SBD/Issue 36/Collegiate Sports

Former USC AD Offers Ideas To Curb Agents' Influence In NCAA

Garrett Calls Problem Of Agents
"Serious" And "Complex"

Former USC AD Mike Garrett wrote an Op-Ed in Saturday’s N.Y. TIMES under the header, “How To Keep Agents Off The Field.” He asked, “How can one possibly control agents from compromising the amateurism of student-athletes?” Garrett offers his own idea: “Let’s suppose that the NCAA were to require athletic conferences to tax their member institutions in order to establish a legal fund to bring mandatory civil suits against agents who interfere with the agreements that the scholarship athletes have with their universities, which are essentially contracts.” In addition to the damages courts could award to the student-athlete and the college for loss of service, the trials “would help the NCAA to obtain unprecedented access to sworn testimony and other evidence.” The NCAA in the past “has been hamstrung in its investigations by a lack of subpoena power, but by requiring colleges to bring suits against dishonest agents, the organization would have access to the information disclosed in court proceedings to enable it to take follow-up action.” Garrett wrote, “The problem of unscrupulous agents is serious and complex, and threatens to drag down intercollegiate sports. That would be a shame: as my own experience attests, a sports scholarship has the potential to transform an individual’s life for the good” (N.Y. TIMES, 10/30).

STAR STRUCK: In Des Moines, Tom Witosky reported the Univ. of Iowa has "admitted NCAA recruiting violations that involve husband-wife film stars Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore." Documents school officials filed with the NCAA stated that the violations "involve the Hawkeye men's basketball staff but took place during a U of I football game last month at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City." Iowa athletic officials in the documents acknowledge that they "allowed two high school recruits to meet Kutcher, Moore and several former Hawkeye basketball players." The recruits met Kutcher, who attended Iowa, and Moore "in a suite at the football stadium." Iowa is "awaiting the NCAA's response to the school's internal investigation" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 10/31).

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