“We ain’t members of the NCAA. We didn’t agree to follow these rules.”

Jeez, is this a depressing read.  Unsurprising, but depressing.

… One of the misconceptions about the agent business is that the kids are victims, preyed on by people like me. When Alabama coach Nick Saban and others rail against the agent business, they don’t mention that most of the time the player or someone from his family approaches us. Guys see that one of their teammates has some cash, ask him about it, and suddenly my phone rings. It was rare to find a player who wouldn’t take the money. I put $10,000 cash in front of Kansas’s Dana Stubblefield, and he wouldn’t take it. I tried to pay UCLA’s J.J. Stokes and USC’s Keyshawn Johnson, and they said, “No.” But for every kid who didn’t take the money, there were dozens who called me and asked to get paid.

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30 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

30 responses to ““We ain’t members of the NCAA. We didn’t agree to follow these rules.”

  1. AmpedDawg

    I always believed that agents paying players and the like was widespread and in reality I have never cared that much. However, reading this is, like the Senator said, depressing. What a disgusting business.

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  2. Normaltown Mike

    Paging Roger Goodell…

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  3. Chris

    Just follow the money. Looking at first rounders guaranteed money and assuming the 3%

    Bradford was worth 1.5m to his agent.

    Pick #32 was 210,000.

    And that is just looking at the guaranteed money. Bradford is potentially worth 2.5+ off just his contract to an agent.

    If I could invest 20-50,000 in a first round prospect you are looking at tripling your money at least and increasing the chances of landing more big name clients.

    Up until recently (and probably still now) the risk reward there is pretty good for the type of guy that is going to be a sports agent.

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  4. Zdawg

    Wow what a depressing read. And how in the world do you clean this mess up? I don’t know if there is a way….

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  5. Go Dawgs!

    The only way any of this ever changes is if the NFL does something about it. As the Senator pointed out yesterday, simply sanctioning schools back to the stone age has no effect, as many of the athletes involved aren’t concerned about what happens to the school. Simply making them ineligible likely won’t have an impact, as the NFL will still take them as long as they’re not out for, say, more than a season. I’m not sure what the NFL can do, either, really.

    The only thing I feel certain about is that it’s going to get worse soon. This offseason/early season has seen the NCAA cracking down on the agent issue like I’ve never seen before. The widespread Party Gate investigation took down players on multiple campuses, including ours, indirectly (and the dude AJ was involved with wasn’t even an actual agent, so you don’t have to be involved with an agent to be involved with an agent in the NCAA’s ever-wise eyes). I think the NCAA’s new leadership is going to tire of reading articles like this where agents claim every good player is lining up with their hands out. I think we’ll see more investigations around the country, and I think we’ll see more suspensions in coming years. Let’s face it, kids, the University of North Carolina isn’t exactly Mecca for NFL scouts. If this got so widespread at UNC, what in the heck do you think has gone on at actual football powers?

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  6. 69Dawg

    And you were shocked by this why? Look until the NCAA and CFB realize that you can not expect 18-22 year olds from poor backgrounds that are placed on a college campus with mostly upper middle class kids whose parents give them walking around money, to not want some money too, we are doomed. The NFL needs to buy the USF and use it as a developmental league. If a kid coming out of high school is good enough take him to the DL. The NFL should basically tell the NCAA to screw itself and draft players of any class that are good enough to play in the NFL. If the NCAA wants to stop this then the NCAA needs to figure out a way to accommodate the exceptional athlete. The agents are as good a place to start as any. If a grown man running a business thinks that a college player has the potential to play at the next level then what business does the NCAA have in interfering in an agency agreement. It’s the USA and this is capitalism. How exactly does the Reggie Bush deal hurt college football? Did he throw games? No Did he take plays off? No Did his college suffer financially from his deal? Hell no. Only the sensibilities of a bunch of old farts with their dreams of yesterday’s amateurism were hurt in this deal. Let’s all begin to live in the 21st century.

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    • 69Dawg

      I should have use UFL sorry.

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    • gernblanski

      Yep. You are right. Amateurism is an antiquated system and terrible foundation for 21st century Division 1-A college sports.

      The problem is that no matter how much you tweak and change it, amateurism was still developed by the elite to make it more difficult for those of a lower socio-economic class compete on an even playing field.

      It can be tweaked again by agreeing to pay the players some of the revenues, but it will never be equal to what the NFL or the NBA pays. Those leagues set the standard for a player value. Eventually, a college football player will accept an illegal benefit.

      The free-market should decide … if the NFL wants to draft a high school senior, college freshman, etc, then they should do it. If a kid wants to bypass college and toil in the minor league for money – why should someone stop them?

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      • The thing is, the NFL loves the current system. It bears zero development costs and gets players far enough along with training that they can contribute quickly at the next level. It has no incentive to fund a minor/developmental league.

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        • gastr1

          Absolutely right. The current setup is too lucrative to the powers in charge (NFL and the colleges) to want to change it.

