Carroll Could Be Teaming Up With NFLPA

By Adam Caparell - September 20, 2006

Coaches have come under scrutiny for how closely they should monitor their players actions, off the field as much as on, with the Reggie Bush controversy swriling around the colllege football landscape.

But the man who’s right in the middle of the storm, USC coach Pete Carroll, said he can only do so much and that it’s an ever evolving process trying to prevent his players from committing NCAA violations - especially when it comes to contact with agents.

“In general, coaches have a tremendous responsibility to do the best job we can possible do to inform and make our people aware – not just the players, it’s the extended family as we know and everybody associated, our own boosters need to know - the rules and about compliance,” Carroll said.

“I don’t know what else to do but to keep trying to find better ways [to educate].”

Carroll, who is barred by school officials from officially commenting on the ongoing investigation by the school as to whether Bush and his family accepted over $100,000 in illegal benefits, said the real problem lies in the agents, and especially their runners, who recruit potential clients with gifts and money before their eligibility runs out. Agents are allowed to talk to prospective clients at any time, even as early as high school, but can not exchange money or sign players to a contract.

“They can do whatever they want to do,” Carroll said. They’re basically ungoverned. That’s the problem. Only the NLFPA, as I understand, can doing anything to mandate whether they’re out of line. It’s really hard with the freedom of the rules as they’re structured it’s really hard to govern those guys. Because they can contact kids as much as they want to, they just can’t give them anything. But that’s the hard part for the NFLPA. They know they’re making contact, but when do they stop that contact and when does it go too far?”

Carroll said he’s been working with Gene Upshaw, the NFLPA president, to figure out a better way to govern the agents and their runners and prevent them from interfering prematurely in athletes lives. We could see new rules in the near future barring agents from having any contact with players until they have exhausted their eligibility.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 03:15 PM on September 20, 2006

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