speaker. Wichard would say, “I’m with the best defensive end in the country,” when Kiper would respond with the player’s name who was sitting in the office with the agent at the time.

Luchs said he saw this firsthand and he knows that it occurred.

“What I said in the story I stand by,” Luchs said.  “There were more than one pre- arranged phone call and it certainly helped Gary’s credibility, and it is what it is.”

Luchs, working as a younger assistant to Wichard, helped him sign guys like Suggs, Heap and USC running back Justin Fargas, who made his NFL career in Oakland. But when a legal battle between Leigh Steinberg and his assistant David Dunn brought waves through the agency field, Wichard grew skeptical of his own relationship with Luchs and began to criticize, humiliate and undermine him on a consistent basis.

It forced Luchs to go his separate ways with Wichard, and since Luchs has come forthright about telling what he and other agents did, he has used Wichard as his top example of how sketchy some of these practices are.