Bad agents have messed up now: They’ve made Nick Saban mad

 

Hoover, Ala.—Now they’ve done it.

I’m talking about the sleazy agents. Yeah. You know who you are.

You gave us Reggie Bush and the fall of the men from Troy.

You have us in an NCAA investigation that started in North Carolina and seems to be growing by the day. You don’t care that you violate NCAA rules and put the eligibility of these kids in jeopardy and hurt scores of other kids who will never play in the NFL. You don’t care. Not your job. I get that.

Well, know this bubba. You’ve messed up now.

You have made Nick Saban mad and you’ve screwed up the first day of SEC Media Days, which is nothing short of a Southern holiday in this part of the world. It is not to be messed with and you, my friend,  have just messed with it.

Word got out yesterday that Alabama is looking into defensive end Marcel Dareus and whether he broke NCAA rules by attending an agents’ party in South Florida. If somebody affiliated with the agent paid Dareus’s expenses, then the Alabama player broke the rules and could have to sit out some games.

The NCAA is already looking into former Florida player Maurkice Pouncey who may have taken money from an agent prior to the Sugar Bowl. Pouncey’s brother, Mike, will be here today representing Florida and will be peppered with questions about Maurkice instead of football.

The NCAA has also looked at South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders on this issue, which is going to dominate these meetings.

Even the unflappable Mike Slive, the SEC Commissioner, is hot under the collar about this one.

I would have this additional word to the sleazy agents: You can do this stuff in the Pac-10 and the Big Ten. Those folks will simply be annoyed.

It ain’t that way here. When it comes to messing with college football in the South, people do not have a sense of humor.  They go straight for the pitchforks. You don’t want keep doing this in the SEC. Trust me when I tell you that it’s not good for business.

Saban asks, rightfully so, if it makes sense to throw open the doors to the NFL if that body is not going to help the colleges on this issue. The NFL could simply decree that if you host parties and give stuff to guys who still have eligibility left, and that kid loses eligibility, you don’t get to represent NFL players for a while. The NFL needs to realize that the colleges are the perfect training ground for their future employees. They need to step up to the plate.

If this one party in South Beach causes Dareus to sit, and thus impacts Alabama’s season as the defending national champions, that agent had better change addresses. His identity will be known and he would be well advised not to enter the state of Alabama. They’ll slap a subpoena on you around here—or worse.

But seriously, what should college football do about this? They educate the athletes. They know the rules. If Marcel Dareus got a plane ticket paid for by someone else and his expenses were paid by someone other than his family, he knows he broke the rules. And if Alabama confirms this, the school will have no choice but declare him ineligible and apply to the NCAA for reinstatement. No choice.

Do they ban NFL scouts from campus? Don’t think so. That’s short sighted.

Do they just put these guys under lock and key? Can’t really do that with a 20-hour rule.

Do you  make a law against this? A bunch of states already have laws addressing this. The agents ignore the laws.

I think you do two things: You continue to open up the process. Some schools host agents on their campus to do interviews with potential clients. Keep doing that. Demystify the process and get it out of the shadows.

But you also have to ask for help from the NFL.

Just asking: What would you do about these agents?

Man. They just don’t know who they are messing with.

 

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Programming note: We will be broadcasting our “Talkin’ Football” Show on CSS today, Thursday, and Friday at 6 p.m., Eastern time. Tonight we will sit down with Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Dan Mullen, and Joker Phillips. Bob Neal, Mark Schlabach, Brady Ackerman, and Sandra Goldman join me on the broadcast team. Check us out!

412 comments Add your comment

Kramer2009

July 21st, 2010
8:28 am

Fred

July 21st, 2010
8:29 am

If this happened to Georgia, Dareus would be suspended for 4 games by the NCAA. The bias is blatant it’s comical. But because it’s media darling “Alabama Crimson Tide”, the NCAA will look the other way.

Saban’s attacking agents, instead of the spotlight resting on Dareus, who should be suspended, regardless of Saban’s attempts to deflect attention.

How bout Saban suspending Dareus for a year, like he’s suggesting for the agents? Is he really as tough as he talks, or that a bunch of hot air?

Fred

July 21st, 2010
8:33 am

Let me get this straight, is Saban saying Dareus is the “victim” here? You’ve got to be kidding? If Dareus went to the Miami party, all expenses paid by the agent, then Dareus didn’t know that going to a all expense paid party in Miami was against the rules?

come on, Dareus isn’t a helpless victim.

