Dez Bryant says NCAA thought Deion was a runner for Parker

When the NCAA grilled former Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant last year regarding his relationship with Deion Sanders, the NCAA had a broader goal in mind.

We’d previously heard, via multiple league sources, that the NCAA was interested in learning whether agent Eugene Parker was funneling money or other things of value to prospective clients via Sanders.

Given the potentially inflammatory nature of that allegation, we previously had not articulated it quite so directly.  We’re less concerned now that Bryant has confirmed publicly what the NCAA privately had been exploring.

“I just felt like the NCAA thought that there was something going on,
but I didn’t even know [Parker] then,” Bryant said at a press conference in Tampa, per  “They thought that Deion was a
runner for him, but it wasn’t anything like that.  Deion just wanted to
be a mentor and make sure everything was right.  I felt like there was
nothing wrong with that.”

Since “runners” rarely if ever do their “running” for free, the NCAA apparently suspected that Sanders and Parker had some type of financial arrangement.  And since “runners” cause players to run afoul of NCAA regulations only when players receive things of value, the NCAA presumably believed that cash and/or gifts were being funneled from Parker to Bryant, through Sanders. 

Bryant claims he never received any gifts from Sanders or from any agent or booster.  But given that Bryant already has admitted to lying once, it’s hard to give his present words much credence.  Without Sanders or Parker voluntarily submitting to interviews with the NCAA and/or voluntarily relinquishing documents or other tangible items, it’s impossible to know whether Bryant is telling the truth.

And that’s the fundamental problem in cases like this.  The NCAA has no jurisdiction over agents and other persons not officially affiliated with a member institution.  So if they choose not to cooperate, the NCAA can do nothing.

Still, there’s reason to at least be suspicious.  Bryant now claims that Deion never talked to Bryant about Parker, Deion’s former agent, and that Parker never talked to Bryant about Deion, Parker’s former client.  So, in other words, Bryant knew that the NCAA believed there was a connection between Parker and Deion, and Bryant never asked Deion, “Who’s this Eugene Parker they keep mentioning?”

Somehow, Bryant became aware of Parker.  And even though the NCAA’s interest in Parker’s activities indirectly caused Bryant to miss most of what turned out to be his final year of college football, Bryant opted to do business with Parker.

It’s unknown whether the NCAA is still looking into Parker and Sanders and Bryant.  As mentioned above, such investigations tend to hit dead ends pretty quickly, given that folks like Parker and Sanders have no legal obligation to talk.

But based on Bryant’s comments from Friday, there’s still enough smoke to justify an effort by the NCAA to keep looking for some fire.

19 responses to “Dez Bryant says NCAA thought Deion was a runner for Parker

  1. Deion, Bryant and Crabtree are “too country” for their own good. They routinely open their mouths and hurt both sides (agent, prospective team, probably the NFL Network , too in Deion’s case)
    Many thought Deion shouldve been penalized by the NFL as a potential “tampering source” in very tenuous negotiations with an already difficult agent (Parker).

  2. Typical Florio. Believe the parts that confirm your assinine conspiracy theories while ignoring any facts or evidence that do not.
    And for the record, I think Deon is acomplete ass.

  3. Parker and Deion should both be banned from the league.. Of course that will never happen, but the NFL would be a better place without them.

  4. follow the money.
    The NCAA is about the most corrupt organization in the world, outside of the UN. they are interested in protecting the sacred cash cow known as college football.
    IF anything, its a complete crock that college players can’t make a damn thing while playing, other than getting scholarships to the schools they play for. at least let the kids get a chunk of change for the videogames and perhaps a % of their jersey sales. “Big Education” is a powerful lobby with a ton of money and all the right connections to protect their interests.
    for a site that regularly rips teams for not giving guarenteed money contracts, how in the hell can you be running cover for the NCAA when they milk these kids for 4 years, and baring injury, turn them free.

  5. sick of the ncaa and thier ridiculous rules.schools like texas can make 80 million dollars off the football program but athletes can’t get a free meal from fans without it being a violation?you can’t drive a decent car because somebody else bought it?do these idiots have any idea the amount of time these players spend on getting ready for games and training?plus they expect them to go to class?anything for the school to make a buck but screw the players.yea it’s nice they get a free education but how do they have time to take any classes that are gonna help them in the real world?and this is not just a division 1 nephew played at a naia school and barely had time to go to class.

