San Francisco 49ers star Jerry Rice sued a sports management firm for mo
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ San Francisco 49ers star Jerry Rice sued a sports management firm for more than $250,000 Wednesday and included as defendants several fellow athletes who he said induced him to sign with the firm.
Rice, an All-Pro wide receiver in his second National Football League season, said in the U.S. District Court suit that the firm of Sports Plus Inc. failed to manage his money properly or give him competent advice.
In addition, he said, one of the firm’s officers, Everett Glenn Jr., took money in Rice’s trust account for his own use and for the use of the firm in recruiting more athletes.
Glenn could not be reached for comment.
The other athletes named in the suit are NFL players Willie Gault of the Chicago Bears, Anthony Hancock of the Kansas City Chiefs, Paul Lankford of the Miami Dolphins and Gil Byrd of the San Diego Chargers, and Clark Kellogg of the National Basketball Association’s Indiana Pacers.
Rice said their status as directors of Sports Plus persuaded him to sign with the firm in 1984, though it was Glenn who actually recruited him.
The suit said the sports figures had a duty to investigate the background and qualifications of the firm’s managers, ″as well-known public figures and professional athletes idolized, emulated and looked to for guidance by young, inexperienced athletes such as and including Rice.″
By failing to properly investigate or supervise the firm, they contributed to Rice’s losses, the suit alleged.
Rice said he signed with the firm to represent him in contract negotiations and endorsements, and to receive his salary payments from the 49ers and hold them for favorable tax treatment.
The suit said Rice learned that money was missing from his trust account in December 1985, just before a playoff game that the 49ers lost to the New York Giants.
He said he met with officials of the firm, who signed a note to repay him $145,000 but have since defaulted.