An excellent read in my opinion.
By now, I'm sure most of you have seen the clips of Alabama coach Nick Saban spouting off about evil agents and the need for the NFL to clean up their actions. You know, the one where he threatens to limit the access of NFL scouts to his players and equates agents to "pimps." Quite a performance, really.
No surprise that the interactions between college players and agents was suddenly at the forefront of Saban's mind during SEC media day. There's an ongoing investigation into improper dealings between agents and an Alabama player threatening to possibly cost Crimson Tide defensive end Marcell Dareus to lose his eligibility. Without a doubt, there are street agents and runners who are in essence buying the services of some future NFL clients. It's seedy and it's dirty. It's also something the NFL, NFLPA and many agents wish could be expunged.
But it's naive to paint any easy solutions to the problem, and to demand the league just somehow take care of it, or to somehow pretend that the wallet-stuffing NCAA and its "amateur" football factories are somehow mere victims in all of this is disingenuous at best. When Saban calls for the NFLPA to simply put a stop to this -- "It's very difficult for the NCAA to control it and it's very unfair to college football," he opined -- it's a myopic approach to a complex issue.
So let's deconstruct Saban's argument, parsing out the hyperbole, grandstanding and hypocritical nature of much of it. First of all, from a league standpoint, it is the NFLPA and not the NFL that governs agents, and handles certifying contract advisors and decertifying them. It is hardly uncommon for agents to lose their certification for various missteps. Union head DeMaurice Smith has been adamant that he would work with authorities in any way and harshly penalize any agent found to have paid a client or acted in a manner that would cost a player his eligibility. He has made that amazingly clear. There is no lack of willingness on behalf of the NFLPA to decertify an agent for a year or more for such actions.
Rest of aritclehttp://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8 ... ge-players