Who's really to blame: agents, players, coaches?
Nick Saban spent a big part of Wednesday's SEC media day bashing sports agents. That happens when one of your stars--DE Marcell Darius--may be lost for the season.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive also got in on the action as well.
Not to be outdone, countless bloggers have been discussing this all day on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Even I participated in a chat at In The Bleachers earlier today. There was a lot of talk about agents, NCAA investigations and how everyone is responding.
One thing was clear: Most 18-22 year olds are going to take free money ... no matter who is offering it.
So who's really to blame? The players, agents, coaches, universities?
The easy answer is the agents. Most agents are sleezy, but this is nothing new. It's their job and it's how they make the cash.
Coaches like Saban and others with NFL-caliber players are usually extremely open to allowing pro scouts at practice and on campus. Saban says he may change this philosophy, but it helps when you can tell a recruit about the many scouts on campus.
University administrators have gotten caught up in how big college football has become and the money and interest it generates. They have compliance officers and like to think everything is above board, but the Reggie Bush fiasco is enough proof that too many people look the other way.
I guess that leaves us with the NCAA. That's right. The group who's doing the investigations and potentially doling out punishment could do something about this. The NCAA is in a real power position right now, and there's an opening to work with the NFL Players Association and the NFL to curb this behavior by unscrupulous agents.
Does anyone want to guess the odds of this actually happening?