Wednesday marked the beginning of SEC Media Days, or as many like to think of it, the beginning of the countdown to the college football season. Nick Saban took the podium first for the defending National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide.
Instead of being able to focus on questions directed toward the Crimson Tide’s quest for a second consecutive National Championship, Saban’s main focus was on questions about agents. Yesterday, it was found out that Marcell Dareus was under investigation for possibly attending an agent’s party in Miami earlier in the summer.
There is an expression, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Well, this investigation into Marcell Dareus’ eligibility was the straw that broke the camel’s back and sent Nick Saban over the edge.
Nick Saban has had it with crooked agents taking the eligibility of players. He said some things in a statement yesterday, but today he let his thoughts be known completely in front of the media.
In his opening statement, after discussing how he doesn’t want to discuss last season’s National Championship, Saban turned his attention to the Dareus incident. Saban stated that agents are “Entrapping and taking advantage of young people at a difficult time in their life.”
He made it know that this isn’t directed toward all agents, saying that “It’s not fair to the good agents, because there are a lot of good agents out there that don’t do this stuff.”
Saban had some harsh words for crooked agents. But, there is quite a few crooked agents out there that are ruining it for the ones that aren’t. These agents should have consequences and right now they don’t, while the players are the ones paying the price and losing eligibility.
Losing Dareus would be a huge loss to Alabama and a defense that already has to replace eight starters. While, Dareus wasn’t considered a starter last season, he did lead the team in sacks and is supposed to play a key role this season with many scouts projecting him as a first round NFL Draft talent.
Saban also spoke about the agent that had improper contact with Andre Smith, leading to Smith being suspended prior to the Sugar Bowl. He stated that he regretted not prosecuting the agent for it. He also said that the same agent was back around the Alabama campus once again last season offering money to players.
In what could be an unprecedented move, Nick Saban could end up closing Alabama practice from scouts for the first time. An NFL scout said recently that there isn’t a more welcoming campus around college football for scouts than the University of Alabama.
That soon could change with these new allegations that another agent has once again attempted to have improper contact with an Alabama player.
I’m 100% with Nick Saban on this issue. Like Saban said yesterday, if an agent is caught offering money or doing anything else improper with a player that could cost him eligibility, then they should have their agent’s license suspended for a considerable amount of time.
If the agents themselves aren’t getting in trouble for this and it’s only the players that have to suffer, then it’s not going to give the agents a reason to stop offering money or anything else to players.
Honesty and integrity is something that is really lacking in some agents these days and it is affecting the world of college sports. While the kids are at fault as well for wrongdoing, I think the agents should be held more responsible, because these kids are at such an impressionable age.
In perhaps the biggest slap in the face to crooked agents, Saban asked, “How are they any better than pimps?”
That’s definitely a rough and blunt comparison, but they wouldn’t have to worry about such things if they would just follow the rules.
It’s time for the NCAA and the NFL even to step up and do something about it. There is something that can be done even if it is just giving a penalty to agents found at fault in circumstances like this.
Nick Saban and the rest of college coaches can only voice their displeasure with all this. It’s in the NCAA’s hands to actually step up and do something.