Sauter waived for selling tickets

by Michael Dougherty

Former Gophers’ quarterback Cory Sauter was waived from the Arizona Cardinals practice squad on Tuesday for a violation of NFL rules related to the scalping of game tickets.
According to Sauter’s agent, attorney Ralph Cindrich of Carnegie Penn., Sauter purchased extra tickets for last Sunday’s game with the Dallas Cowboys for some friends and family who were going to be in town.
But his guests ended up not making the trip and Cindrich said Sauter sold his extra tickets back to a ticket broker, an occurrence Cindrich calls a “common practice” among NFL players.
Sauter’s last year with Minnesota was 1997, and he holds the Gophers’ career passing record for yards, touchdowns, completions and attempts. Several attempts were made to reach Sauter at his home, but the first-year pro was unavailable for comment.
Cindrich said he doubts Sauter would want to talk about the incident, adding he didn’t think there was much of a story because of the frequency of players who use ticket agencies.
“I do know that players do get caught with extra tickets under certain circumstances and they go through an exchange,” Cindrich said. “If the exchange is taking 30 percent less you take 30 percent less.”
Cindrich said players stuck with extra tickets — particularly those on the practice squad who aren’t making a great deal of money — turn the tickets over to the agency to get whatever they can on their initial investment.
While Cindrich said he won’t specifically address Sauter’s situation, he did call the ticket agencies a “one-stop, convenient way to turn over tickets.”
“Many times, and I know this, (ticket agencies) are paying 60 or 70 percent of face value because there’s not a demand for them,” Cindrich said. “If it happens to be a more visible game that’s paying more, then someone will step up and pay more.”
While he would not divulge Sauter’s actual salary, Cindrich did say it’s doesn’t approach six figures.
Ticket scalping in Phoenix is legal, and according to the Phoenix police department, there are special areas at various events where tickets can be re-sold.
However, the NFL says any league personnel can not sell a ticket for more than face value. And because of Sauter’s violation of that league rule, the Cardinals waived him.
But what remains unclear is how exactly Sauter was caught. Cindrich said he didn’t know for sure, but guessed that the unusual sellout for the Cowboys game probably raised some suspicions.
Sauter’s mother, Sharon Sauter, said Wednesday that she hadn’t talked with Cory yet, but wanted to let the story play out.
“I heard it from them (Cardinals) but we’ll just have to see what happens,” she said. “It sounds like a misunderstanding, but rules are rules so we have to go by whatever they say.”
Sauter has a reputation as a good person, and Cindrich said an incident like this shouldn’t tarnish his client’s character because of the legality of scalping in Arizona.
Cindrich called Sauter a person with “the highest moral character of any of my clients,” an impressive compliment considering Cindrich’s agency represents 40 NFL players.
Gophers coach Glen Mason said he agrees.
“If you can find a finer kid in the world than Cory Sauter, I’d like to find him,” Glen Mason said. “For a guy to be waived for something like that, I mean, give me a break.”