Kanavis McGhee: Did ex-CU standout start agent Josh Luchs on a path of paying players?

Update: Former CU standout Kanavis McGhee has reportedly come forward to deny that he asked for and accepted $2,500 from sports agent Josh Luchs, as the latter claimed in a high-profile Sports Illustrated article. McGhee is planning to formally apologize to the university for allowing athletic staffers to twist for several days while he decided to speak out, and his attorney is making demands for an SI retraction and threats about possible legal action.

More on the alleged McGhee-Luchs connection in our original item below, published on October 13.

Original item, October 13:

A lot of tell-alls feature the author confessing to bad behavior without naming others who allegedly participated in it. But that's not the case with "Confessions of an Agent," a piece about ex-sports agent Josh Luchs penned by Sports Illustrated's George Dohrmann.

"I will never forget the first time I paid a player," Luchs says at the outset of the article, which appears in SI's October 18 edition. And the baller in question? Former CU Buffs standout Kanavis McGhee, who allegedly brought up the issue of dough, after which he figuratively gave Luchs the Heisman.

According to Luchs, his initiation into paying college players began when he flew from L.A. to Denver before the 1990 season to chat up McGhee, who he describes as "a big, pass-rushing linebacker who was expected to be a high pick in the 1991 NFL draft." At the time, Luchs was just twenty years old, "the youngest agent ever certified by the NFL Players Association," with less than a year's experience in the agenting game, but plenty of optimism that he could talk McGhee into signing with him.

However, McGhee, Luchs maintains, had other things on his mind. After they sat down together, the player allegedly told him, "I need some help. My mom lost her job and she's sick and she hasn't been able to make her rent. If I don't come up with $2,500, she is going to get evicted from her apartment."

In response, Luchs recalls telling McGhee he needed to think about such an investment -- but he ultimately decided to withdraw $2,500 in cash from his bar mitzvah fund and fork it over. And although McGhee was effusive in his praise, Luchs asserts that his beneficence backfired. Shortly thereafter, he says he got a call from one of McGhee's teammates wanting $2,500, too -- supposedly because his dad was sick. As for McGhee, Luchs claims that he "took my money and then never answered my calls when it came time for him to pick an agent."

McGhee was eventually drafted in the second round by the New York Giants, for whom he played for two seasons. Brief stints with Cincinnati and Houston followed, with this days as an NFL player done by the close of the 1995 season.

The end of the article features a long list of responses from individuals named in the piece -- the first being McGhee. It reads: "When informed of the allegation that he had accepted money from Luchs, Kanavis McGhee asked SI to call back the next day. He did not return subsequent phone and e-mail messages from SI."

Click here to read "Confessions of an Agent."

More from our Sports archives: "Colorado Eagles' Brad MacMillan: No charges but 22-game suspension in epic hockey fight."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts