More on the Lawson at Outback Rumor

A clarification from the author.

The Offensive Board has issued a clarification since everyone, myself included, pointed out a huge hole in the story and that was the insistence the meeting happened on Thursday night.

UPDATE: Just to make some clarifications re: the original post and to help alleviate some jabs to my credibility.

According to my source, Lawson arrived at Outback around 9:45 p.m. and stayed until at least 10:15 p.m. He was seated at “table 1.” Lawson at position 1, agent at position 2, father across table at position 3.

While seated, three kids sitting in the lounge with their father that got up upon seeing him and asked for his autograph.

So, he WAS NOT THERE DURING THE BANQUET. He was there after.

Now it might turn out that Lawson and Ellington are going pro but I am still not buying this story because of certain questions.

1. Why meet in a public place at all?

The NCAA is clear. If Lawson so much as takes a Tic-Tac from an agent he is done with his college career so why risk the appearance of impropriety and appear in a place you would be known and risk the story coming out like this?  It just does not make sense and there are any number of ways to have this meeting without having it at the Outback in Durham where the player would be immediately recognized.

2. How do the eyewitnesses know it was an agent?

I admit this is a weak question on my part but it is possible the person in question was not an agent.  According to the account the people who saw him were sitting in the “lounge” area(which is another issue I have because where the heck is there a lounge at Outback?  Does he mean the bar area here?) and went over to the table to get an autograph.  So did Lawson say the guy was an agent?  Did the guy introduce himself as an agent?  Maybe he had a nameplate he carries with him since sitting in resturants is his office?  I am just saying that I am not sure how they knew or how they were able to relay parts of the conversation such as discussing his draft position being #21 if they were in the bar area.

3. Only a 30 minute meeting?

And not so much the meeting length but again the idea that if you are only going to touch base for 30 minutes, why not carry on the conversation via the phone or meet somewhere less public.  Sitting in the first table close to the front where the whole world can see you when you are engaging in an activity that could raise flags with the NCAA and jeopardize you eligibility to really, really stupid.

As I said, Lawson could very well be on his way out but this story just strikes me as odd.  Also, the fact he had to come back and clarify the timeline is red flag to me.  Why not include all the information from the get go instead of tossing it out with a lot of ambiguity?

While I am here let me say, if and I stress if this is true then Lawson gets full points for being stupid for having this meeting in an Outback in Durham.  Then again, the agent is equally stupid for agreeing to it which I why I have my doubts.


24 Responses to More on the Lawson at Outback Rumor

  1. Johnny says:

    If you’re going to sign with an agent you eat someplace fancy because the agent is buying. If you’re weighing your options and have to buy the meal yourself, you go to Outback or don’t eat anything. This is my “glass half full” view. 🙂

  2. Will says:

    Seems to me if he was leaving such a special occassion as the banquet, he probably went out with a friend or family member.

    Also, UNC has a very specific way it goes about helping its players obtain agents. Not that Ty isn’t his own boss, but this doesn’t sound like how out players normally do things.

  3. Tar Heel Fan says:

    “If you’re weighing your options and have to buy the meal yourself, you go to Outback or don’t eat anything.”

    But that is just it. You don’t go out with the agent at all. The appearance of such a thing is like Frodo putting on the ring, the Great Eye immediately focuses in on it. I think Will is correct. UNC has a certain procedure for such things and besides that meeting the guy at the very front table for 30 minutes in a Durham Outback simply ignores common sense IMO.

  4. 52BigGameJames says:

    and then there’s this:

    “I was told that they were discussing the draft and the number 21 was mentioned, presumably about the time the North Carolina point guard would be chosen.”

    wth? I guess he had one of those $19.95 tv-ad spy-mics? this stunk to high-heaven from the get-go.

  5. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Also, the “they went to Outback because the agent could not pay for them” theory does not work considering Lawson was allegedly only there for 30 mins. Is that enough time to order food and eat it at Outback? I do not think so but it may have been a slow night. Of course this begs the question: If you are only meeting for 30 minutes then why go to a place like Outback, why not just find a more private location to discuss whatever it is you are discussing.

  6. Will says:

    Maybe he thought that since the Outback is techically in Durham, no one would pay attention to him. 🙂

  7. Will says:

    Here’s a question I hope someone knows the answer to.

    If anyone decides to go pro this year, I am sure they will have a press conference. But if they all decide to stay, would they normally do a press conference? That is, if we hear there is a press conference, does that mean someone is leaving? I cannot recall a previous occassion where they had a press conference to announce someone was staying.

  8. cltheel says:

    This maybe a off the wall thought/said already, but why would you go eat right after you left the banquet? I would have thought you would be eating there. 🙂 Just having fun. I agree there are too many items that seem odd in the story.

  9. Chris says:

    What Ty really needs to do is replay the Kansas game, watch either a turnover or a blocked shot every time he drove to the basket, and then decide what he needs to do. The NBA is looking for big time big game players and he just hasn’t shown that yet. Actually what I think he’ll do is not hire an agent, go to the camps and get some feedback and then decide. It’s a no-lose situation for him in that scenario.

  10. 52BigGameJames says:

    and THAT, Chris, is why it seems absolutely ridiculous that there’s serious doubt about him leaving this year. Wayne, while having a couple of good games in the Tourney, needs a “Corey Brewer” type of run (next year) to put him in a strong position.

