Possibly buoyed by the success of the Reggie Bush investigation or committed to dealing once and for all with a problem that has been all too prevalent in recent years, the NCAA has begun to aggressively investigate the dynamic of agents paying players in order to secure them as clients.
We’ve heard rumors for years, and we’ve watched and waited for the NCAA (which regulates college football programs and players) and the NFLPA (which regulates contract agents) to do something about it.
The latest target? Former Florida center Maurkice Pouncey. Pat Forde of ESPN.com reports that the NCAA and Florida are investigating allegations that Pouncey received $100,000 from a representative of an agent after the 2009 SEC title game and prior to Florida’s January 2010 bowl game.
The ESPN.com report curiously omits the fact that Pouncey ultimately hired Joel Segal. This doesn’t mean that Segal was directly or indirectly responsible for paying the money. But if there’s an agent out there who paid Pouncey 100 large and ultimately didn’t get hired, there should be another Lake-versus-Bush-style lawsuit on the horizon.
Meanwhile, because Pouncey has left Florida, the NCAA has no authority over Pouncey. Thus, it’ll be much harder for the NCAA to get to the truth if, in the end, neither Pouncey nor the agent nor the person who allegedly handed over the cash cooperate with the probe.
In this case, however, the NCAA may have an ace in the hole. Maurkice’s twin brother, Mike, remains a Gator, and he’s regarded as one of the top offensive guards in the 2011 draft. The NCAA can, if it so chooses, lean on the twin brothers — who apparently are very close — to get some information.