Since the NCAA's sanctioning of USC last month, three reputable southern institutions - North Carolina, South Carolina, and now Florida, have also been under intense scrutiny by the NCAA, which is now investigating each program into similar rules violations (i.e. misconduct with agents). Per ESPN:
Florida and NCAA officials are investigating a potential rules violation that allegedly occurred last December involving former Gators football standout Maurkice Pouncey, sources said.
Florida is internally investigating what sources described as an allegation that a representative of an agent paid Pouncey $100,000 between the Gators' loss to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game to Alabama and their season-ending Sugar Bowl victory over Cincinnati. Florida apprised the NCAA of the allegation after it became aware of it.
"We were made aware of some information in early June that we reported to law enforcement and we then shared with the NCAA and the SEC," athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement released Monday morning to ESPN.com. "At this time we have no information that has indicated that there are any compliance issues for the University of Florida."
The Pouncey investigation is the latest in a series of agent-related inquiries making ripples in college football.
North Carolina announced last week that an NCAA investigation is under way at its school, and subsequent media reports have tied it to alleged agent interaction with multiple players. South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman says the NCAA is investigating a possible rules violation of one of its athletic programs.
Gamecocks tight end Weslye Saunders told ESPN on Sunday that he has been interviewed by NCAA investigators in connection with the North Carolina case.
It's no small secret that the Reggie Bush fiasco was not a problem simply unique to USC. As Pat Forde mentioned the other day, the relationship between players and agents continues to be the biggest problem facing the NCAA and compliance offices across the country. And by recent events, it's clear the NCAA is on the war path to straighten the mess out. The bigger question, however, is whether it's even on the right path.
There's no question that these problems in college athletics need to be addressed, and you have to give the NCAA at least some credit in regards to aspiring to maintain amateurism in the sport. It's what truly makes college football unique. But I have serious issues with the NCAA in regards to how they're responding to these situations. In short, they're going after the wrong people.
They should be ruling players ineligible, not taking out their frustration on his teammates. But even more so, they should be taking these agents to court. In most parts of the country, it's a violation of state law for an agent to provide an amateur athlete with "extra benefits." Why not take them to task? Why not sue them? Press legal action. Do something besides forcing athletic departments to spend thousands of dollars to triple the size of their compliance offices in order to monitor these situations. That's a lot to ask.
If the NCAA was smart (big if), it would be aiming to punish the real perpetrators in all of this, the agents and the player(s), not the schools. It's time to start taking legal action. After all, we all know Congress likes to spend time on this stuff (see: MLB and steroids/BCS) instead of worrying about their real jobs.