The NFLPA wisely has removed all restrictions on the ability of agents to talk to college football players. That doesn’t keep states and/or individual schools from making their own rules.
In Texas, where agents must be licensed and also covered by a $50,000 bond that is irrelevant given their mandatory $1 million in NFLPA-mandated liability insurance, the folks at Baylor have crafted a unique approach to player access.
Any agents interested in recruiting draft-eligible players have one day — today — to show up on campus and meet for 15 minutes each with players willing to meet with the agents. Players can meet with up to six agents each, creating a format that some agents are calling speed dating.
After today, there may be no further contact between agents and players until after the 2014 season.
The fundamental problem with rules prohibiting phone calls or other communications comes from the reality that those inclined to break the rules will do so, presumably in a way that will make it impossible to be caught. Which in turn puts those who follow the rules at a disadvantage.
The bigger question is why schools feel compelled to limit the ability of players to engage in communications that won’t jeopardize their eligibility? At a certain level, there’s a Footloose-style dancing-leads-to-fornication logic at play. Again, however, those agents inclined to break the rules by paying eligible players will break the rules prohibiting communications, giving the rule-breakers a decided advantage in the effort to lure Baylor players — making it more likely that players will be represented by unscrupulous agents.