If coaches got tougher on players, this sort of thing would stop happening.

Saban’s light way of dealing with his player here, is more of the problem, than the agents.

Coach’s and players should be suspended for a year when this happens, that would stop this kind of thing from happening.

Musashi

July 21st, 2010
8:34 am

Rumor mill is in overdrive. Hearing a high profile DB from LSU also attended this South Beach shindig, with more yet to be named. Hope agents like this are prosecuted to the max.

bamafan

July 21st, 2010
8:38 am

Fred – good buddy – BAMA learned its lesson on this one in 1993 with Antonio Langham and as a result we were put on probation in 1995 mostly because of AD decided not to self report “until he had to.” This made the NCAA mad, of course. As for the media bias, I can see how you might actually believe your comments. I remained stunned at the media hype for Alabama and it far transcends anything I saw with our national titles in 1992 and 1979. But the hype is not limited to Alabama; remember, until recently Florida got all the love in the SEC with a little for LSU. Remember the love the media gave to Pete Carroll and USC with their dynasty? Alabama passed a law against this kind of contact/conduct by agents after the Langham problem but as TB notes, agents ignore it and others. Not real sure that your belief that the NCAA favors Alabama is supported by the facts and the NCAA actions since 1995.

Nesbitt for Heisman

July 21st, 2010
8:39 am

.
6′ 1″ 228 pound Anthony Allen averaged 9.7 yards per carry
for Georgia Tech in 2009.
Can any other player in America top that average?

Chi Town

July 21st, 2010
8:40 am

Dont mess with Saban.

Wonder if Fleisch is still in my bed.

Mark

July 21st, 2010
8:41 am

“This is not good for business” describes why people are mad. Neither is the poor officiating in the SEC can we get that fixed while were at it!

The Original Auburn Man

July 21st, 2010
8:42 am

Fred, your an idiot. I hate Bama more than anyone but they are no ncaa media darlings. Give credit where credit is due, Saban suspends guys left and right. If you weren’t so ignoirant you would know this.

Fred

July 21st, 2010
8:42 am

The SEC needs to step up and suspend Dareus and Saban for 1 year and put an end to this kind of thing.

Like Saban says, a 1 year suspension tends to curb behavior. Let’s stick that 1 year suspension on Saban and Dareus, since Saban brought it up.

Chi Town

July 21st, 2010
8:42 am

I also have a feeling Saban will be chewing somones as* today in Hoover.

He is the man.

Fred

July 21st, 2010
8:43 am

Poor Nick Saban, poor Dareus, little helpless victim, we should all feel sorry for them for breaking the law.

NCHawker

July 21st, 2010
8:44 am

Nice try Tony. Problem is that Big Ten schools get into trouble about 1/10th as often as SEC schools.

Mike Hunt

July 21st, 2010
8:45 am

Fred,

You’re an idiot. Do you not recall the NCAA sanctions that Alabama endured? Yet you imply that they receive preferential treatment. I don’t think Saban has made a decision on punishment to Dareus at this point. He’s rightfully waiting to get more facts. Fact is, the player has a responsibility to uphold. The NFL should also take action to put some teeth in the process to help ensure the agents don’t engage with college athletes with eligibility remaining. It’s a two-way street. Regardless, your comments are stupid.

The Original Auburn Man

July 21st, 2010
8:45 am

Ok, I got it now. Fred is out of school for the summer.

Fred

July 21st, 2010
8:46 am

If they’re nt media darlings, why have people ranked them #1, when they lost 9 defensive players?

If Alabama isn’t media darlings, I’m sure Saban & Dareus will be suspended for a year. I guess we’ll see if you’re right by what the NCAA does when coaches and players break the law.

Jeff

July 21st, 2010
8:46 am

Fred obviously is a fan of a team that has a coach on the hot seat and doesn’t play defense. Just a bitter, jealous man. LOL!

The Original Auburn Man

July 21st, 2010
8:47 am

Break the law? Or break the rules?

Look little freddie, what rule did Saban break?

Beast from the East

July 21st, 2010
8:49 am

Fred,
You are totally off base on this. Saban (nor any other coach) can control what these players choose to do on their own time. All they can do is educate them and let them know there will be consequences for their actions. Have you forgotten about UGA’s off-field troubles? I guess that means Richt should be suspended for 2-3 years? Of course not.

