The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

Leigh Steinberg’s bankruptcy hits June Jones

After a blow up over Arizona State’s administration backing out of a head coaching deal with June Jones, Leigh Steinberg is now dealing with another issue.


At 62 years old, the ‘real-life’ Jerry Maguire sports agent finds himself in a spaghetti bowl of debt exceeding more than $3.1 million, according to AP reports.

Steinberg filed for personal-bankruptcy protection Wednesday.

Who does Steinberg owe money to?

Not just creditors, tax collectors and landlords. Steinberg’s bankruptcy trouble is also due in part to a debt of $450,000 to former NFL talent Chad Morton as well as a whopping $90,000 debt to long-time client and SMU head football coach June Jones, according to AP reports.

In December, Steinberg’s biggest problems were based on a last-minute break in a deal involving Jones and the Sun Devils.

While the agent lashed out on ASU via Twitter, Jones assured SMU that his move to ASU was not meant to leave the university feeling jaded.

According to Steinberg’s Twitter feed, @SteinbergSports, the agent stated, “Just had one of the most bizarre endings to a set of productive discussions to bring a client to a new situation.”   

Steinberg continued with his statements about the deal by saying, “Everything was set, few tweaks left, and the principal decision maker yanks the deal with no real explanation.”

The Sun Devils had no comment regarding Steinberg’s statements.

ESPN reported that despite the fall out with ASU, Jones was appreciative of the SMU community and their understanding of the situation.

“I can’t tell you how great they’ve been throughout all this. They understand completely that this is a business,” Jones said.

“Everybody was aware. I was open and honest with them about everything.”

While Steinberg’s fall out with the Arizona State administration seemed a big deal at the time, it is now the least of his concerns.

Through the years, Steinberg, the real-life inspiration for Tom Cruise’s film Jerry Maguire, has battled with alcoholism.

After his innovative role as a sports agent field in the mid-’80s-’90s, Steinberg was estimated to have a net worth of $100 million, according to AP reports.

However, due to rehab check-ins and numerous arrests for alcohol-related offenses, his life began to spiral downhill 10 years ago.

In response to filing for bankruptcy, Steinberg said, “The reality is that I’m 663 days sober today. The reality is, this all should have happened two years ago.”

Steinberg continued, “In other words, the scrutiny, bankruptcy, those stories are like two years after the fall; 663 days after my bomb, after I hit bottom…The wreckage we’re dealing with is wreckage from the years of drinking.”

With expired agent certification, Steinberg can no longer represent NFL players until he resolves his debts with Morton.  

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