SBD/January 19, 2012/Labor and Agents

Leigh Steinberg Opens Up About Bankruptcy Filing, Claims Complete Responsibility

NFL agent Leigh Steinberg yesterday gave his first television interview since filing for Chapter 7 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court last week in what CNBC's Amanda Drury called a "very candid" discussion. Steinberg repped Pro Football HOFers Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Warren Moon and Bruce Smith, among others, and CNBC's Darren Rovell said to him, “Assuming you did more than $2 billion in deals, we're talking $60 million-plus in commissions over the course of your career. How could this possibly happen?” Steinberg: “I take responsibility for all of the debt and I take responsibility for my alcoholism, which exacerbated the situation. No one forced me to drink. No one forced me to make bad investments. I'm responsible." He said his company "lost money in the Internet crash of 2000," followed by his divorce, which he claims was the "beginning of a slippery slope for me which further diluted the assets." Steinberg said, “When I was no longer certified, which happened when I did not reapply in 2007, I lost my chief ability to make money, and I still had a large office, a large staff. ... I was not a good steward and then when I started to descend into alcoholism, what happened was that I checked out episodically for a day or two." He added, "The debts kept piling up and we didn't have revenue to deal with them. Finally in March of 2010 I crashed." Rovell noted Steinberg had said he “will continue to represent clients." Steinberg said, "I still believe I can make a difference in people's lives” (“Street Signs,” CNBC, 1/18).
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