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NFL should suspend players who got paid in college

In response to the recent rant from Alabama coach Nick Saban, who thinks that perhaps NFL scouts should be frozen out of college practices if the league can’t do a better job of keeping agents from paying players, a reader has suggested a possibly powerful way of addressing the problem.

Already, the NFLPA subjects agents who pay players to suspension.  (The union rarely actually enforces the rule; as we explained last night, the union should be far more aggressive in this regard.)   Why not also suspend players who ultimately are determined by the NCAA to have accepted payment while still eligible?

Though the NFL generally has scrapped the notion of imposing discipline via the Personal Conduct Policy on players who found off-field trouble while still in college, the league has a strong incentive to avoid the alienation of the men like Saban who preside over pro football’s free farm system.  This approach would get the word out to every college player that, if you take money from an agent now and if the NCAA eventually finds out about it, the penalty at the next level will be far worse than not taking the money in the first place.

Though it surely won’t eliminate the problem, it could go a long way toward deterring some of the kids who have in the past pocketed money without fear of any consequence.

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52 Responses to “NFL should suspend players who got paid in college”
  1. BoulerEagle says: Jul 21, 2010 8:37 AM

    How about suspending the agents

  2. kingmj4891 says: Jul 21, 2010 8:43 AM

    Florio are you smoking the rock this morning? This is one of the dumbest articles I have ever read, the problem is not in the players taking money it is that the NCAA is broken by not allowing players to take money while in school, the NCAA makes millions off of these players. Why do you defend them so much when they are the root of the problem?

  3. winkel33 says: Jul 21, 2010 8:44 AM

    Just stop with this. Should we penalize an 18, 19 year old kid who someone offered money to? Go after the agents who do it, go after the coaches who allow it to happen, go after the ADs and the schools that turn a blind eye and profit enormously from the kids in college who we say can’t get any money.

  4. therewasone says: Jul 21, 2010 8:47 AM

    the NFL is NOT COLLEGE. We don’t need more stupid rules imposed by governing groups that pick and choose who they want to go after. Just complain to you mommy Floiro and leave it at that.

  5. Tdk24 says: Jul 21, 2010 8:48 AM

    An NFL team should not be penalized by having a player suspended because he took money in college. It would not send a message because of all the players in the past and future that took money but never got caught. Reggie is probably just 1 of hundreds that took money.

  6. MrJames says: Jul 21, 2010 8:48 AM

    Florio, what are you talking about? Why would it be the responsibility/problem of a professional league to address ameture athletes accepting money?
    Imagine you were caught doing something wrong that is against college rules, say you organized a protest without the proper permit. Then and a couple of years later your job discovers this. Should they discipline you???
    You are a lawyer so you do know that a player accepting money from agents early in order to sign is against NCAA rules not illegal?

  7. parasonic says: Jul 21, 2010 8:48 AM

    orrr start paying college players a flat (yet fair) “salary” based on what year they are. Have the wage go up a little as they get older. Maybe even give the non-scholarship athletes a little more. It will increase competition to make the team and therefore increase the product produced by the school.

  8. mattgso says: Jul 21, 2010 8:51 AM

    The NFLPA has to get on board with slapping the hands of agents since they bestow the “agent” status.
    Good luck getting that done.

  9. PurpleNGold says: Jul 21, 2010 8:52 AM

    It’s an excellent idea. It puts the responsibility on the only person who controls the situation – the athlete.

  10. Jpgedds says: Jul 21, 2010 8:52 AM

    college players should be paid anyway….that would solve the problem

  11. Duan says: Jul 21, 2010 8:54 AM

    I am sooooooooooo sick of this crap!? I went to college and I understand college life! Don’t give me scholar athlete mumbo jumbo! Let me tell you why.
    First and formost, I am defending college athlete’s and I was never one, I was fratboy/drinker, but back to my argument. When you look at how much money the University of Florida generated off of Tim Tebow!? They freakin’ raped that kid! Seriously. The estimated cost for a kid with a meal plan and housing, $18,000 a year!
    Now I went to college, I have seen academic scholar students receive crazy amounts of money, stipends, scholarship cash, book vouchers, basically get paid to get a degree from a college or university, then grad assistants!?
    Anyhow, the education is incentive, but c’mon – these kids are generating MILLIONS! They deserve to receive something more, than just the education.
    Seriously think about how many Univ. of Florida Tim Tebow jerseys were sold during that kids tenure?
    The education should be bottom line and base offering, but when you get to Tim Tebow’s level in college, there needs to be some kind of balance to that. He gave way more to that Univ. just by playing for them, than what they gave back to him.