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        • W Cobb Dawg

          The colleges, conferences and ncaa also love the current system. They make multi-millions with no significant proceeds going to the players.

          Let’s face it, we all love to watch players like Aaron Murray. But if he demanded a few bucks for his services he’d be roadkill.

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          • Scorpio Jones, III

            I hope nobody is surprised by any of this, including the resumes of the folks involved.

            I am just really glad there is only one vague mention of Georgia.

            What I greatly fear is that this little tale is just the tip of a “true confessions” iceberg that will do real damage.

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  7. mike

    That guy is a complete douche. I love that as he’s giving his Mia Culpa, he decides to throw everyone under the bus and naming names all the way down.
    Was Jose Canseco not available to give an a$$ phucking so you decided to write this article?

    I just wanted my daughters to know that I am a good guy when the google me. Phuck you.

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  8. mike

    And by the way…who cares that students get money from agents? Not me.

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  9. HottCheesE

    Senator, got any special plans for 5,000,000 hits? I’ve been watching the counter like its the countdown to the apocalypse or something.

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  10. Scott W.

    Whoa, whoa Henry, naming names. Shame on you.

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  11. Castleberry

    Whoa – he says he paid Webb while he was at UT.

    “But in my first year in the business, 1990, I paid Chuck Webb, the running back from Tennessee.”

    Were they ever punished? I know it’s 20 years ago, but may they could self impose a 20 scholarship reduction for this season??

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  12. Scott

    As much as I would like to praise the players that turned down the money, they were probably already in another agent’s pocket.

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  13. Gen. Stoopnagle

    Speaking of meeting the NCAA definition of an “agent” doesn’t our buddy Chris Hawkins have a court date soon down in Madison (if it ain’t happened already)?

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  14. diving duck

    Did anyone else get a vivid deja vu of Henry Hill giving a behind the scenes account of his rise and fall ending with him selling out everyone he could? Snitches get stitches Jeff Luchs.

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  15. mdr

    This guy is a clearly a douche, but that’s beside the point. Why should anyone care if the upper-echelon athletes are getting money from an outside source? As long as the outside source is LEGAL (screw the NCAA, I’m talking about the law), then who is it hurting?

    The agents, by and large, are scumbags. But that doesn’t change the fact that we are looking at 18-20 year old kids, many from lower income backgrounds, who are being told that they aren’t allowed to profit from their abilities until an arbitrary date in the future.

    Meanwhile the NCAA and its member institutions make barrels of money off these kids and the NFL has its own developmental league, free of charge. The entire system stinks to high heaven and I will never begrudge a kid making a couple of bucks off his name. I just ask that if they play for UGA, they don’t get caught! 🙂

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  16. Connor

    From the ground up college football is rotten. Recruiting is an inherently dirty business.
    Once on campus, players are exploited by the schools.
    Schools, the NCAA and networks scheme and deal for TV contracts to further grow the business, with no consideration for anything but the bottom line.
    The hugely lucrative NFL eagerly take the products, but bears none of the developmental costs.
    Agents and runners infest the entire process, happily profiting on the inequities.

    At the end of the day, it’s all because 92,000 people will go to the games every week, and countless more will watch them on TV. These problems are not associated with water polo or the softball team. We made it a business when we decided we were willing to fork over gobs of money for it. That’s not going to change.

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I’m about to the point where I feel the players should get a ‘stipend” along with the scholarship. Being on campus with all the rich kids and not being able to buy jeans, sweaters, CDs, DVDs and all that other stuff everyone else gets has got to be a real drag. If the schools hand out the dough maybe at least that will keep agents from buying players. It would also end the hypocrisy of suspending kids for selling their own property (which, NCAA Rules aside, is an illegal restraint of trade that probably could not withstand judicial scrutiny).

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  17. Big Shock

    Maybe the NCAA should say “screw it” and let these agents pay the players, but still not allow the players to sign w/an agent until he declares himself a pro. The guys get a little walking around money and it doesn’t take money away from the member institutions like a stipend would. The agents make an investment and if it doesn’t work out (player gets worse, hurt, signs with someone else), that’s just the cost of doing business. I realize that you’ll have some kids that are getting a lot more benefits than others, but that’s life. You’re almost left with a minor league baseball situation with the high paid early rounders and the free agents all put in the same mix. The university can still make money from jersey sales, etc. You may wind up with just a few, very powerful agents that sprinkles money everywhere with the idea of signing everyone, but that the same place we are now. It just begins after the player turns pro (theoretically). It’s a slippery slope, but it might be a nice bridge to make the players’ lives a little easier.

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    • 69Dawg

      That was my earlier point. Why should the NCAA care if a licensed agent, financial advisor or marketing rep give an exceptional kid money. It’s a heck of a lot better than a gambler giving them money to throw a game. This is really a generational control issue. The NCAA just doesn’t want it to happen but they can’t articulate why it would be harmful other than to say it would hurt amateurism. Big deal.

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