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Jets WR Holmes: I didn't take money from any agents in college

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Santonio Holmes denied Wednesday that he told a former sports agent during a recruiting visit fiveyears ago that he already was taking money from another agent during his college career.

Josh Luchs told Sports Illustrated for its Oct. 18 edition that he paid more than 30 players from 1990 to 1996, including many who didn't sign with him. The New York Jets wide receiver, one of the more prominent players named in the story, insisted that he and Luchs never had a meeting.

"I don't know him," Holmes said. "I've never met him. Don't care to know him."

Luchs said he and an associate met with Holmes, then at Ohio State, in 2005, but the wide receiver told him he already was receiving financial support from another agent.

"Listen, I want to save you the time," Luchs said Holmes told him. "We don't need to meet. I've been taking money from (an agent) the last couple years, and he's been taking care of my family too."

Holmes told the magazine that Luchs' claims are untrue, and he reiterated in the Jets' locker room after practice Wednesday that he never took money from any agent.

"I'm in my fifth year in the NFL, I'm a Super Bowl MVP," said Holmes, in his first season with New York after four seasons in Pittsburgh. "I have not been to the table to take any money from anybody, from any team, and I asked to take money from a guy that I don't even know? Seriously? That's self-explanatory."

Luchs was suspended for a year by the NFL Players Association in 2007 over the handling of a commission check. He said he's telling his story now because "I don't want my career to be defined by that suspension."

Luchs said quarterback Ryan Leaf, the second pick in the 1998 draft by the San Diego Chargers, took more than $10,000, most of which he voluntarily paid back after signing with another agent. Luchs told the magazine that among other players he paid were first-round draft picks Jamir Miller and Chris Mims.

Luchs said he didn't pay players while working with Gary Wichard, the agent linked to the investigation of NCAA violations at North Carolina.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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