A couple of agent-gate notes:
Investigation expands to Georgia
According to an SI report, A.J. Green says he wasn't there -- something I have no reason to doubt. But the focus on Green masks an important part of the article, which says "A source said one potential interview subject is junior receiver A.J. Green" [Emphasis mine] -- which indicates that he's not the only one, but also suggests investigators might not have a lot on Georgia if they don't even know for sure whom they're going to interview.
The Mayor is not overly concerned about Green
And he also points out what could be a problem for the NCAA concerning any of the players involved:
I believe A.J. Green, and not just because I want to believe A.J. Green; all the evidence indicates that he is, in fact, a good kid who would spend his holiday weekends exactly the way he says he spent this one. Even if I didn’t believe A.J. Green, though, there is a paraphrase of a line from "A Few Good Men" that is pertinent here: it doesn’t matter what I believe; it matters what the NCAA can prove.
Proving that these players didn't pay -- particularly if the agents in question were smart and paid cash if they did in fact pay for the players -- might be a problem for investigators. If the agents used credit cards, they deserve to get prosecuted for gross stupidity.
An interesting idea on the investigation from Roll Bama Roll
I think part of what's important to this story is that Weslye Saunders is Marvin Austin's friend, and a group of friends tied to Marvin Austin seemed to be the center of the group that allegedly went to South Beach on the agent's dime. But the thing that has amazed me as a South Carolina fan is that I haven't really viewed Saunders so far as anything more than a second- or third-round pick. If the agent did in fact pay Weslye Saunders' way -- and lower first-round pick is not just a ceiling for Saunders; it's close to the ceiling for most TEs -- it proves that draft stock might not be the best indicator of who might be investigated. Or as OTSL suggests, if Saunders was worth the agent's payments, a lot of people might have been.
Dareus attended the party but claims he was lured to Miami under a false pretense, a source close to the family said. When Dareus discovered there were agents at the party, he asked to leave. Then he received grim news that his mother, Michelle Luckey, had died, and he abruptly returned to Birmingham. ...
The friend who arranged the trip was Marvin Austin, a star defensive lineman at North Carolina, a source close to the Dareus family said. ...
The plane fare to Miami was paid for by Austin, but when Dareus arrived in Miami, he paid Austin for the ticket and received a receipt, the source said. Austin also arranged for a hotel room, but the source said Dareus did not use the room.
First, it raises the possibility that the agent might not have called the shots -- Austin did. Or if the agents called the shots and Austin just invited whomever the agent told him to, none of the players might have known beforehand what was going on. Which doesn't excuse the players who stayed.
One other point with no real link
I wonder this: Who's talking? In the space of a week, this has gone from North Carolina to South Carolina to Alabama to Georgia, with no signs of slowing down. The information is coming from someone who knows what happened. Who? And why?
And who's next?