SBD/February 9, 2011/Labor and Agents

USC Hosts Agent Awareness, Education and Eligibility Summit

USC yesterday “threw open its doors in welcoming three agents to take part" in the school-sponsored Agent Awareness, Education & Eligibility Summit at the Galen Center, according to Gary Klein of the L.A. TIMES. Agents Tom Condon, Jimmy Sexton and Rick Smith “participated in the event that included representatives” from the NCAA, the Pac-10, SEC, NFL and NFLPA. The “goal was for administrators to better understand and manage issues regarding agents.” USC AD Pat Haden said that “comments from the agents during the six-hour seminar ‘kind of flipped a switch’ for him in regard to guiding student-athletes toward graduation and their professional goals.” NCAA VP/Enforcement Julie Roe Lach attended the event and "praised USC for organizing it." Roe Lach in a statement said, "The agent summit … was a productive, candid discussion of what educational and investigative efforts are currently working, as well as different approaches the NCAA and its members may want to take." Haden said that he would “explore utilizing ‘extenders of compliance’ on campus, be they position coaches, athletic trainers or other personnel.” He also spoke about creating an ombudsman position for a “younger USC graduate to bridge the gap with student-athletes about agent-related issues.” Haden said NFL Exec VP/Football Operations Ray Anderson delivered a "very strong message" that the league is "going to be looking to post-graduate penalties" for players who are responsible for NCAA violations. Haden added, "You can't escape accountability just by shuffling off to the NFL." USC VP/Athletic Compliance David Roberts said that he was “unaware of another school that had dealt with a situation involving a student who was also an agent.” The NFLPA last year decertified USC student Teague Egan after he gave football player Dillon Baxter “a ride on a golf cart last season, making Baxter temporarily ineligible.” Egan is appealing the ruling (L.A. TIMES, 2/9). Haden: "Our job is to help protect the university's integrity and to help student-athletes keep their eligibility" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 2/9).
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