  12. strctlylo says: Jul 21, 2010 8:56 AM

    here we go again with Florio’s holier than thou, ‘let me climb up to my mountain high soap box’ and start preaching to everyone what is right and wrong and how people need to be punished. I hope you live your life on the straightest of straight and narrows because the amount of people waiting for your to slip up and fall is growing exponentially by the day. These kids generate millions of dollars for the universities and they get a free ride. i think the kids get a raw deal here.

  13. hrdnokd says: Jul 21, 2010 8:56 AM

    That’s about the dumbest damn thing I’ve seen on PFT in a long time. Punish the kids for taking free money, what is wrong with you? The NCAA makes BILLIONS of dollars on these kids and pay them zilch. I didn’t say a few million, I said BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. Get real and grow up. Punish the people giving the money, not the kid that has no money and trying to scrape up enough cash to buy a nice meal once in a while. And people wonder why athletes lose their minds when they get paid in the NFL.

  14. Kyle H says: Jul 21, 2010 8:57 AM

    No they should not.
    This is a stupid idea.
    I like this site, and I like listening to you and PA on KFAN. However, sometimes your moralizing and preaching gets a little sickening. This is one of those times.

  15. Terry says: Jul 21, 2010 8:58 AM

    It’ll NEVER happen. The so called “personal conduct” policy applies to those already under the NFL “umbrella” NOT those who have not yet entered the league.

  16. Kyle H says: Jul 21, 2010 9:05 AM

    No they should not.
    This is a stupid idea.
    I like this site, and I like listening to you and PA on KFAN. However, sometimes your moralizing and preaching gets a little sickening. This is one of those times.

  17. brusta2002 says: Jul 21, 2010 9:08 AM

    Everyone knows players get rich in college.. just use Shaq as an example

  18. robynsc says: Jul 21, 2010 9:09 AM

    yes. we should also close the barn door after the horse has left and throw the baby out with the bath water.
    suspending a player in his professional job for something he did in college?? maybe we should penalize the college. oh wait, we do that already.
    should we also penalize the nfl team if a player broke curfew at their dorm or cheated on a test in soc 101?? what? you TP’ed the dean’s house soph year? 3 games, you’re out! ridiculous!
    maybe if the nfl grows up, their players will too.

  19. CYGNUS X-1 says: Jul 21, 2010 9:09 AM

    for somebody who slams tebow for his morals and beliefs you sure don’t have a problem preaching yours do you florio.college kids gets who accept money should be suspended from a job they don’t have yet?sure they broke a rule in college but what does that have to do with the nfl?you and your crusade are a joke!would love to see your opnion if little florio were in the same position and did not have a rich daddy to bail him out whenever he needed money or anything while away at school and putting the hrs. in these kids do.yea they get a free education but the schools make millions off thier work and they can’t have anybody buy them dinner?yea I know that’s minor compared to what bush got but you read about the small stuff and under your plan a kid can get in trouble for that to.again I would love to see your kid put all the effort kids that play collaege foootball do and have you say that tuition is enough .football is a year round job for these kids not just during the fall. they are always working out and expected to be there or else lose thier free ride.

  20. burntorangehorn says: Jul 21, 2010 9:10 AM

    The NFL is the reason behind this tampering problem, and the NCAA has a lot of leverage. If the NCAA’s serious, it could definitely force the NFL to play ball, or threaten to ban any and all personnel affiliated with the NFL from involvement with NCAA. No scouts at games, no coordination for the combine, a ban on pro days at schools, etc. The NCAA and NFL would both survive, but the NCAA really does have some teeth.
    If antitrust laws could be worked out, here are two measures that I’d like to see implemented:
    1. Lifetime license ban from all top-level leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) for any agent caught contacting an NCAA player in any sport prior to the player’s completion of eligibility (including being declared ineligible, exhausting eligibility, or declaring early), whether directly or through an intermediary.
    2. A one-year ban of the player from draft eligibility for (or if already drafted, competing in) any of those top-level leagues. This means if Maurkice Pouncey were found to have actually accepted that money from the agent, he’d be banned from playing in 2010. Reggie Bush would be banned for 2010, since his cases weren’t concluded until just recently. Marvin Austin would be banned from the 2011 NFL draft, 2011 supplemental draft, and playing in the 2011 NFL season.

