The NCAA recently has made it clear that it will no longer look the other way when evidence arises of college football players getting paid. The NFL Players Association, which regulates contract agents, apparently plans to take the situation seriously, too.
In a Wednesday appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said that the union plans to pursue aggressively any agents who have violated the rules regarding the payment of college players.
Smith said that the NFLPA currently is investigating the possibility that an agent hired a runner (a go-between who helps recruit college players) to pose as a union employee. Smith said that the NFLPA will pursue sanctions against those agents. He also didn’t rule out the possibility of referring such cases to criminal authorities.
“God help those agents” who are deemed to be guilty of a violation, Smith said.
Currently, the NFLPA has jurisdiction over contract agents and financial advisors. Both groups generally have been tied to paying players. Another group — marketing agents — are not covered by the union, but they arguably should be.
Either way, the matter seems to be on the union’s radar screen. The next question becomes whether the union will be willing to take thorough and consistent action against any and all agents and financial advisors who break the rules, even if it means punishing agents who are on the union’s “most favored nations” list.
UPDATE: Former NFL sideline reporter and current CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian had an interesting response, via Twitter, to the headline of this item. “[B]ull-shit,” Keteyian said. (We had no idea that the term was spelled with a hyphen.)