    I’m sorry but it really sort of pisses me off to see so many UNC fans buy into this “marginal float” situation. UNC (and it’s supporters) should be protectors of the integrity of the College game, not enablers of the bastardization, IMO.

    Gas expensive? Screw environmental standards and funded research…let’s just drill more holes–I have a right to my Hummer don’t I?

  11. Johnny says:

    True, it may be silly to be with an agent at all. But I assure you agents are on those kids like flies. I’ve been close to a few programs over the years and agents are always buddying up to kids. Some kids do a good job of pushing them away, and others enjoy the attention and the feeling of being an adult.

    Looking to the future, here’s a blurb on Henson from Rivals:

    “If anyone was keeping tabs on how many times the word wow was uttered on media row when watching John Henson on Saturday morning, there is a good chance the count would be pushing double digits.

    Henson scored 24 points in the early game, showing off his unreal potential on every bucket. There isn’t a longer player in the tournament field and Henson is starting to show he can be just as aggressive as he is smooth. The North Carolina bound big man just gets better and better and he’s looking like one of the true elite prospects in the class of 2009 here in Fayetteville. ”

  12. Josh Bowling says:

    BigGame and Chris, best posts for this topic I have seen yet. You guys are Right on the Money. Glad someone came out and said it straight. Good job BigGame!!!

  13. Josh Bowling says:

    Johnny, I have heard some compare John Henson to Kevin Durant. Both are long, athletic, and can pass, and score from inside & out.

  14. Tar Heel Fan says:

    ^Which is to say we get his services for one season.

  15. Wilson says:

    I’ll take a KD for one season. Pair him up with big Ed, Dexter, the Wears, Zeller, LarryD, Deon, Alex, Graves, and another shooter from the ’09 class…that excites me.

  16. 52BigGameJames says:

    well, I don’t pretend to know the answer, but it just seems that the whole process is being fundamentally flipped, and unless the NCAA figures out a way to deal with it more functionally, it is going to get worse, not better. These players have responsibilities to others, besides themselves, and if that isn’t apparent to you, then you don’t understand what a team-game is all about. NCAA hoops is a showcase, and a stepping stone to the next level, because it is a good product, not the other way around. Henson may indeed be a good player, but if I become convinced he and others are just going to be around for one or two years at the most, I am going to quickly lose interest…and I’m pretty sure there are others who feel the same. I hope his talent is all he’s got in common with Durant. does this trend not bother some of you? I don’t hink it too much of a stretch to see someone (Cal?) eventually promise a group of kids he’s the “one-n-done” guy—come play here–we’ll play for a NC and you’re garonteed to get a good look. Tark, Cal, Floyd, anyone–is that what we want?

  17. Dfrom Floirida says:

    On a totally different channel here. Am I the only one who missed that Tyler’s brother Ben is transferring from Mississippi State? Eveidently he announced it after MSU lost in the tournement.

  18. Tar Heel Fan says:


    Yeah…you are the only one who missed it. 😉

  19. tpharr says:

    I completely understand your position BigGame.

  20. Dominic says:

    I thought I saw a story a couple weeks ago that said the NBA is now requiring players to spend 2 years minimum before leaving, was that real, and when does it start?

    never mind, I did a google search, and found this story

    It says 2011-2012 would be a possible date for this to start 😦

  21. 52BigGameJames says:

    thanks for that link Dominic. a step in the right direction imo, and NOT for the reasons most often assumed!

  22. C. Michael says:

    Does the fact that there has not been a sniff of this rumor in the mainstream press kill it?

    Me thinks it does…

  23. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Possibly. I considered adding that in around 1 AM Sunday morning but I was too tired to assemble a coherent thought on it. On one side, the media leaves it alone because they have no desire to credit a blogger with a scoop and also because is Ty Lawson meeting an agent really a news story? The issue is what the media can prove within their own publication guidelines. In my estimation there is very little that can be proved outside of asking UNC(who will deny) and the people working at Outback. Of course the latter source could almost put it to rest completely. In fact I almost called that Outback to ask about the veracity of the story but decided they had jobs to do there and should not be bothered. However if someone in the media made the call and were told the story was untrue then that would kill it.

  24. I think the longer the big three goes without making an annoucement, the more likely it is that they stay.
    I can’t see Ellington leaving because there are so many other shooting guards out there that will get looks before he does. I like Ellington a lot and I think he’s one of the better shooters in the country, but I think he knows he needs to work on his defense and putting the ball on the floor to be more effective before he can be a big time draft pick.
    Lawson strikes me as the most likely to go, but Lawson also has a couple of things to work on as well. He’s already 5’11 but plays much shorter than that. The NBA is also very high on PG’s that can shoot from long range as well. I keep hearing people rip Hansbrough’s pro prospects, but I see Lawson being the weakest pro of the three. That’s just my opinion.
    Hansbrough needs to become a better shot blocker. Plain and simple. He’s got excellent hands, is a pretty good jump shooter, and is scary good from the free throw line. To me, I don’t understand why everyone thinks Hansbrough won’t be that good as a pro. Is he going to set scoring records? Of course not. However I think his prospects are a lot better than say a Joakim Noah or even a Greg Oden, but I digress.
    This stroy smells like BS to me. If Lawson (or anyone one of three) were leaving, they would have announced by now.

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