On November 23, 2011, a former NC State football player named Eric Leak received a letter from Deborah A. Yow, Director of Athletics at NC State University. Typically, you do not want to receive a letter from Yow – she is well known in the sports agent community for the “warning letter” she penned in 2010, which promised legal action against any agents found to have been recruiting NC State student-athletes. The letter that Leak received was a “disassociation letter” (embedded at the bottom of this article) that referenced Leak’s former contributions (in the form of rent payments) and lending of a vehicle to student-athletes. The impermissible benefits were provided to NC State basketball players C.J. Leslie and Tracy Smith. In the letter, Yow said that NC State was choosing to disassociate itself from Leak and his businesses for a period of 10 years. Included in this disassociation is the following:
6) No contact with our current and future student-athletes in all sports for any purpose during the period of disassociation. This ban extends to all forms of in-person contact and all known or future methods of communication.
An experienced business manager to NFL prospects first informed Sports Agent Blog that Leak is still very much involved in the affairs of NC State University student-athletes, and is reportedly running the agent process for David Amerson, a true Junior who amassed 13 interceptions last season at the CB position, setting an ACC record. The business manager told Sports Agent Blog that he received confirmation of Leak’s continuing association with NC State players from multiple current student-athletes that he is managing. Those players have said that Amerson’s mother is directing all football agents to Leak. If the allegations are true, Leak’s actions could be in direct contravention to the disassociation letter written by Yow.
In an interview for this article, the business manager provided a detailed account of a sports agent that traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for the NC State season opener against Tennessee on August 31 of this year. The details have since been confirmed by the agent.
The agent decided to travel to Atlanta after first speaking with Amerson’s family a couple times, which included a phone call with Amerson’s mother. He then received a phone call from a man named Damon McNair, who held himself out as a manager/marketing agent. In fact, McNair is listed as the President/CEO/ Athlete Representative at Atlantic Sports & Marketing. McNair had allegedly told this agent that he was friends with Eric Leak and that the two of them were helping Amerson with his agent selection process.
The agent embarked on his journey to Atlanta with the intention of meeting McNair in person (the agent confesses that he had not remembered meeting McNair previously, but McNair said that the two had connected at the NFL Combine). When the agent entered the room where the meeting was to be held, he was met by McNair, Eric Leak, and two other unknown individuals. Prior to the meeting, the agent had run a Google search on Leak, but had no clue that Leak would be in attendance. “I get there and I think it’s just going to be [Damon],” said the agent. “I walk in and there are four people sitting in this room and I have no clue who they are. It was clear they were in other meetings before that.”
Without a doubt there will be questions as to what Leak’s role has been and continues to be in David Amerson’s agent selection process, and whether such role violates Deborah A. Yow’s instructions in the November 23, 2011 letter.