IBJNews

NCAA tackles agents issue, looks to new sanctions

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Several groups are working with the NCAA to find new ways to enforce rules prohibiting improper agent-related benefits for student-athletes, including possible post-NCAA financial penalties that reach into a player's potential NFL career.

The NFL, NFL Players Association and sports agents are among those involved in talks with the NCAA that have included various proposals.

Chicago-based sports agent Rick Smith, a member of the NCAA panel, said Monday that while discussions are preliminary, new rules could be in place within three to five months. Such rules would likely be enforced primarily by the NFL and the players' union.

"Something is going to happen," Smith said, "and it's going to happen quickly."

In a news release, the Indianapolis-based NCAA said the panel is identifying areas for "greater collaboration," including enforcement efforts by state officials dealing with sports agent laws and examining "the frequency and timing of agent contact with student-athletes." Smith said the panel is looking at a range of possible sanctions.

Among the NCAA panel members: NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay, Indianapolis Colts President Bill Polian, Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delany and Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive.

The NCAA said panel members met last week and will speak again next month.

Panel member Grant Teaff, the former Baylor coach and executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, said improper benefits and contact between agents and college players have been a problem "since agents started being agents."

"Maybe for the first time, we can have everybody singing out of the same hymn book," Teaff said.

The agent issue has touched several schools including defending national champion Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia in recent months, but nowhere has the impact been felt more than North Carolina. The NCAA launched its investigation here over the summer, then expanded the probe to include possible academic misconduct.

Six Tar Heels won't play this season due to the probe, including three of their most prominent names in defensive tackle Marvin Austin, defensive end Robert Quinn and receiver Greg Little. The NCAA declared Quinn and Little "permanently ineligible" for each receiving more than $4,900 in improper benefits from agents, while Austin was kicked off the team after the NCAA provided preliminary information that he had received $10,000 to $13,000 in benefits.

Coach Butch Davis called the NCAA panel discussions "an important step."

"There's not one single entity that can solve this issue," Davis said. "It's going to take a lot of people. There's an answer some place, and we've just got to work hard to try to find it."

The North Carolina Secretary of State's office launched its own probe shortly after the NCAA investigation to examine whether the state's sports agent laws were broken. Austin, former assistant coach John Blake — who resigned in September — California-based agent Gary Wichard have spoken with investigators in that probe, which is still ongoing.

"A lot of this stuff that has gone in at several institutions has been going on for a long time," Davis said. "The unfortunate thing is the NCAA doesn't have an army. They can't investigate every single thing that goes on."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Easy solution
    There is an easy solution to the so-called agent problem afflicting college sports -- allow the athletes to hire agents. If having an agent were permissible, no rule would be violated when a student-athlete has one. If agents were providing the players with cash and other goodies, that would bump up against other amateurism rules, but if hiring agents was done above board and out in the open, there would be far fewer situations like that.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

ADVERTISEMENT