Nick Saban: Coaches discussing agents
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Florida's Urban Meyer and other high-profile college football coaches had another conference call Thursday with the NFL and others in their efforts to protect schools and players from rule-breaking agents.
Meyer said the next step will likely be a face-to-face meeting involving the non-coaches and possibly something "put on paper." The latest call involved Meyer, Alabama's Nick Saban, Ohio State's Jim Tressel, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Mack Brown of Texas, along with officials from the NFL Players Association and the NCAA.
"Obviously, we're not going to go to it because we're coaching. But I think the representatives of all involved are going to get together," Meyer said. "I'm really anxious -- we all are -- to see what they put on paper."
Saban organized the first call -- which included NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell -- in the wake of investigations involving alleged improper dealings with agents at Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina and Georgia. He said the American Football Coaches Association is also involved.
Saban has sharply criticized agents who are breaking the rules and supported sanctions against them, including suspensions handed down by the NFLPA.
Saban said there have been "several conference calls."
"There have been and there will be more at some time in the future meetings with all these groups in the same room, which may have never happened before," he said. "I'm very pleased with how people are approaching this, the attitude they have toward approaching it and how aggressively everybody has moved to try to solve this problem."
With their seasons starting next week, the coaches' role in the process might be reduced.
But Meyer is pleased with how it's going so far, even if there's no overnight solution.
"What you find out is it's not like running a team," he said. "It takes forever, but there's a lot of good minds on there, a lot of good people that want to do it right."
What does he hope to accomplish?
"Just stop the nonsense," Meyer said. "It's evaluate the rules, enforce the rules and then try to stop what's going on. That sounds real easy, and it does to a coach until you get everybody on the phone and you're like, 'Wow, I never thought of that.' You've got legal issues and everything else. I was just a listener. It was unbelievable to hear what's going on."
In the meantime, Meyer said Florida's message to players concerning agents hasn't changed while the Gators await results of an investigation into allegations that former offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey accepted money from an agent between the SEC championship game and the Sugar Bowl.
"We're waiting to see what comes out of this [NCAA investigation]," Meyer said. "We wear them out around here about that stuff. Everything's coming back positive about the investigation. I'm not sure it's finished or not. But I think we do everything by the book, and I'd be disappointed if I found something that we don't because we educate them and we meet with the families and we do everything we can."
Saban said Thursday he still hasn't heard the results of an investigation into a trip to Miami's South Beach taken by defensive end Marcell Dareus.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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