Urban Meyer, Nick Saban discuss agent problem with NFL officials
Florida coach Urban Meyer was among a small group of college football coaches, including Alabama's Nick Saban, who were recently involved in a conference call with representatives from the NFL and the NFL Players Association about the increasing problem of agents and improper contact with college football players.
Saban told reporters on Thursday that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was involved in a conference call on the subject. He didn't identify the other participants but says they included other coaches he respected, athletic directors and a couple of agents.
Florida athletics spokesman Steve McClain confirmed that Meyer was part of that call, and Ohio State has said head coach Jim Tressel was also involved.
"He told the staff it was a good opening discussion on the subject with the commissioner and the head of the NFLPA,'' Ohio State spokesman Shelly Poe said in a statement.
In recent weeks the issue has moved to the forefront of college sports as the NCAA investigates alleged improper contact between agents and players at Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and North Carolina. Former Florida center Maurkice Pouncey has denied reports he accepted $100,000 from an agent prior to playing his final game with the Gators. Police, NCAA and SEC officials were notified by UF officials and are investigating the allegation.
Saban has temporarily closed practices to NFL scouts, but says it wasn't because of the agent problem. He says it wasn't fair to have his players evaluated during two-a-day practices in triple-digit temperatures.
Meyer said following the first fall practice on Aug. 5 that he planned to tighten security around his players, particularly in and around the 1/4 mile walk to and from the practice field, to keep them from having contact with people they shouldn't - like internet autograph seekers and agents' runners.
"There’s a lot of discussion that I’ve been involved in with agents . . . a group of us have gotten together and we’re trying to make some changes,'' Meyer said. "And the good thing is the other side of it wants to help. And when I say that, I mean they really want to help. So there’s going to be some positive things come out of this. I think real positive.''