College Football

ACC football coaches sound off on sports agents

Posted July 26, 2010
Updated July 27, 2010

Most of the ACC football coaches speaking at the conference kickoff event in Greensboro Monday expressed a desire to go back to the old NCAA rule disallowing any contact before a player’s final game. Current NCAA rules allow agents to have contact before an athlete’s eligibility ends.

"It was better years ago when it wasn’t this 'Well you kinda, maybe, coulda, woulda, shoulda,'” North Carolina State University coach Tom O’Brien said. “It was yes or no.”

UNC coach Butch Davis agreed. “It's clearly significantly easier from an institution and from a coaching standpoint to be able to be involved in a situation like that, because there is no gray area, it’s black or white. If you cross the line, and there is interaction, and you do anything like that, then you are certainly putting your eligibility at jeopardy.”

The pool of pro prospects is much smaller than the number of agents looking for business, meaning the issue only gets worse as agents try to compete for representation.

“Now all of a sudden there is 6,000 agents registered or plus with the NFL Players Association,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. "No rule is going to monitor that. There are guys that are buying two suits and a nice pair of shoes and calling themselves an agent.”

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe pointed out one way to end the problem lies with the athlete.

“I would just like to get to the point that the college athlete understood that until you get drafted,  those guys can do nothing for you but get you in trouble.”

All 12 ACC coaches agree consequences and punishments for illegal contact should be shared by all parties involved.

“I hope they prosecute the person,” O’Brien said, “There has to be some teeth and some penalty for the other side to be involved in it.”

It is clear that this issue reaches farther than the NCAA and the universities, and the possibility of the government getting involved may become necessary, the coaches said.

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  • Objective Scientist Jul 27, 4:21 p.m.

    Pay the collegiate athlete? Perhaps it is not a question of should they be paid as much as it is "How much"? ATHLETES ARE ALREADY PAID... AND PAID VERY VERY WELL!!! Let's start "adding it up": The obvious would be their tuition (many are from "out of state" so this adds up VERY quickly to tens of thousands of dollars!), add to that their student fees, books (have you seen the cost of BOOKS!), housing, food, etc. The "perhaps not so obvious"... they are provided the absolute BEST with regard to equipment for both practices and games, travel "first class" staying in "nice", if not elegant, hotels, eat at the best restaurants, are taken to movies and other attractions wherever they may be. Additionally, they practice on practice fields/courts that are better than that on which most of us have played games as former athletes, and the venues in which they play games are almost always "palatial". They are are provided the BEST food available with what to eat guided by nutritionists. they are conditioned, not only by their "sport coaches", but also by well paid "experts" in conditioning. If injured (or "sick") they PROMPTLY receive the best medical assistance and treatment that is available! And... they are taught their "craft" by "teachers"/coaches who are the best money can buy... best as in MILLIONS of dollars in salaries for the coaches. All of this clearly prepares these athletes for and provides them the opportunity to "Play" at the professional level and make MILLIONS. In fact, the "better students" of the sport will likely have a signing bonus that is far greater than the lifetime income of almost all in this country! To all of this add the "value" of the degree they will get (assuming they complete it) from some very reputable institutions. ANY CLAIM THAT ATHLETES ARE NOT "PAID"... SIMPLY DOES NOT "HOLD WATER"! THEY ARE ALREADY PAID AND PAID HANDSOMELY!!!

  • the people Jul 27, 11:18 a.m.

    they make hundreds of grand to coach a game and they are morale majority??? pay student athletes,now???? Millions are made off students to finance schools bullll,they can't get paid because of Greed by the..schools wanting it all for there selves...!!!! that is the real story,when will you write about the rip ooff that is really going ONNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

  • Tarheelfan13 Jul 27, 10:57 a.m.

    Yes the bad bad agents-

    Hey these athletes know the rules- it's their fault alone!

    — Posted by ncguy

    AMEN!!!

    These athletes have reached the age of majority and should have sense enough to know when they sign their scholarship what the NCAA rules and bylaws dictate in regard to agent contacts and the consequences of improper agent contacts. I am thoroughly mind boggled at how these athletes get coddled when many peers their same age are fighting on the battlefield for this great country. Yes, student athletes may be novices but they have reached the age of majority and are responsible for their own actions. Why does the government have a vested interest anyway to have certain clauses in the NC general Statutes basically regarding agent and student athlete interactions regarding early gifts and monetary benefits before contract signing. The government might as well admit that they are enforcing or backing NCAA bylaws which is ethically wrong IMHO because the NCAA is only a private organization and not a governmental entity. It is not in the taxpayer interest of the people of this state for the government to indirectly by default basically enforce NCAA bylaws. I am not condoning shady practices of agents who may be unethical but in a free enterprise system agents in theory should not be affected by the rules of a private organization they are not a member of such as the NCAA. And it is not the governments job IMHO to get involved with collegiate student athletics.

  • ncguy Jul 27, 9:32 a.m.

    Yes the bad bad agents-

    Hey these athletes know the rules- it's their fault alone!

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Jul 27, 9:26 a.m.

    You can't really say players CAN'T speak with agents. There's a freedom of speech issue there. But the NCAA should make a rule (and ALL players must agree with this rule if they want to keep their amateur eligibility) that if a player wants to speak with an agent of any kind, it must be done in a supervised fashion. Any player that violates this rule immediately loses his eligibility. Then maybe players would police themselves a little better.

  • IBleedRedandWhite Jul 27, 9:09 a.m.

    I stated this in a previous article:

    If they do not want agents having contact with players until after the last game, they should also not have contact with possible recruits until after their last senior game. These coaches send out scouts and recruiters when these kids are 9th and 10th grades! They try to persuade from a young age to go to their school. My brother-in-law knew guys that had already committed to go to UNC for soccer by their junior year! So coaches, don't play the double standard when it comes to recruiting vs. contact with agents.

  • Hokies94 Jul 26, 8:11 p.m.

    Just listen to Jim Grobe. He said it in one clear sentence. One sentence. Makes more sense than Butch, Cut, Stafford all together.

  • bigfella Jul 26, 7:42 p.m.

    Agents and their "runners" are part of the problem. The other major part of the problem is the player's who know what they are doing is wrong and still do it. Don't penalize the school when these clowns are gone, go after the player when he gets to the NFL.

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