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Volume 24 No. 158

Labor and Agents

NFL agent Leigh Steinberg filed for Chapter 7 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court yesterday, and then in a "revealing e-mail to friends and associates admitted to suffering from alcoholism for 'a number of years,'" according to Scott Reid of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Steinberg "was once viewed as the most powerful agent in sports and the inspiration" for the film "Jerry Maguire." His client list once included Pro Football HOFers Steve Young and Troy Aikman, and boxer Oscar De La Hoya. A "record eight of his clients [were] selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft." But recent years have been "tough both financially and personally for Steinberg." An Orange County Superior Court commissioner "authorized a failure to appear warrant for Steinberg last month related to a civil suit against him by the Irvine Co.," which was awarded $1.4M "in unpaid rent for Steinberg's Newport Beach office" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/12). Steinberg said that he "takes responsibility for debts of several million dollars." He added that prospective clients "have been pushed away after hearing of his debts." Steinberg: "It doesn't seem logical to prevent a person who owes you money from working in their chosen field by attempting to ruin his reputation, but that is what has happened" (AP, 1/11).