You may know Luther Campbell as "Uncle Luke" from 2 Live Crew, but to sports fans he's probably best known as the Godfather of The U. When he speaks on Miami football, people listen. So when he speaks on Drew Rosenhaus--arguably the NFL's most infamous agent, and a man who built his star-studded client roster largely on the strength of his connection to the University of Miami--it's not something to take lightly.The latest profile in GQ struck a chord with Uncle Luke, in part because so many Terrell Owens' problems can be traced back to Rosenhaus. So Luke took to his column at the Miami New Times to set the record straight, and he does not mince words.
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. 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 at those schools wooing the athletes he now represents. 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.
He's wrong about one thing--the inspiration for Jerry Maguire was actually another agent named Leigh Steinberg, not Rosenhaus--but he sure makes some good points with just about everything else he mentions. Most importantly, aside from the way Rosenhaus does or doesn't advise his clients, there's something pretty stomach-churning about a guy who's spent more than a decade making millions of dollars off the same tiny neighborhoods in Miami, only to turn a blind eye to the poverty and crime that's attacks the soul of those neighborhoods on a daily basis.
If Rosenhaus responds, I'm sure it'll be with a litany of photo-ops listed as proof of his committment to charity. But if you've followed Luke over the years, he's not the sort of guy to twist the truth or play politics. He's not a rapper or a booster anymore, just a high school football coach who occasionally gives parenting tips to bloggers. If Luther Campbell says Rosenhaus hasn't donated a dime to the children of Miami, then here's to betting that Drew Rosenhaus hasn't donated a dime.
The question is, considering we're talking about an agent who once wrote a book calling himself a shark, wouldn't Rosenhaus consider the Gordon Gekko comparison a compliment?
And that's the problem. Read the rest of Luke's piece here.