Originally created 11/04/99

Man arrested for bribing LSU coach



BATON ROUGE, La. -- A man claiming to be an NFL agent's representative offered LSU assistant Mike Haywood $30,000 for help signing nose guard Anthony McFarland before last spring's draft, authorities said.

Randall Menard was charged with bribery Wednesday for his alleged effort to sign McFarland, who went on to become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' No. 1 draft pick, LSU police Capt. Ricky Adams said.

Menard said he was representing William "Tank" Black, a prominent sports agent from Columbia, S.C., according to a police affidavit filed in connection with his arrest.

Menard, 34, of Breaux Bridge, La., was also accused of offering $10,000 to LSU academic counselor Verge Ausberry to help convince Mark Roman, a standout LSU defensive back, to forgo his senior year and turn professional, the affidavit said.

Roman and LSU starting safety Clarence LeBlanc also acknowledged discussions with Menard, the affidavit said.

Florida police last week filed a sworn complaint against Black, accusing him and an employee of violating that state's agent law by illegally recruiting Florida players.

Black was not charged in Louisiana, but Adams said the case is still under investigation.

Roman was declared ineligible to play for LSU Oct. 21 while the school looked into allegations of innapropriate contact with a sports agent. LeBlanc was declared ineligible Wednesday after police announced Menard's arrest.

In addition to the two counts of bribery, Menard was booked for acting as an unlicensed or unregistered agent and with illegal contact with athletes during their college eligibility. He was released after posting a $10,000 bond.

Menard's lawyer, Lewis Unglesby, said he didn't believe Menard worked for Black and that Menard will be cleared.

"When the truth comes out, he will be vindicated," Unglesby said, declining to offer specifics.