I've only heard good things about Mike Russ. Here's some things to keep in mind:
First, they'll reap what they sew. Recruiting freshly licensed agents probably means that agency is churning through people.
Second, that's why you reimburse for licensing, rather than pay for it outright. If they want to be reimbursed, they have to complete it, pass their license, and still be working for you.
Third, after they have a license, they're going to be solicited ANYWAY by various companies through the mail and phone.
But if it's that big of a deal for you, you might want to check out A.D. Banker for live, in-person courses in SoCal. That's who I used 12 years ago. I don't recall any recruiting pitches at the time.