  21. Loon75 says: Jul 21, 2010 9:10 AM

    While I support suspensions for violation of the personal conduct policy, suspending a player for breaking an NCAA rule seems to punishing the wrong people– the drafting NFL team.
    The agents get punished and the school program gets punished. If a student is still in school they get punished. If player wins awards they are forfeit. That’s how it should stay.
    What sense does it make to have an NFL team lose a player who they have invested significant time and money in getting ready for a rookie campaign?
    What if the player is in their sophomore NFL season before the allegations come forward?
    “We’re sorry team X. We understand that it’s November and that your gearing up for a playoff run but your all-star linebacker is going to have to sit for four because they got a watch and car from an agent five years ago in direct violation of NCAA rules.”

  22. jj jones says: Jul 21, 2010 9:20 AM

    Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
    Suspend the agents.

  23. Brad Miller says: Jul 21, 2010 9:21 AM

    @brusta2002:
    Love the Baseketball reference
    ————————————————–
    @Florio:
    Let by-gones be by-gones. The past is the past and they are hear to entertain us and take our teams to the Championship. What broke college player, or anyone in college for that example, wouldn’t take boat loads of money if it was offered to them?

  24. Fed up says: Jul 21, 2010 9:28 AM

    Florio? You are just another anti-union mamby pamby that works for the CORPORATE OWNED NBC.
    YOU rigtht-wing jocks make me sick.
    Mike Florio? YOU SUCK!!!!!

  25. daddy_lover says: Jul 21, 2010 9:28 AM

    You’re an attorney and you wrote that opinion???

  26. Duan says: Jul 21, 2010 9:36 AM

    @ burntorangehorn – I dig this comment, “No scouts at games, no coordination for the combine, a ban on pro days at schools, etc. The NCAA and NFL would both survive, but the NCAA really does have some teeth.”
    =================================
    First, I don’t want you to get mad, but I see where your going with this. Considering the Dez Bryant, Reggie Bush and the current Alabma incident – that makes perfect sense.
    But here is the one but, it wouldn’t be fair to the athlete’s.
    Even though, it’s athletics, the NFL offers careers and jobs, therefor they dish out paychecks just like Nissan, Kraft foods, Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals, Darden Restaurants, Shell Oil, BP, Google, Microsoft, and Dell. The companies I named, pay students to complete their degree’s in certain areas, they conduct job fairs on college campuses, they interview students at job fairs and college career centers. They give free lunches, trips, pens, pencils, notepads, bookbags. They offer paid summer internships, with free housing and meal allowances, to top academic scholars! Just to get a person with a high GPA!
    People always scream about how college athlete’s get over, but no one ever paints the picture I just gave you guys.
    It’s not fair to student athlete’s to shut them down from future potential employers! Because their fellow classmates, have way more leeway.
    To retain top talent, you literally have company’s paying students in college, and paying for their fee’s and housing! But you have people riding college athlete’s for reciving free meals or driving loaner cars!!!!!!????
    It’s crazy! It is pure-d-crazy and I have never seen anybody point out the argument I just made!

  27. LT2_3 says: Jul 21, 2010 9:42 AM

    So how would that work in the Bush situation: where He didn’t get anything, but his PARENTS got to live somewhere nice for free? I think punishing an NFL player in his early 20’s for the actions of his relatives is a bizarre idea.
    You should also make the distinction between contract agents that are regulated by the NFLPA and investment advisors that are not – as in the Bush case as well.

  28. Majik Bullet says: Jul 21, 2010 9:43 AM

    BoulerEagle says: July 21, 2010 8:37 AM
    How about suspending the agents
    ______________
    Read the 2nd paragraph of the article, genius.

  29. sailfree says: Jul 21, 2010 9:44 AM

    Please tell me this is a trick question and just a joke!!!

  30. dvdman says: Jul 21, 2010 9:49 AM

    Maybe we should suspend writers for writing articles that make no sense. What Bush or ANY other college player did in college should have NOTHING to do with his pro career in any sport.
    End of story.

  31. wope says: Jul 21, 2010 9:55 AM

    Wow this guy gets worse everyday. I guess you think it would be ok for your current employer to discipline you for something you did at your previous job, too? Rofl.

  32. nevegreg says: Jul 21, 2010 9:55 AM

    As a former college athlete, if offered a car, rent money, something good for the family, um, I’ll stand in line.

