As I have mentioned on this site and on my Twitter feed (@Darren_Heitner), the NCAA is finally taking enforcement of its regulations seriously. A few days ago, many of my colleagues were questioning my focus on the investigation at UNC, because of the fact that it is readily known that some agents hand over benefits to student-athletes and rarely get punished, even if there is somewhat strong evidence to investigate further. Then yesterday, we found out that the University of South Carolina may have some players questioned based on the alleged receipt of benefits. And I had heard that it does not end with the players mentioned in the two schools thus far, or with those two schools. In fact, I was told by many that my alma mater might be up next. Interestingly, the name in reports today, is not the same player that I was told to be on the lookout about. That only makes me more nervous.
Pat Forde of ESPN.com has revealed that the University of Florida is working with the NCAA to investigate the alleged receipt of $100,000 by former Gator standout, Maurkice Pouncey. Supposedly, Pouncey received the money at some point between the SEC Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl, from someone associated with a sports agent. Forde does not reveal the agent’s name, and at this point, I do not have any information as to who the agent may be.
It is well known that the agents who spend a lot of money on players prior to that their declarations for the NFL Draft, often times end up losing out. Thus, no one should jump to conclusions that Joel Segal, Pouncey’s current agent, is the agent that is under investigation regarding the $100,000 payment.
UPDATE: Under Florida’s applicable statute governing athlete agents, an agent found guilty of giving Pouncey $100,000 would be guilty of a felony in the second degree in the State of Florida. That agent could be imprisoned for up to 15 years along with getting fined up to $10,000. Who would be the victim in this case? The school? The player? A court could also force the agent to make restitution to any victim for damage or loss caused directly or indirectly by the agent’s offense.