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Follow Mike Patton aka The General as he puts his thoughts in on sports.

AgentGate

I’m sure by now many of you have heard about the big party in Miami where several NFL prospects like Wesley Saunders from South Carolina, Mario Austin from North Carolina and Marcel Dareus from Alabama attended supposedly by request of an agent or a runner for an agent. I have one question in all of this for America: Why are people so quick to judge and down the kids and the universities and not the agents?
All I see on the TV is that this kid did this and this university should of did this or did that. Some of what is being said may be true, but the agent(s) knew what they were doing too. I’m so sick of this happening and I think that the media needs to get some guts and start outing these agents for even presenting these types of things to collegiate athletes. In my opinion, the reason the agents do these things are simple: no consequences.

So, here is my proposal for how these issues should be handled now and in the future. First, the kids should be in trouble and be suspended for a length of time determined based upon the level of involvement in the issue at hand. That already is probably going to happen already. But here is where the punishment goes to the next level. The agent or agents involved should have their privileges taken away for a period of time. Six months for the first offense, a year for the next and on the third strike, they should be done! And in this punishment, they can’t have any contact with any collegiate athletes nor have their runners contact them on their behalf either.
I’m tired of the agents always getting off scott free and everyone else taking the blame. Enough of this foolishness.

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8 thoughts on “AgentGate

  1. Justin U. on said:

    First off, they have to ease the restrictions on what these kids can and can not do. Every college athlete mentioned here is above the age of 18 and can legally make his own decision. Unless the activity engaged in is actually not LEGAL (drugs, gambling), it’s none of the NCAA or the NFL’s business who the agents take to dinner, buy a car for, wine or dine. Want to buy me a car? It’s not illegal for me to take it. And guess what? I STILL DONT HAVE TO SIGN WITH YOU.
    The NCAA makes BILLIONS off these kids each year. What do they get, a small stipend for food and the occassional waffle maker? Then the kids, desperate to make a name for themselves, desperate for money (most for the first time in their lives), desperate to be noticed by someone who can influence their career, go along with COMPLETELY LEGAL activity, and are punished by the NCAA. Do one of 2 things…A) Loosen the restrictions on what players can/can not receive or B) Pay them an hourly wage for time spent training, practicing and playing in games. It’s 40 hours per week, easily. If you pay them? Restrict agent activity all you want, but you have to respect the difficult position the kids are in and give them an OPTION instead of keeping them broke and alone on a big campus, with immense pressure to perform on their backs, and them tell them they can’t eat the free steak when it’s given to them.
    My second point…the collegiate players are not professional at their craft, however the agents are. Therefore, the agents should be the ones who have to abide by an ethical code of conduct, enforced by the NCAA. It’s not the NFL’s job to protect college athletes. It’s the responsibility of the governing body of college athletics. I agree completely with your assessment of the penalties for the agents. Three strikes, you are DONE. No exceptions.

    • I can’t say that I agree with you on the point of paying the players minimum wage while they are doing sports activities. While I agree that the NCAA does make millions off of the players, the players get paid in the form of their scholarship. That is their form of payment. I’m not saying its the greatest system, but they do get paid via their scholarships. Also, the kid and the agent should be punished in these deals. I think that too many times, the media comes down on the university and the player, but not the agent.

      • Plus, they are never going to ease the restrictions because that will take away from their amateur status as players.

  2. Justin U. on said:

    Here’s my rebuttal to the issue of being paid while on scholarship…Can someone who has a full academic scholarship also be paid if they work an on-campus job? OF COURSE THEY CAN. Why is it different than an athletic scholarship? Does a student with an academic scholarship lose their “amateur status” as a future scientist if they work an on-campus job?

    The entire notion of “amateur status” is a made up system anyhow. If they’re being paid in the form of a scholarship, shouldn’t that forfeit “amateur status” also? Is that not “payment?”

    All I’m saying is this, let them earn a dollar or let them take a few free handouts. You can’t expect them to fiscally starve and then to pass on something when it’s offered. You can’t deny a US Citizen a right to work or to be paid for services rendered. If they are technically on scholarship, they’re being paid, right? So, they’re not even really amateurs at this point. So, either keep the agents away and compensate them, or let the agents freely interact so long as the interaction is lawful.

    • If they start letting some things slide for student-athletes, then you would then start going down a slippery slope. The envelope would get pushed more and more. I’m not saying that I fully agree with the system, but if you start letting some things slide, then that’s when the system will really be corrupted. Its corrupted now, but it will go to a whole new level of corruption. Personally, you know the choice you enter into when you sign on the dotted line, so I don’t feel sorry when an athlete gets in trouble for taking improper benefits. The thing I’m saying is that there isn’t fair punishment across the board. I’m not going to stand in favor of a stipend or anything like that because that will corrupt the system even worse than it already is. You may as well say we would have club teams instead of college teams anymore then.

      • Justin U. on said:

        Very valid points…I still have to maintain my view, however. It’s not a slippery slope if you draw a very defined line. Here are the solutions…

        1. Cut the training time and practice time during the off-season to allow players to have jobs. All sports, no exceptions. It helps the economy, and the school doesn’t pay a dime for the funding.

        2. Pay the players an hourly rate or a stipend for all sports-related activity. The NCAA just signed an 11 BILLION dollar deal for 6 years with CBS for rights for the NCAA Tournament. There are 50,000 athletes in Div I, II, and II. Paying all students $150/per week for the 9 months they are on campus would cost $300 Million per year. They can easily afford the costs, but the NFL picks up part of the tab because how much THEY make off of these kids as well (NFL Draft on ESPN). If the universities pay for it themselves, it will cost other programs funding.

        3. Pay them nothing, don’t let them work, and let them accept whatever they’re given on the side.

        They risk their health to sell a product for BILLIONS and see none of the profit. Also, if they get hurt badly enough, they LOSE the scholarship. So, now they’ve sacrificed their bodies, and their academic careers, for zero payment and the kids are stocking shelves at Wal-Mart. There has to be a solutions.

      • The system is corrupt. There are many solutions that u said, but for every solution, a new issue arises. There is no one solution that will be equal all the way around. That’s just the truth.

      • Justin U. on said:

        That, I agree with. So, is this the lesser of the evils? We’ll see. But, I definitely agree that the agents have got to face responsibility for this.

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