Looks as if Eagles' McCoy owes bar a refund, fans an apology

Posted: March 25, 2011

WE'RE JUST 2 weeks into the NFL lockout, but a day doesn't seem to go by without the players doing something else stupid to hurt their public-relations cause.

When the leaders of the trade association formerly known as a union weren't reportedly encouraging the top draft prospects to just say no to the league's invitation to come to New York with their families for the draft, misguided players like Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Eagles fullback Leonard Weaver were comparing themselves to slaves, albeit ones making millions of dollars.

And then there's LeSean McCoy.

Just hours after the NFL Players Association filed for decertification on March 11, the Eagles running back alienated hundreds of football fans in Northeast Pennsylvania when he failed to show for a meet-and-greet and autograph signing in Ashley, near Wilkes-Barre.

McCoy received a $2,500 advance to appear at Bentley's, a popular restaurant and nightclub, according to attorney Jonathan Comitz, who represents Bentley's. He said hundreds of tickets were sold to the event.

But McCoy never showed, Bentley's ended up having to refund the ticket money and it's still waiting for McCoy to return the $2,500 advance. The total appearance fee was $5,000.

"We're investigating the full extent of what happened and why he didn't make it there," Comitz said. "If necessary, we'll pursue all available options. We spent a lot of money on advertising for this event. We took a hit to our goodwill because those people were livid, to say the least.

"Eagles fans up here are every bit as passionate as they are in Philly. We were left with very disappointed management at Bentley's and, more importantly, very disappointed customers."

McCoy's appearance was set up by DreamCatcher Entertainment, a Harrisburg-based promotion company run by his brother LeRon. Repeated attempts to reach LeRon or any other representative from DreamCatcher have been unsuccessful. There is no phone number on the company website and no one has returned email requests for comment.

I also tried reaching McCoy through his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and Rosenhaus' marketing VP, Robert Bailey. Rosenhaus, as is his custom, didn't respond. I did speak with Bailey twice, most recently on Tuesday.

"I don't know anything about that," Bailey said. "His brother handled that, not us. Let me find out what happened and I'll get back to you."

I'm still waiting.

So is Bentley's.

"We gave him half of the contract fee," Comitz said. "He just never showed up. There were phone conversations back and forth with him and his people all night. There were a lot of people waiting for him. A lot of them waited until midnight hoping he still might show."

McCoy was scheduled to be at Bentley's for his March 11 appearance at 8 p.m. At 9:26, he tweeted, "So much bad LUCK got A flat."

At 9:45, he tweeted, "Like ya boy caught a FLAT." At 11:14, he tweeted, "Just got my ride situation straight . . . Lol Ashley PA here we come sorry for the wait."

Bentley's isn't buying the flat-tire excuse. For starters, McCoy was already an hour-and-half late when he first tweeted about the flat. Second, they even offered to send somebody to pick him up after he told Bentley's about the flat tire, Comitz said.

"It was one excuse after another," Comitz said. "I mean, I can make it down to Philly in 2 hours from here. As of 10:30, we were still led to believe he was on his way.

"At that point in time, he could have said, 'Look, there's no way I'm going to make it up there.' But he didn't. He said he was on his way, which we relayed to his fans. We're definitely disappointed. There were a lot of people waiting to see him."

After the 11:14 tweet that night that he was on his way, McCoy never tweeted again about why he didn't make it up there. No apology. Nothing.

In my dealings with him, I've always found McCoy to be a pretty good kid. And that's what he is, a kid. He's just 22. We all did stupid things at that age.

But with fame and wealth must come responsibility. He made a commitment to get up there and meet his fans on March 11. In the big scheme of things, the $2,500 is inconsequential to him, though not to Bentley's. If he's smart, he or his brother will send the money back immediately.

A bigger concern is the fans he blew off. It might not be a big deal to him, but it was a big deal to them.

Twenty-two or not, smarten up.

And follow Weaver's lead and apologize.

Send email to pdomo@aol.com.

For more Eagles coverage and opinion, read the Daily News' Eagles blog, Eagletarian, at www.eagletarian.com.

Follow him on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/PDomo.

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