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Newspaper: Note Links Loans to Billy Joe Hobert to Pro Football Future

December 3, 1992

SEATTLE (AP) _ Suspended Washington quarterback Billy Joe Hobert agreed to pay back an Idaho businessman as much as $110,000 for $50,000 in loans, based on future earnings as a pro football player, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

In a promissory note dated July 24, Hobert said he would pay 1.5 percent ″of any future monies received on a pro football contract″ up to a maximum of $110,000, The Seattle Times reported.

As an alternative, the agreement said Hobert would be allowed to pay $65,000 within two months of signing a pro contract.

The note was later voided, but served as key evidence in the university’s November decision to suspend the star quarterback for violating NCAA rules. The NCAA prohibits a college player from obtaining loans based on his potential earnings as a professional athlete.

A copy of the note was handed over to The Times, along with interview transcripts and other records from a joint university-Pacific 10 Conference investigation, after the newspaper requested the documents under Washington’s public disclosure law.

According to those records, Hobert signed a another promissory note on July 27 that required him to pay 10 percent annual interest on the $50,000 and set no payback schedule. It made no mention of Hobert’s future professional earnings.

But Charles Rice, the man who loaned Hobert the money, did not write ″void″ on July 24 note until the first week of November, when news of the improper loan became public, the Times reported.

Rice said the July 24 note was voided because it inaccurately stated the amount of the total loan as $25,000 instead of $50,000. Rice said he considered the July 24 document voided although it was not marked as such.

Hobert said he was aware that such loans were improper, but did not read the four-paragraph note when he signed it and had it notorized.

In a letter sent to Hobert in July, Rice called the quarterback a ″bottomless pit″ and said he had a ″voracious appetite″ for money.

Hobert was suspended from the Huskies in early November after it was revealed he borrowed $50,000 with no collateral from Rice, the father-in-law of a good friend. Hobert, 21, said he spent the money on cars, guns, stereo equipment and a few lavish weekends.

Hobert had a 17-0 record as Washington’s starting quarterback, but lost the job earlier this season to senior Mark Brunell because of inconsistent play. Hobert has said he will attempt to regain his NCAA eligibility, but if that fails he will enter next year’s NFL’s draft.

Rudy Finne, Rice’s son-in-law and a friend of Hobert’s, suggested the quarterback ask Rice for a loan when Hobert complained he was debt. Hobert told investigators he had $17,000 in debt around the time of last January’s Rose Bowl.

Hobert received the $50,000 from Rice in three installments; $25,000 in April, $15,000 in May and $10,000 in July.

Rice, a nuclear scientist who lives in Idaho Falls, Idaho, became upset with Hobert when the quarterback went back a third time for money.

In the letter dated July 12, Rice said the $40,000 Hobert had so far received was four times as much money as Rice had ever lent one of his children.

″What are you offering me?″ Rice wrote. ″An unspecified increase in interest on an unsecured loan 3/8 On the basis of one evening’s acquaintance and Rudy’s friendship with you 3/8 Based on what appears to be your voracious appetite for money, $17,500 per month, it appears I have befriended a bottomless pit.″

A check for $10,000 was enclosed with the letter.

Rice told investigators he believed Hobert was ″a nice young fellow who had gotten in over his head in debt and he deserved a chance to get out of it.″ Rice also said he hoped the money would help Hobert patch up his marriage.

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