Looks Like MLB Has Its Own Agent ScandalS

You don't need college sports to have agents currying the favor of amateurs with a nice cash payment. Now up: Scott Boras's company, which has allegedly been providing loans and payments to top Dominican prospects.

Without even explaining, you can probably guess the deal. Agents give the players money (in this case, "tens of thousands of dollars") for basics like food, rent, whatever. The players feel indebted, and in the case of loans, are literally indebted to the agents, and presumably retain them when they're making big bucks. Yes, it sounds exactly like the whole Reggie Bush scandal, only on a smaller scale. (A poor kid from the Dominican Republic isn't going to demand as much money as a kid from Southern California.)

One wonders if this will make much of an impact. The last big scandal from down there didn't cause much outrage. But, then, that one didn't involve Scott Boras, the whipping boy for everything economically wrong with baseball.

And what's extra fascinating is that just loaning money to prospects isn't illegal by itself:

According to the union's regulations governing agents, loans of more than $500 a year to players and their families are prohibited unless the purpose of the loan is disclosed to the union.

There's a warning in here for those who want to revamp college football and allow players to get paid, as long as its limited and transparent: it's an easy path from that to the under-the-table big bucks. But, then, it's going on anyway, without the intermediate step. Kids that have an in-demand skill are going to find a way to get paid, amateur status or not.

Sports Agent's Loans To Poor Players Pose Concerns [NY Times]