Sprints Browses the SI Story on Agents and Looks at Chris Rainey's Return // 10.13.10

SECRET AGENT MEN

SI: Confessions of an agent
I have not read this story in its entirety yet; I generally prefer to get a print copy of a story this long, and I couldn't find one at the nearest bookstore today. I do intend to read the whole thing and will have thoughts on it some time in the near future, but here it is for you to read if you wish to.

This part is hard to take seriously
Josh Luchs -- the guy who is at the center of SI's report -- sounds like quite an interesting witness for anyone to use.

Luchs was suspended for a year by the NFL Players Association in 2007 over the handling of a commission check. He says he's telling his story because "I don't want my career to be defined by that suspension."

So instead, he wants it to be defined by having admitted to being a part of massive corruption at the highest level of college football. Good choice.

Your only SEC connections to the SI story
The only SEC players in the list in this version of the AP recounting of the story are Chris Mims and Chuck Webb of Tennessee. But don't think that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of similar situations in our conference.

And the NCAA will probably want to speak with Mr. Luchs
According to SI, all of the stories in Luchs' account are past the statute of limitations for NCAA enforcement. But that doesn't mean there aren't some things that are relevant to ongoing investigations. ACC Now pulls out this lovely gem, which should have Butch Davis pulling out what remains of his hair.

I laughed when I heard Gary [Wichard] deny in the media that John [Blake] ever worked with Pro Tect.

UNC is going to be lucky to have three scholarships left when the NCAA investigation is over.

Dr. Saturday: Not much new
Stories like this are important for context and nuance -- but as the good doctor points out, there really isn't anything new in the article except details.

The specifics of the business may be eye-opening, but given what we already knew about the breadth and depth of agents on campus, the larger story is not. So some agents pay players, you say? They willingly and knowingly flout NCAA rules?

While I haven't read the story yet, I don't know that what I have seen shows that the fight against agents paying players is hopeless. But it sure sounds hard.

RAINEY RETURNS

As long as you didn't really mean it was time to die ...
Chris Rainey has returned to the Florida football team.

Chris will have to meet a set of conditions to become a part of our team again and although he is practicing, he will not play this weekend. The timetable for his return will depend on his ability to follow the guidelines we have laid out for him.

One of the guidelines presumably requires that he not send death threats via text message. Just guessing.

For his part, Rainey seems to be genuinely contrite in the obligatory apology statement.

I’m working towards being a part of the Florida football program again and I realize that representing this University is a privilege. I have spent the last several weeks reflecting on my actions and realized that is not who I want to be.

I'm serious here: Everyone goes through some things a college that teach them who they want to be and sometimes who they don't want to be. Both are valuable lessons.

One way to tell if someone is earnest: What do they tell the people around them?
According to Emmanuel Moody, Rainey also passes that test.

He’s told me he’s learned a lot from the situation. He’s become a better man and now he’s starting to grow up from it and he’s saying… I just see it as one of those things that God had to wake him up. I feel like he’s really learned a lot from the situation.

Let's hope, genuinely hope that Rainey is right and has learned a valuable lesson. That would be even better than a permanent suspension.

OTHER NEWS

Get the message?
Is Caleb King's two-game suspension for a bench warrant on failure to appear to answer a speeding ticket meant to try to make a point to the rest of the Georgia football team? Mark Richt is glad to answer that question.

Asked if King’s stiffer penalty reflects a tougher standard, Richt said: "Yes sir." Asked if it reflects a need to send a message, Richt said: "Obviously." ...

Richt is also apparently taking even more steps to try to cut back on license-related violations.

Already, Richt said, his staff is periodically checking to make sure players’ driver’s licenses are in good standing.  "We’ve been doing that monthly," he said, "but now we are going to do it weekly."

With that team, checking such things on a daily basis might not be a bad idea.

Once bitten, etc.
Steve Spurrier isn't getting ahead of himself or what his team has done, probably because he's been in Columbia long enough to know better.

"We have a chance to win the East," Spurrier said. "We may fall on our face. I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen. ... But the opportunity's there."

That's all you can really hope for. And for South Carolina, it's a sign of how much progress Spurrier might have made.

Here's an obstacle
Shaq Wilson looks likely to miss the rest of the season, which would be a major loss for the Gamecocks defense. Of course, the only game he played in was the Gamecocks' only loss -- JUST TO BE CLEAR, I'M NOT BLAMING SHAQ WILSON FOR THAT -- so take that into account.

'SEC on CBS' has best ratings since 1999
And the best of any college football package, according to CBS. S! E! C!

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