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Agent Implicates 7 More Athletes

December 15, 1987

Sports agent Jim Abernethy, whose activities have cost two college athletes their eligibility, has named seven more players who have signed contracts with him.

The seven include football players scheduled to start in four of the top holiday bowl games.

Abernethy told the Atlanta Constitution he signed Auburn senior defensive back Kevin Porter, Texas A & M senior offensive tackle Tony Bartley, A & M junior fullback Melvin Collins, Texas Christian senior defensive back John Booty and TCU junior wide receiver Wayne Waddy.

Abernethy also said either he or an associate, Gary Wilson, has had dealings with Clemson senior defensive tackle Michael Dean Perry, younger brother of William Perry of the Chicago Bears, South Carolina senior wide receiver Sterling Sharpe and Auburn junior defensive tackle Tracy Rocker.

"I don't have contracts on those guys," Abernethy said. "But based on (National Collegiate Athletic Assn.) rules, Perry shouldn't have been eligible this season."

Porter is to start for Auburn in the Sugar Bowl, Bartley for A & M in the Cotton Bowl, Perry for Clemson in the Citrus Bowl and Sharpe for South Carolina in the Gator Bowl.

Football players Riccardo Ingram of Georgia Tech and Tony Jeffery of TCU both lost their eligibility last month for signing with Abernethy. It is a violation of NCAA rules to sign with a sports agent before a college athlete's eligibility has expired.

Abernethy also said he has signed two Memphis State basketball starters, junior center Marvin Alexander and sophomore forward Sylvester Gray. Both were suspended by the school Monday.

Abernethy said he signed most of the players to contracts during the summer. He said they called for signing bonuses and monthly payments ranging from $300 to $1,100.

In addition, there were performance bonuses, for such things as interceptions and scoring touchdowns.

Abernethy says he has quit being an agent and has put the athletes' contracts up for sale.

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