I was just able to listen to WTKA round table with Brian on-line (the downloads were screwed up yesterday) and I was particularly intrigued by Brian’s passionate defense of allowing pay-for-play using NFL agents.
While I don’t disagree with everything Brian was espousing, I really don’t think Brian has really thought this through and how much of a disaster that scheme would be.
From my point of view, I see many huge potential pitfalls, including but not limited to following:
- Once you let agents in, they will control the system like they do in prep basketball. And I am not talking about just funneling kids to particular schools (which will most certainly happen), they will also take over the athletic departments. Do you think the agent will be happy if the clients that they represent do not receive “proper” playing time or if play calls do not showcase them? They will threaten the coaches will pulling current players and future recruits if coaches do not do as they are told. This already happens to some degree in pros where agents threaten to guide future free agents away from the team if the agent does not get what he wants. And that is with the team paying the salary. Just think about what will happen when the agent is the one who is playing the salary. This would be a disaster.
- Brian also posits that NCAA would be able to put in safeguards to prevent shady practices like fronting salaries and making the players pay for it later if they never make it in pros. Now, I am not a lawyer, but organizations like NFL can certify agents and have some say in contracts because they have collective bargain agreements with the players’ union. There will be no such union as NCAA is not paying anyone and players don’t have unions. As an independent entity, the students would be free to sign whatever contract they want. There will be a host of shady characters who will take advantage of these vulnerable kids and abuses will be rampant, including…
- Here is something I am sure Brian never thought of – gambling. You know what would be a GREAT way for an “agent” to make money from even no name players from SW Missouri and EW Iowa State? Force players to throw the game for gamblers. You are already paying these players. How are you going to prove that they are paying them to throw the game when they are already paying those guys “for future earnings potential”? Unless it is something blatant, there is a huge opportunity for gamblers to shave points here and there to make this very profitable and very, very difficult to prevent.
That is just three off the top of my head. There are probably dozen other scenarios that are probably even worse that I have not thought of.
I can may be see just allowing people to hire athletes for endorsements as long as the contracts are registered, but allowing agents (and agents only) seems like a colossally bad idea to me would eventually kill NCAA sports as we know it.