The Original Auburn Man

July 21st, 2010
8:49 am

Freddie, who should be ranked first right now? If Bama loses a game they will drop in the polls, pretty easy to figure out.

Mike Hunt

July 21st, 2010
8:49 am

Harry

July 21st, 2010
8:49 am

Even as a Bama fan, I’d agree, Bama is media darlings. NCAA needs to stick it to Saban and the player here, Bama will recover from this illegal activity. Another black eye for the fans from Nick Saban–I can see why Saban’s voted top 10 most hated in Sports by Forbes–he’s not an easy guy to like. But hey, he wins a National Championship and has a good year once a decade, so lay off.

The Original Auburn Man

July 21st, 2010
8:51 am

Fred and Harry, two dumb a-holes.

bjohndawg

July 21st, 2010
8:52 am

I dont think the NCAA gives Alabama or anyone else a pass this time around. If they will take a dagger to USC, they will gut anyone.I just dont think they play favorites anymore.

Our 24/7/365 multimedia world made it where it is almost impossible to bury dirty messes under the rug as in the past. To easy for a good reporter/or blogger/heck sometimes even a camera toting fan; to pull back the carpet and find the offending culprit. Be it agent or player or booster or coach.

Now the conference leaderships shake when their top teams are involved. But they and the NCAA are no going to stand by and not penalize or look the other way. Because if the general public every thinks they play favorites and other member schools knew for sure they played favorites ( TV dollars and the BIg 12 the exception) this cash cow would become a house of cards.Fast

Beast from the East

July 21st, 2010
8:53 am

Bama Fans,
Check out Mike Bianchi’s blog in the Orlando paper this morning. Now see why us UF fans hate him and that rag. Yes, that’s the same bunch of idiots that ranked UGA #64 this year in their pre-season rankings. That’s the last time I visit that site. Just pure garbage. I’ll stick with the AJC and the Gainesville Sun from now on.

Tony

July 21st, 2010
8:54 am

Nice personal responsibility tony. Yeah blame the agent. That bank showed me all this money behind the counter and I couldn’t help myself but to jump over and punch someone and grab it. It’s their fault! Freeaking pathetic excuse making Tony.

Fred

July 21st, 2010
8:54 am

Uh oh, no Saban had gone and made the NCAA mad. Instead of disciplining his player for a year, Saban dealt with this like a child, crying no responsibility, placing blame on “agents”. Uh, we’re the agents in Miami alone, or did his player make the trip? We’re agents in Miami alone, or did a Saban trained player break the law?

Saban done gone and made the NCAA mad. Uh oh, 1 year suspension coming down the pike.

The most interesting man alive

July 21st, 2010
8:56 am

Dawg fans that cry poor jawja is picked on are Imbeciles! Everybody hates jawja, everybody picks on jawja the Rip Van Winkles of college football; asleep since 1980. The refs hate jawja, the SEC hates jawja, the AJC hates jawja, ESPN hates jawja, Lou Holtz hates jawja, Mark May hates jawja (well maybe that’s so), Urban Meyer hates jawja (???), Lee Corso hates jawja, Kirk Herbstreit hates jawja and even Steve Spurrier hates jawja (yea, true also). Quit having a pity party and beat Vandy and Kentucky at home and maybe everyone will quit making fun of you!!

Da Coach

July 21st, 2010
8:56 am

Saban is no different from any other coach. His “disciplinary decisions” are based on the player in question’s spot on the depth chart. As a sidebar, all ‘Bama fans can spare me the “What about Andre Smith?” protest. In that case, ‘Bama had nothing left to play for after losing the SECCG to Florida that year and got embarrassed by Utah in the Sugar Bowl, a double-digit underdog playing 2,000 miles away from home.

David

July 21st, 2010
8:56 am

Who cares… Kyle Parker is back!

Hankie Aron

July 21st, 2010
8:57 am

Tony,
Love reading your column every day. A Question if you have time. What’s your take on the new AD at USC?

The Original Auburn Man

July 21st, 2010
8:57 am

Fred, get off your parents computer and go study how to read and write. Oh yeah, learn to spell also.

