Kent B. Amos, former chairman of the athletic advisory board at the University of the District of Columbia, confirmed this week that he had called professional basketball teams on behalf of UDC student Michael Graham, but said he was not Graham's agent and was only trying to help him as a friend.
Amos, who resigned at UDC Nov. 6 because he was forming a sports management business, said he had known Graham for years and made the calls after Graham told him he was considering dropping out of school.
"The kid was getting ready to quit school, and I said, 'Before you do that you should know some things,' " Amos said. "I am not his agent. I made a point of not doing anything that could get this boy in trouble."
UDC officials said they were conducting an internal inquiry to determine whether Graham's status as an amateur had been jeopardized. NCAA rules prohibit student athletes from having agents.
Confusion over Graham's status arose last week after the general manager of the Albany Patroons, a Continental Basketball Association team, told The Washington Post the club had signed Graham for $5,000- $6,000 a year. The Associated Press also had reported Graham's signing.
On Monday, Graham called The Post and said he never had talked to the Patroons or signed with them. Yesterday, Patroons General Manager Gary Holle denied ever saying Graham had signed. "I said we knew he was available, we liked him, and we would like to sign him," Holle said. "Word came into the office (that he was available)."
Graham played on the national championship team at Georgetown University as a freshman in 1984 but later was dropped because of what Coach John Thompson described as "academic inconsistencies." Graham transferred to UDC in January, and he has practiced with the team, but was ruled ineligible to play until at least the 1986-87 season. UDC officials have said Graham needs to complete two successive semesters with 12 credit hours of courses before he can play.
UDC Athletic Director Sidney Hall said that earlier this week he asked Graham to see him Thursday but Graham failed to show.
"I'd like to get him in and see me so we can have a discussion and he can indicate in writing that he doesn't have an agent and never had one, and then it's case closed as far as I'm concerned," Hall said.
John H. Britton, acting associate vice president for university relations, said Graham visited his office Wednesday. "I asked him if he ever had made a written or oral agreement with any agent, and he said no. We are not going to proceed in any direction based on newspaper reports. We have to get all the facts to know where we stand."
Britton said Amos sent a letter, dated Nov. 6, to acting UDC president Claude A. Ford tendering his resignation as chairman of the athletic board because he was forming a new company, Super Star Agency, "and feel that continuing to serve on the advisory board is a conflict of interest."
Amos, corporate director of urban affairs for Xerox Corp., has sponsored a tutorial program for disadvantaged inner city youths for years. Amos said that because he was getting into the sports management business, he was particularly careful not to represent himself to any professional teams as Graham's agent.
"I've got enough sense to know that," Amos said. "Anyone should know that it ain't enough money there to make it worth my while."