The San Diego Chargers yesterday announced the signing of running back Gary Anderson, who was granted a temporary restraining order voiding his U.S. Football League contract with the Tampa Bay Bandits.
Anderson sued his agent, Jerry Argovitz, on the grounds that Argovitz conspired to deliver him to the Bandits as a condition for the USFL's granting a Houston franchise to Argovitz.
Anderson was the Chargers' first-round choice in the NFL draft and the New Jersey Generals' No. 1 choice in the USFL draft. The Bandits acquired the Generals' rights.
Anderson, who signed a five-year, $2.375 million contract with the Bandits in May, said in an affadavit filed with a federal judge in Houston that he "paid Dr. Argovitz $96,250 to, in effect, deliver me to the lower bidder in exchange for a professional football team of his own."
"There is absolutely no truth to the allegation and I am sure Gary knows that," Argovitz said through a spokesman.
The judge set Aug. 14 for a hearing on the suit. Anderson seeks damages of $289,000, and an order voiding the Tampa contract.
Anderson said offers made to him were misrepresented by Argovitz. Anderson claims he was told San Diego offered $975,000 over three years, but Anderson said he later was told by Chargers' officials that the offer made through Argovitz was higher than the Tampa offer.
Argovitz was awarded a USFL expansion franchise, named the Houston Gamblers, last spring. John Bassett, owner of the Bandits, was chairman of the USFL expansion committee, an affidavit attached to the suit said.