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Sprints is Still Sorting Through Scandal // 07.27.11

Call it the Cecil Newton Rule

The NCAA's Division I Amateurism Cabinet, which we now know is something that exists, has proposed some new legislation to greatly expand the definition of who can be an agent for a player. Take it away, NCAA article: 

The new definition would include certified contract advisors, financial advisors, marketing representatives, brand managers or anyone who is employed by or associated with such individuals.

The new definition also would apply to third parties, including family members, who shop prospects to various institutions for personal financial gain. In the past, the agent definition applied generally to third parties marketing an athlete’s skills to a professional sports team. The cabinet’s proposal expands the definition to include people marketing athletics skills to a collegiate institution for personal gain.

So, we've got this bit about family members, and the article quotes Mark Emmert saying that it's "wrong for parents to sell the athletic services of their student-athletes to a university". Yup, we basically have the NCAA admitting that this is how it plans to close the Cecil Newton loophole.

The master has become the student, or something

South Carolina quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus had a rough night Monday. He was urinating in public when police stopped to question him. He was obviously drunk and didn't prove helpful, so they arrested him on "nuisance conduct" charges. Steve Spurrier has suspended him indefinitely

The funniest part is not that Mangus coaches noted scofflaw Stephen Garcia. Rather, it's that this week is the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association annual clinic, and fellow staff member Shawn Elliott gave a presentation on Monday morning titled " How Not to Be Fired, Sued, or Arrested." Apparently Mangus missed that session.

He's not a-leavin' the Bayou

As you may remember, Tennessee is looking for a new men's athletics director. Yesterday afternoon produced a flurry of reports about LSU AD Joe Alleva first considering the Tennessee job, then leaning towards it, then having a handshake deal in place to take it. LSU decided to give Alleva a sweeter deal, and that kept him in Baton Rouge.

Somewhere, Jimmy Sexton is either beaming with pride or cursing himself for not getting in on this action.

Nothing to see here, except some displays that aren't for sale

Clay Travis has been reporting on his new website about the relationship a Tuscaloosa clothing store owner has with current and former Alabama football players. The guy has had autographed jerseys displayed in his store and had pictures of players (including current player Trent Richardson) signing autographs for him on his Facebook page before taking them down. Alabama Compliance Director Mike Ward did not find any NCAA violations in the deal, explaining:

"Based on our review of this matter, we concluded that [store owner] Mr. Albetar was in compliance with NCAA regulations," added Ward. "It is not a violation for student-athletes to sign autographs and it is not a violation for a business to display photos, jerseys or other items depicting current student-athletes. We found no evidence that any student-athlete received any extra benefits."

On December 22 of last year, probably not coincidentally the same day that we learned Ohio State players were trading autographs for tattoos, Alabama sent him a cease and desist letter asking him to stop selling autographed merchandise of current players. In March, Ward went further in disassociating the store owner from the program for three years. None of the players whose signatures appeared at the store say they received impermissible benefits, and the compliance department didn't find any evidence to the contrary.

My best guess as to why the C&D order and disassociation were necessary is that Bama compliance wanted to make sure that a delicately balanced situation didn't fall off the proverbial cliff. Players apparently weren't committing violations, but they were right up against the line of what is and isn't allowed. It's always in any program's best interest to shepherd players back from that line, and that's what appears to have happened here.

Previewing Arkansas, one of six exceptional teams from last year

Bill Connelly has his Arkansas season preview up, and it's as good as all the others in his series. Go there to find out why Arkansas was in an elite club last year that only five other programs were in.

Charting the SEC teams against select others nationally

Remember when I charted the SEC teams' 2010 performaces? Well, I made some more charts comparing SEC teams to others nationally and posted it to Football Study Hall. Go check out the pretty colors and find out in what way Tennessee was nearly identical to Big East champ UConn.