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The CHICAGO SUN-TIMES began a three-part profile of NFL agents in a special report titled, "The NFL's Real Players." The SUN-TIMES lists the Top 12 football agents: 1) LEIGH STEINBERG, TOM CONDON (tie); 3) MARVIN DEMOFF; 4) RALPH CINDRICH; 5) JIM STEINER; 6) DREW ROSENHAUS; 7) EUGENE PARKER; 8) FRANK BAUER; 9) LAMONT SMITH; 10) TONY AGNONE; 11) JIMMY SEXTON; and 12) BRAD BLANK (Dan Pompei, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/16). In Part II, "Black Agents On Rise," EUGENE PARKER addresses the challenges facing African-American agents (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/17). In Part III, "The Best in the Business," Pompei profiles Steinberg. Steinberg: "Sports is entertainment. The reason pro sports are popular is the public is exposed to them through newspapers and television. I tell my clients if they don't want to talk with the press and they disdain writers, they ought to play in a sandlot" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/18). MORE AGENTS IN THE SPOTLIGHT: BET's "Sports Report" featured BILL STRICKLAND, President of IMG Basketball, and LEN ELMORE, Founder/Pres. Precept Sports & Entertainment. Strickland, on criticism that he doesn't further the interests of African- American agents by working for IMG: "The opportunity presented itself to do what I wanted to do with a great deal of autonomy with a support of a number one company in the industry. Where I draw the line is how well do I do by my clients and I don't care who is supporting me in terms of resources." Elmore: "We see ourselves, particularly with African American athletes, as mentors who can provide counsel not only in the professional life, but in their life outside of professional sports" (BET, 4/15).
MAGIC JOHNSON said he wants to play for the USA Olympic Basketball team during the '96 Games (L.A. TIMES, 4/19)....NBA Senior VP ROD THORN was named to head an 11-member panel to pick players and coaches for next year's U.S. Olympic men's basketball team (Mult., 4/19)....LARRY DONEN was named VP/Properties and Retail for Northwest Entertainment Group. He will be responsible for the overall development strategies and consumer products for the Canucks, Grizzlies, and GM Place (Grizzlies)....LES KRANTZ, the author of the "Jobs Rated Almanac," reports the three highest-paying professions (on average): 1) Pro basketball player -- $1.561M; 2) Pro baseball player -- $1.119M; 3) Pro football player --$655,055 ("Today," NBC, 4/19)....HUBERT DAVIS, ANTHONY BONNER, MONTY WILLIAMS and HERB WILLIAMS of the Knicks played four-on-four against Letterman audience members last night (The audience won, 108-107). NBC's MARV ALBERT also made an appearance, presenting an "Albert Achievement Awards Embarrassing Moment" to an audience member who was hit in the head ("Late Night," CBS, 4/18).