Some agents said today that Edwin Moses' potential earning power from commercial endorsements might not be as great as it was before his trial on a charge of soliciting sex from an undercover policewoman -- a charge he was acquitted of Friday.
"It's got to hurt him a little bit; it's just a question of degree," said Richard Moss of Los Angeles, who represents about 60 major league baseball players. "I think he has been irreparably damaged -- not nearly as badly as he would have been without the acquittal, but there will be lingering damage."
During the next decade, "There could be millions of dollars in endorsements that he might achieve or might not achieve depending on the community's reaction," football and baseball agent Richie Bry said by phone from St. Louis.
Baseball agent Tom Reich, however, strongly disagreed that Moses' money-making ability will be hurt, saying the track star "already has endorsements worth seven figures."
"If anything, Edwin Moses will emerge as an even larger hero than before," Reich said from Beverly Hills. " . . . If I were an advertiser and I could get a guy like Edwin Moses, I'd take him in a second. He could market my products any day."
It was announced today that Moses has been selected to present The Athletics Congress' 1984 Sullivan Award, which goes to the person voted the nation's outstanding amateur athlete. The ceremony will be Monday in Indianapolis.
Moses, 29, who won gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles in the 1976 Montreal Olympics and 1984 Los Angeles Games, was found innocent by a jury on the misdemeanor charge. Jurors said the prosecution failed to establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Moses could not be reached for comment, but issued a statement through Mobil Corp., which has hired him as a broadcaster for the USA/Mobil Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 22 in New York.
Moses said Mobil officials told him "they would use me no matter what the outcome of the trial was. That showed me a lot."
Moses has a major promotional contract with Adidas, which makes sportswear. Company spokesman Dave Fogelson said Friday the firm would have stuck with Moses regardless of the verdict, adding, "We believed in Edwin's integrity all along."