When the NCAA handed down severe sanctions against USC last month, I wrote that the Committee on Infractions parlayed the Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo scandals to send a message to athletic departments around the country about vigilance in monitoring star players’ relationships with prospective agents.
Apparently that was just the beginning.
Over the past few days, we’ve learned that the NCAA is conducting investigations into several high-profile draft prospects’ dealings with agents at both North Carolina and South Carolina. On Monday, Florida responded to an ESPN.com report, acknowledging it turned over information to law enforcement officials last month regarding an allegation that an agent paid former star lineman Maurkice Pouncey $100,000 prior to last year’s Sugar Bowl.
And more salacious agent-related headlines could soon follow. Sports agent Darren Heitner, author of the watchdog site SportsAgentBlog, said he’s received numerous tips of potential improprieties involving other current players.
“Things could get worse with the schools that have already been reported, and I wouldn’t be shocked [if stories broke] at two more schools in the very near future,” said Heitner. “You hear things every year. The difference this year is that it seems as though enforcement is being taken seriously.”
Call it the Bush Push II
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