NFL Player Suspensions For Taking Money/Benefits As Student-Athletes Not Under Consideration
Two days ago I reported on a new group comprised of influential people from the NFL, NFLPA, NCAA, government, agent community, universities, Collegiate Coaches Association, and American Football Coaches Association, which has been meeting to try to come up with some answers to the problem of sports agents providing money and other benefits to student-athletes. I was excited to read on ESPN that the group discussed the possibility of post-NCAA financial penalties against college players who accept money or other benefits from agents, including suspensions of up to 8 games in length and financial penalties (fines). Was the statement from ESPN was without merit?
The NCAA has released an update to its original statement titled, Joint effort to tackle football agent issues continues.
Update: Contrary to media reports attributed to unnamed sources, NFL player suspensions are not currently under consideration. While each of the involved groups may have different constituencies, we are committed to working to identify solutions that all can support.
That does not mean that player suspensions were not discussed. Instead, it means that even if they were talked about, suspensions are off the table as far as the NCAA is concerned. In all likelihood, the NFL, NFLPA, and agents lobbied against seriously considering that idea. Those are the three parties with the most to lose from the possibility of NFL player suspensions.