Urban Meyer says coaches, agents and NFL all seeking positive change
After participating in an unusual conference call with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFL Players Association and some of the most successful head coaches in college football, Florida coach Urban Meyer said he came away confident that all parties involved ultimately want to do the right thing.
Meyer, Nick Saban, Mack Brown and Jim Tressel were among the coaches who participated in the recent conference call with Goodell and the head of the NFLPA about the increasing problem of agents and improper contact with college football players. Several schools, including Florida, have come under NCAA scrutiny over alleged improper contact between agents and players at Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
During the SEC Media Days in July, Saban and Meyer expressed serious concern about agents who violate the rules, and said the NFL needed to join the discussion about how to combat the problem. The conference call was the first step in that effort.
"I loved it,'' Meyer said "I loved the fact that you have everybody involved and everybody wanting to do right. There were actually some agents on the phone and the NFLPA on the phone, there was the commissioner and some college football coaches. And it was about as positive as you can get because everybody wants to do right. The cool thing is that you get stereotyped - the agents, the coaches, the players. At the end of the day obviously there are people who don't want to do right but the majority I would say want to do it right.''
Meyer said he believes the most obvious solution has to do with sanctions.
"You don't have to be a brain surgeon to figure this thing out now,'' he said. "I mean you want to stop some kind of unethical, illegal activity, how do you do it? You punish them. And the players get punished and you want to stop the other side too, because one is going to get punished and deservedly so. And then the other side gets punished. If there's no threat, it's almost like in recruiting, if there's no threat of a punishment go have at it. I mean there are certain people with integrity who do it the right way anyways. But a good chunk of them won't, because if there's no punishment have at it. . . . In recruiting there are some things going on too, and then also this agents' relations. So there are a lot of positives going around for the good of college football. We can't lose college football. We just can't lose college football.''