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.