Another day, another SEC story. Pat Forde, please, go ahead:
Florida is internally investigating what sources described as an allegation that a representative of an agent paid [Maurkice] Pouncey $100,000 between the Gators' loss to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game to Alabama and their season-ending Sugar Bowl victory over Cincinnati. Florida apprised the NCAA of the allegation after it became aware of it.
"We were made aware of some information in early June that we reported to law enforcement and we then shared with the NCAA and the SEC," athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement released Monday morning to ESPN.com. "At this time we have no information that has indicated that there are any compliance issues for the University of Florida."
If only it had come a few weeks earlier! Then they could have vacated the loss to Alabama! SEC CHAMPIONS!!1!!11!!!
Ahem. As we were saying ...
Parsing the verb tense of Foley's statement could lead to the indication that the investigation is over, but parsing the verb tense of the NCAA's no-comment -- in which they oddly seem to confirm the investigation despite saying they won't comment -- would indicate it's still going on. It also could mean that the university got a vague complaint -- unsigned letters tend to be -- and sent it on to the authorities even though its compliance staff couldn't find any there there.
At least Florida law would seem to land the agent in trouble as well:
Also at issue is whether or not an agent, or a representative, was recruiting Pouncey while not being registered in the state of Florida. Agents have had to register with the state since the incident in the late '90s in which Tank Blank allegedly paid several UF players while still playing for the Gators.
For Florida, there isn't much to lose here. Sure, the Sugar Bowl victory was a great game and a nice addition to the history books, but ask Southern Cal and Reggie Bush about the potential for agent payments to cost you something of value. And if the department reporting things as quickly as it should have -- and every indication is that it did -- there shouldn't be any forward-looking sanctions.