Dawgs need to win

July 21st, 2010
8:57 am

I sure wish uga would win some football games. This cry baby, jealousy attitude is really just sad. uga, beat Florida and get your nads back.

Fred

July 21st, 2010
8:58 am

Here’s what Saban should have said:

“Listen, Dareus was out of line there, and as his coach, I am to blame. This is no one else’s fault here, I’m 100% accountability. Dareus shoud have known not to take an all expense paid trip from a sports agent. We teach them these things. Since Dareus thumbed his nose at the NCAA rulebook, I’ve decided to suspend him for 1 year, and to suspend myself for 1 year for letting it happen under my watch. I hope these kind of actions will put a stop to this sort of thing happening in the future.”

Beast from the East

July 21st, 2010
8:58 am

Fred,
I’m sure if the player received improper benefits he will be disciplined by Bama and the NCAA…..just like he should be. If this is true, the agent broke the law. It’s on the books in Florida as well as Alabama. The kids may have broken rules. The agent broke the law. See the difference? The coaches bear no responsibility with this other than to have to clean up the mess. No one wins here.

The Original Auburn Man

July 21st, 2010
8:59 am

Bottom line is Jawja didn’t have any players good enough to be invited to the party. That must suck!

Hankie Aron

July 21st, 2010
9:00 am

Most interesting
If brains were water, I suggest you will “stay thirsty my friend” for a long, long time. Your comments about UGA are moronic.

Fred

July 21st, 2010
9:01 am

I’m just a broken record prattling the same thing repeatedly.

William

July 21st, 2010
9:01 am

If Harry is actually an Alabama fan, then I’m a pinecone. He must be a Democrat as well, as they are always trying to tell you they are something they are not.

Harry

July 21st, 2010
9:01 am

Hey, Saban wins a National Championship once a decade, so back off. Proves he’s an amazing coach, regardless of what he does the other 18 years. Regardless of what his players do in Miami. Win the big one, everybody will close their eyes to NCAA violations.

Hankie Aron

July 21st, 2010
9:03 am

Original Auburn
This column has nothing to do with UGA, please read the column.

The most interesting man alive

July 21st, 2010
9:03 am

But they are true Hankie red panties. Jawja always gets screwed, poor jawja.

The most interesting man alive

July 21st, 2010
9:05 am

Hankie your dumb ass ugay fan Fred started the whining about jawja at 8:29. Read it moron.

Nate

July 21st, 2010
9:05 am

Hey tony big 10 players belong to fine AAU inst. They actually have brains. That’s why you don’t read about our players getting into trouble like this. Truth hurts.

jumbeauxtiger

July 21st, 2010
9:05 am

Actually Beast, based on Fred’s suggestion, Richt should have a lifetime suspension based on the number of players who have been arrested over the last few years. Of course that is crazy. Coaches can only control so much.

The problem is many of these players come from poverty level families and some of these agents are taking adavantage of these guys with their images of the high-life. When you have no money the temptation can be hard to resist. This doesn’t make it right for any player to do this but the point is some of these agents know exactly what they are doing and it is wrong.

You have to feel for the coaches. When this happens it is a distraction and they spend time trying to resolve and deal with this when they could be doing things that lead to wins.

Geaux Tigers
Go SEC

The Original Auburn Man

July 21st, 2010
9:06 am

1980, do you realize that if you were born in 1980 you have graduated high school, graduated college, got a job you have had for six plus years, got married, had a few kids, bought a home, started saving for ritirement and still have yet to see the jawja bulldawgs play for a national champioship more less win one.

WonderDawg

July 21st, 2010
9:06 am

Fred, the NCAA has put Bama on probation 4 or 5 times, twice this decade. Just saying . . .

Fred

July 21st, 2010
9:06 am

The most interesting man alive

July 21st, 2010
9:06 am

Sure Nate; Terrell Pryor looks like a brain surgeon.

Beast from the East

July 21st, 2010
9:07 am

As far as Tony’s question, I am at a loss as to what else the schools or the NCAA can do to deter this rogue agent activity. Some of these guys apparently just feel the reward is greater than the risk. I’m sure that all schools educate their players about the rules but the agents appear to be relentless. Maybe if they put one of these agents in jail for 15 years (max penalty in the state of Florida) then the rest will get the message? I doubt it……there’s just too much money at stake for them to follow the rules. Sad state of affairs.