Drew Rosenhaus Is the Gordon Gekko of Sports Agents
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking
madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech,
gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke
expresses his anger at the guy who inspired Jerry Maguire.
So-called sports superagent Drew
Rosenhaus has made millions of dollars exploiting African-American
professional football players, so you'd think he would give his
clients some pretty decent financial advice.
But you'd be wrong.
In the February issue of GQ, celebrity wide receiver Terrell Owens claims Rosenhaus recommended a lawyer and an investment firm that lost him millions of dollars. The lawyer, whom T.O. has sued, allegedly pushed him to invest $2 million on an ill-fated Alabama casino entertainment complex that landed the developer and an Alabama legislator in jail on bribery charges. Plus T.O. violated the NFL's policy prohibiting players from investing in gambling.
T.O. blames his agent. I'm not surprised. Rosenhaus, a University of Miami alum and North Miami native, burned Owens in 2005 when the wide receiver was booted off the Philadelphia Eagles. During a news conference, a Philly reporter accurately pointed out, "Drew, what have you done for T.O. -- other than get him kicked off the team?"
The outspoken wide receiver wasn't the only Rosenhaus client to get suckered in the Alabama deal. Former University of Miami standouts Clinton Portis and Roscoe Parrish also lost millions of dollars thanks to Drew's financial references.
Rosenhaus is the Gordon Gekko of the NFL, preaching a greed-is-good philosophy to the players he represents. The man who inspired Tom Cruise's Jerry Maguire character recklessly offers young black men the world. He'll throw a kid $50,000 just to sign with him and promise a house on Star Island. Instead of teaching his clients how to be responsible with their money, Rosenhaus shows them that football is all about living large. He sells only the glitz and glamour.
Rosenhaus has accumulated a net worth of $65 million by hustling football players from South Florida and those who attended the University of Miami. With a clientele that is 99 percent African-American, Rosenhaus has made it a habit to prey on poor families from the inner city. Heck, Miami Northwestern, Miami Jackson, Miami Central, and all the other local high school football powerhouses might as well find him a locker for all the time he has spent wooing former student athletes from those schools. Right now, he's signed Northwestern alums Sean Spence, Marcus Fortson and Jacory Harris.
Yet he has never donated a dime to the youth programs in Overtown or Liberty City. He has never bought a helmet or a single book for the kids who could eventually end up on his client roster.
I'm sick and tired of Rosenhaus getting rich off the African-American community. He needs to give back. He can start by teaching football players from an early age about fiscal responsibility and saving for a rainy day, as well as raising money for the youth program and the alumni associations of inner city high schools.
Or Rosenhaus may just find himself locked out of getting any more players from Miami-Dade County.
Follow Luke on Twitter @unclelukereal1.
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