  33. BigTony300 says: Jul 21, 2010 9:57 AM

    NFL should stay out of it. Those kids should be compensated by the colleges. They put their bodies on the line and the colleges they play for make millions because of them. What is wrong with giving them an allowance? Some kind of compensation so that they don’t have to take money and gifts from boosters. The problem is the NCAA not the NFL. NCAA is GREEDY!!!

  34. BigTony300 says: Jul 21, 2010 9:58 AM

    NFL should stay out of it. Those kids should be compensated by the colleges. They put their bodies on the line and the colleges they play for make millions because of them. What is wrong with giving them an allowance? Some kind of compensation so that they don’t have to take money and gifts from boosters. The problem is the NCAA not the NFL. NCAA is GREEDY!!!

  35. ShootahCowboy says: Jul 21, 2010 10:07 AM

    While I agree with agents being “frozen” out from the players, there also needs to be some personal accountability from the players. Especially at the bigger schools like Alabama and USC, these athletes are told on a regular basis about rules infractions.
    Don’t start that garbage about paying the college players. They get enough perks with free tuition, room, board, medical, and other perks. If these players start paying back what they get for free, then we can talk about it…

  36. ohandsixteenforever says: Jul 21, 2010 10:11 AM

    The biggest problem with this is the NFL has no power to investigate college players. They can only wait on the NCAA to lay down punishment on players and only then if those players are in the NFL could they punish them. The NCAA however is wildly inconsistent in catching it’s players cheating much less punishing them. So whether or not the idea has merit, the implementation of it would certainly cause problems.

  37. ShootahCowboy says: Jul 21, 2010 10:14 AM

    @Duan
    Sooooooo…. He gets free tuition, room, board, OJT for his chosen profession, free publicity for the Heisman, free Pro work-out days scheduled, and free advertisement for the draft.
    And he should get paid?
    Give me a break.
    If players started paying back all of the expenses they incurred, that the University took care of, after they graduate, I may be more open to the thought of paying players. As I haven’t heard an instance of that happening yet, they should be thankful for the opportunity that they got.
    Besides, nobody forced them to go to college did they? There was no gun put to their head. They know the rules going in….

  38. prmpft says: Jul 21, 2010 10:20 AM

    …oh great idea – then to play w/ the 6 guys left we’d have to suit up the first 47 fans in the gate…

  39. We need linemen says: Jul 21, 2010 10:28 AM

    The NCAA has no leverage. It is amazing that the current monopoly is allowed to continue. It is a anti-competitive industry that only survives because of the collusion of the NFL.
    College football is multi-million dollar industry that effectively refuses to pay the majority of it’s workforce. If people want to play profootball the only real way to get their is to play college football, there is no true alternative because both NCAA and the NFL have made it that way.
    If the NCAA want to promote amateur values they can start by elimating every paid position in their own organisation. Everyone would have to work as volunteer or be “student-adminstrators” who receive a scholarship in return. Everyone involved in college football programs, including the coaches, should be amateurs as well. Let’s see how long Nick Saban enjoys molding young minds when he has to do it for free.
    If the NCAA gets to aggressive with the NFL it could find itself on the wrong end of NFL minor league. How many high-school players would choose a scholarship over a chance to sign a professional contract. Anyone actually interested in getting an education could use his salary to pay for a college courses, whilst the many that currently just go through the motions of being a “student-athlete” would not have to cheapen themselves with the pretence. That would then free up college places and resources for people who actually want to study.

  40. BigTony300 says: Jul 21, 2010 10:44 AM

    @ Shootah Cowboy
    They should get an ALLOWANCE. Some of those kids don’t come from families with money. If your a full time student athlete there is no time to hold down a job. You have to have some money to live man. These colleges make MILLIONS at their expense, some of that money should go to the players so that they don’t feel the need to take handouts.

  41. rbais2 says: Jul 21, 2010 10:45 AM

    Obviously, you never come from an athlete’s perspective when it is necessary. The NCAA schools just find ways to get athletes admitted when the majority of them are not qualified to attend as students. The students are TOLD to take the EASIEST and MINIMAL AMOUNT of courses to stay eligible to play.
    These courses likely do not line up to a particular college degree and these likely financially and academically incapable students get screwed in the education system and are unable to graduate. So if the multi-billion dollar TV contract recipients (also known as prestigious institutions) can screw kids over by getting them not get the thing that gets them money (a college degree), then let the kids take cash that they likely will not get at age 50 (hello, 75% of retired players go broke or get divorced after 2 years of not playing). Students taking cash does NOT hurt their or opposing colleges that make MORE than enough.

