Mel Kiper Jr. Denies Josh Luchs' Claims About Gary Wichard Relationship
In a wide-ranging, provocative, tell-all interview with Sports Illustrated about player payment and agent tampering in college football, Luchs claims Kiper, ESPN's draft expert, schemed with him and Wichard to woo potential clients, using the influence of Kiper's NFL draft rankings as incentive for players to sign on with Wichard and Luchs.
"Conversations with players, which are occasionally facilitated by agents, are a valuable way to get to know the players," Kiper responded in a statement. "These conversations have never compromised my integrity, and my 32-year record supports that."
"I don't shill for anybody," Kiper once told the Washington Post.
On ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning on Wednesday, Luchs touched on Kiper's involvement: "What Mel did do in these situations, whether he realizes it or not, he allowed himself to be used in the recruiting process."
Regardless of Kiper's response, ESPN is taking the situation seriously. They released a statement shortly after the Sports Illustrated story ran saying, "We just learned of the story today and are looking into it."