  6. Florio, I’ ve been reading PFT for several years, and I still think Matt Drudge is your idol and mentor. I have to say, though, if you had to work a real job in media, you’d be out of a job.

  7. They think he is???
    Anyone can plainly see that when Deion “mentors” someone, they become a client of Parker. There definitely doesn’t need much reasoning to make that conclusion.

  8. Just a stupid thing to be investigating and punishing Bryant for. They basically put him out for the rest of the season and for what lying? What are they going to do to Lane Kiffin and his staff for their recruiting violations or Kiffin’s predecessor’s violations? Oh wait they will get pay raises and have the ability to get different jobs down the road.
    Bryant should have suspended for a couple of games but to take away his remaining eligibility was far too stiff a punishment for what he did. It is always nice to see that the NCAA can flex its muscles on the small guys, but fail to do anything significant to the coaches and other “adults” who screw over the players time and again.

  9. Florio keeps the post coming. I don’t care if its something about some NFL player going to the bathroom, and dropping a Jamarcus Russell. PFT passes the hours of my boring days, and I read every article no matter how pointless they are.
    And for this article. I hate Deion and wish him only the worst. I used to like Bryant because I love any good college WR. But now I hate him just like I hate Craptree. Both only for their associations with Deion and Parker. Whether that right or wrong, those 2 are terrible for the NFL. Bryant took money or cars or clothes or hookers or whatever, and I feel it would be dumb to think otherwise. These are people the same age as me with all the god given talent I’ll never have, and on top of that they are given the world. Of course he took anything he was given by Neon Deion. Its what he is used to, and if he didn’t then more power to him. But him taking Parker as his agent is pretty much the nail in the coffin for me.
    Send me Jordan Shipley! And yes its because I LOVE white WRs. I can’t help it. Wes isn’t enough for me

  10. Following the money might not be the best strategy. Its also probably why the NCAA (or the NFL) can’t nail Parker or Deion.
    Parker was Deions agent, for what ? 20 years or something ? Is it really hard to believe that Parker might be a personal friend of Deions ? and that Deion is engaging in inappropriate behavior as a favor for Parker for free (or more specifically, engaging in unethical behavior as gratitude for all the money Parker helped Deion make over the years).
    Its no different then if I helped out one of my buddies, he doesn’t have to pay me to get me to do him a favor, it might and probably is the same with Deion and Parker.
    Though if the the idea that a friend might break the rules for another friend without financial compensation but instead do it as a favor, there is also an alternative possibility.
    Parker is an Agent (obviously) and Deion now works for the NFL network, they could be trading favors, Deion helps get Parker clients by steering them, and Parker gives Deion scoops, and stories and dirt (not to mention using his network of people) to help Deions analyst career.
    See Crabtree, if Deions dished that dirt and got that dirt from Parker, is it crazy to think that Deion is trying to steer kids to Parker (e.g. one hand washes the other).
    If the NCAA is looking for money or a paper trail, they ain’t gonna find it (if there is financial compensation, it would probably be hidden via a joint business enterprise anyway).

  11. Sure its possible that Primetime was/is working for Parker. So what? In this day and age any former athlete that takes his/her time to mentor an up and comer’ he should be able to do so. I would rather see this kid do things the right way rather than flame out like so many other top prospects. Dez Bryant should be able to consult with whomever he wants to ensure that his PRO-football career is successful. If that means cutting a few corners, so be it. What has the NCAA done for him lately?

  12. Ahh….Mikey, Mikey, Mikey…again you titled this article to incite a riot… The title should be “Dez Bryant thought that the NCAA thought that Deon was a runner for Parker….” Instead, you accuse the NCAA of being the instigator of the probe by titling it as you did. Now, you could very well be right and probably are. Sensationalism gets you hits and the truth of stories keeps people coming back. Just print the facts in the title, then sensationalize all you want in the article….

  13. Glad to see Deion working with offensive guys since he never hit anybody or made a tackle in his career.
    Incedible cover skills, but if you ran his way he always went into the fetal position.

  14. Deion has been steering the kids he supposedly mentors towards Parker for years. He’s obviously getting some kind of benefit from it. He should not be working for the NFL, this looks like a serious conflict of interest.

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