STUART, Fla. - On the heels of explosive news about an elaborate hoax targeting star Notre Dame football player Manti Te'o, Palm City-based pro sports agent Mark Rodgers said the incident could hurt his image.
"Certainly becomes a factor because it goes to his credibility, it goes to his veracity, and then you wonder about why, what the intent was," said Rodgers.
Rodgers has represented high-level sports clients for more than a decade, including Scott Proctor, who just signed with the San Francisco Giants.
Rodgers said always athletes have to worry about their image.
"Character is an issue," he said. "An NFL owner, any owner of a franchise is worried about their credibility. They're selling tickets to fans."
Scott Proctor, a pitcher, said as a professional athlete, he knows firsthand that the spotlight will always be on you-- and your actions will be under scrutiny.
"Whether you like it or not, you are a role model," said Proctor. "A lot of people say, oh, I'm not a role model, I'm just an athlete, it's what I do. But, you know, it's the way you go about your business."
Rodgers said one of his own sons attended Notre Dame with Manti Te'o, and fans shouldn't be too quick to judge him until all the facts come to light.
But if Te'o was more than a victim, Rodgers said it could hurt his market value during the NFL draft.
"We are a very forgiving country, he has a chance to rehabilitate if any of this is true," said Rodgers. "If it's not true, the outpouring of sympathy for what he's been through might actually enhance his value."