Thursday, July 29, 2010

Agents: Jumping the Shark..??

The Dawg Nation is breathing a lot easier than we were this time last week when suddenly AJ Green was the newest (and brightest) college football star to be named to a Miami agent thrown party. Now we're just waiting on the fallout.

It could be a long wait.

I thought PWD did a good job of separating the small potatoes from the main dish. The truth is that, although there will be consequences to come from this investigation, this and the recent USC sanctions are a very clear warning shot to every athletic program that operates under the NCAA.

And I also think this piece by Matt Elder sheds some interesting light on the agent world's underbelly. If you're uncertain about their certification and training, reading it will definitely help you out. But the most interesting part I think comes in the last paragraph where Elder's anonymous source agent says that 75% of agents are clean.
I do want to clear up a few more things though and that specifically was in relation to all agents being 'dirty'.  It was never my intention of painting with such a broad stroke that says that 'all' agents are dirty. In fact, when I spoke with the anonymous agent and asked him what percentage of agents he thought were clean, he said about 75%, which is an overwhelming majority.  Now my last question to him was if this incident, which could be as big as multiple first round talents being suspended, was enough of a slap in the face to force the NFLPA and the NCAA to do something drastic and to make big changes?  His response was, “I hope so, that’s my honest answer, I hope so. There are a majority of agents that do this the right way that have been waiting for something like this to happen to actually force the NFLPA to do something about dirty agents. All we can do is hope.”
So that leaves us with a couple things. First of all, as we have known for some time, the proverbial ball is and has been in the NCAAs court which resides in the NFLs playground. I'm not gonna hold my breath that the NCAA and the NFLPA actually start scratching each others' backs. But if the shockwaves from this Marcus Austin mess are immense, then enough programs are going to feel even more vulnerable. Then, we might see more thorough protection of student athletes' eligibility and the programs they play for.

Second, if 75% of agents are clean it's a lot more than I thought. However, 25% of the agents dallying in the colossal gray area of NCAA rules is a large number. And it really only takes one single rotten apple to make some serious headlines. The kind of headlines that make last week's ones about AJ Green seem closer to child's play.

If there's one thing we can take from the mess out west that KiffyBaby just stepped knee deep into, it's that agents can easily make a career fishing in the NCAA waters of talented amateurs. College football fans can only hope that the Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo saga was this story's version of jumping the shark.

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