  42. Steeler fans are tools says: Jul 21, 2010 10:52 AM

    I would take $$, no joke. Like people said, go after the agents, they know they are in the wrong speaking to amateurs, hit them in the wallet

  43. rbais2 says: Jul 21, 2010 11:06 AM

    Students earning cash hurts NO ONE!!! If people saw their actual courses, degrees, and other things that lead to low graduation rates, then “Ka$h for Kid$” is okay!!!!!
    Jesus!!! Do drama school scholarships prevent students to accept cash as extras or in movie roles on set??
    I think not and I am likely 100000000000000000% correct on this subject matter.
    Also, if they wanted the agent-student transgressions to stop, the
    NFLPA could suspend the agent’s certification. To stop the boosters from paying, the NCAA should threaten schools for more severe punishment by getting them to ban the boosters from having alumni-university relations.

  44. DasBoot504 says: Jul 21, 2010 11:26 AM

    Florio is a troll……a pretty stupid one at that.

  45. Jon Evans says: Jul 21, 2010 11:29 AM

    Oh and next we can have the NFL putting fines on people who bought/played some bootleg non-liscensed football game over Madden (etc)
    Stop attempting to create this Nazi regime that can do everything simply because you are upset people make more money than you.

  46. Duan says: Jul 21, 2010 11:50 AM

    @ ShootahCowboy – You make an interesting argument.
    However, you totally ignored my post regarding, the perks academic scholar students receive from potential future employers.
    I don’t see how you can ignore that. I don’t know how much you know about Catepillar, but let me give you a little story. One of my classmates started having conversations with them after our freshman year @ Jackson State. Sophmore year she was flown to Chicago to do a summer internship in one of their Peoria, Il locations, they gave her $2,000 a month , plus an apartment, along with meal allowance and rental car. Upon her return from the summer internship, they were basically paying her to complete her degree, receiving a monthly stipend, book allowance, then paying for her tuition. While receiving all that from Catepillar, she was still her full academic scholarship from Jackson State!?
    Student athlete’s, especially those playing football in big money conferences like the SEC, Big 10 and ACC, are getting screwed royally!
    You need to look at it from another angle shootah

  47. Annuvin says: Jul 21, 2010 12:01 PM

    This is a stupid idea. What’s next? Suspending and/or firing any employee in the workforce if you can prove he or she cheated in school?
    To be quite honest, I really don’t get what can be construed as morally wrong about amateur athletes being paid to play in the NCAA to begin with. Ever since pro athletes were allowed to play on the U.S. Olympic basketball team the definition of what constitutes an “amateur athlete” has been hazy at best.

  48. favrecansuckit says: Jul 21, 2010 12:56 PM

    For a lawyer to write this is embarassing…The NCAA is a bunch of incompetent fools to begin with, they’re extremely limited in their investigations, especially once a player is out of school, they have no way to force them to cooperate or tell the truth for that matter. It’s not as though these players are put on trial either, sanctions are decided purely on decisions made by the NCAA. Why would the NFL suspend players for anything they did BEFORE THEY WERE EMPLOYED BY THE NFL anyway, much less after the pointless finding in a half-ass investigation?? The NCAA has zero leverage once a player is out of school. The NFL is not stupid enough to even consider punishing it’s players for allegedly breaking NCAA regulations.

  49. covercorner7 says: Jul 21, 2010 1:31 PM

    The NFL cannot punish players for acts committed prior them having any association with the NFL. That would be ILLEGAL!

  50. rbais2 says: Jul 21, 2010 1:52 PM

    Ban the boosters, oh wait … colleges need alumni ca$h!!!!

  51. DayAllOnJuice says: Jul 21, 2010 3:28 PM

    DasBoot504 says:
    July 21, 2010 11:26 AM
    Florio is a troll……
    +++++++++++++
    No truer words have ever been written here.
    Florio, NBC should suspend you for reporting Terry Bradshaw was dead…..you know, before you were employed by them.

  52. funi says: Jul 21, 2010 4:58 PM

    Finally someone agrees with me! Not only should the players be suspended the coach should not be allowed to coach anywhere else or be on tv! 99% of coaches knows what is going on, that is why they leave to go elsewhere!

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