Charles Barkley admitting that he took money from agents during his time at Auburn isn’t some sort of major revelation. Barkley revealed as much before in an interview in 2010 with Dan Patrick.
But Barkley made some interesting remarks on accepting money from agents and his motivations in an interview set to air this weekend on WBRC.
“I got some cash from agents,” Barkley said on “In Depth with Graham Bensigner,” which will air Saturday. “I’ve talked to the NCAA. I think that should be legal. I want some money too, everybody else is making money. I want to go on dates. I want to go buy myself some new suits. I want to buy myself some new sneakers, and I paid the agents back.”
Barkley said that taking money from agents helped him stay in school instead of leaving early. The money enabled him to live more comfortably while still in school.
“I think the most I took was $20,000. It made me stay in school another year. $20,000 is not a lot of money, but I was able to do some stuff for my mother and grandmother and I had some spending money. I’m cool. I don’t have to go into the real world of the NBA after one college season,” Barkley said in the interview.
“Most of these kids leave school for money,” Barkley said. “What’s wrong with an agent letting me borrow some money, so I can give it to my mom and do some stuff I want to do? He’s making me stay in school by lending me money. The bank’s going to charge me interest. He’s helping me. I understand (he wants to represent me professionally) but I think more kids would stay in school.”
The outspoken Barkley makes some interesting points regarding kids staying in school with a little bit of help from agents. If some players had even a little bit of spending money from agents to entice them to continue their education and enhance their lives long-term rather than prematurely jump into professional basketball then it could help a few players out.
But this sort of thing is such a delicate balance to deal with, and as Barkley points out, agents are doing this to land business. Either way, the NCAA will never allow this sort of thing to fly as agents are often viewed as a major public enemy in the cause of amateur athletics.