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September 24, 1998 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-24

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20A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 24, 1998

Bill would impede agent dealings


By Rachell Y. Julien
The State News
(U-WIRE) EAST LANSING - Agents who court
college athletes may face stricter penalties if a set of
bills makes it through the Michigan state Legislature.
Legislation slated to be discussed in the Ilouse this
week would make it a crime for athletic agents to
enter on a college or university campus without per-
"These guys will stop at nothing to get where they
need to be," Michigan State football coach Nick
Saban said. "If agents know they can be legally liable
for crossing the line, I think they would be less like-
ly to do it."
Although the NCAA already has rules regarding
agents on college campuses, a state law would make
similar rules apply to recruiting agents instead of just
student athletes.
The bills would make trespassing by athletic
agents illegal and a misdemeanor, punishable by
imprisonment of up to one year, a fine up to $50,000
or both. The House Colleges & Universities
Committee passed the measure Sept. 16, and it will
go to the entire House sometime this week.
"There is no purpose for an agent to be on cam-
pus,"said Rep. Kirk Profit (D-Ypsilanti), who intro-
duced the legislation. "They can do business some-
where else."

Profit said Michigan State has been instrumental
in creating the legislation.
Saban said the university has scheduled times
when agents can talk to college football players. In
addition, mandatory agent education classes are
offered to help athletes better understand how to deal
with agents.
But Saban said complete control over agent-stu-
dent interaction is impossible.
One such case involves Marcus Ray, a defensive
back for the Michigan football team, who was sus-
pended last week for alleged contact with an agent in
July. The situation is currently under investigation.
State Rep. Ken Sikkema (R-Grandville) agreed
there is a problem with agents interfering on college
"I understand there is a serious problem resulting
in violations hurting athletes and schools," said
Sikkema, the House minority leader. "I don't know if
this is the best way to approach it."
Ie declined further comment on the subject until
he has had a chance to read the legislation.
Cecil Mackey, a member of a faculty committee
that deals with agent-athlete relations, said he dis-
agrees with the use of state law to regulate how
agents work with athletes.
"The NCAA needs to change its rules rather than
using the criminal justice system to try and accom-

plist its objcctives, said Mackey, whO served as
Michigan Sitte's president from 1979 ts 1985. "Ihe
N(AA needs to revise its whole approach on ama-
teurism, and revise its approach for student-athletes
to find out what their professional and economic
options are."
Ihe bills being debated would join existing legis-
lation aimed at restricting agents and protecting stu-
dent athletes.
A law passed in 1988 prohibits agents from sigr(
ing a student athlete to a professional contract while
the student is still eligible to play college sports.
Use law also prohibits git exchanges between
high school athletes anId recruiting agessts, doine in an
attempt to ensure the student will play a sport for a
certain college or university.
The law is punishable by fines up to 550,000 and
up to tine year in jail.
A second set of legislation working its way
through the I egislature makes agents liable for any
monetary damages the college or university suffers
because of agents interfering with student-athletes.
The bills have been passed by the House and are
being reviewed in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Profit said protecting athletes from agents is a
matter of grave importance.
"Agents are only in it for the money" he said.

Marcus Ray has played his final Michigan-Michigan State game after allegations of
improper contact with an agent. The state of Michigan legislature is trying to
make such contact illegal for agents.

Texas falls to middle
of nowhere from poll

By Mike Wilson
Dail Texan
(U-WIRE) AUSTIN, Texas It's
safe to say that things could be pretty
different for the texas football pro-
gram right about now.
Just three weeks into the season,
the Longhorns have plummeted from
the lower ranks of the AP poll to the
middle of nowhere, thanks to con-
secutive blowout losses to top-five
And while this turn of events isn't
exactly a surprise, even Texas' most
critical supporters must admit a
degree of disappointment in the lop-
sided scores.
If not for the brutal schedule the
Longhorns have had to face thus far in
'98, the team could be at a perfect 3-0
without the losses to UtLA and
Kansas State to haunt them.
If there is a silver lining to this
storm cloud, it's that Texas has had a
chance to test itself against two of
the best teams in the nation, some-
thing that is necessary if the Horns

wish to return to national prom
Head coach Mack Brown said that
people shouldn't be too quick to judge
texas just because of the 1-2 record.
"We've had every possible weak-
ness pointed out on a team that didn't
feel too good about itself to begin
with," Brown said. "A lot of teams in
the Top 25 haven't played anyone yet,
though. If we hadn't either, we could
be as high as No. 12 right now." *
The Longhorn players agree with
Brown when it comes to the schedul-
ing process, though they do admit
things would be quite different around
campus if they had played a pair of
patsies the past two weeks.
"We'd all be pretty high right now,
and we'd be a lot happier," senior line-
backer Dusty Renfro said. "But I think
we are better off because we've played
good teams. that will help us throu'
our citference schedule."
SN 'ATE: While a losing record
may threaten morale both on the field
and off, the effect it has on the stands
just may be a bit more important to
Brown right about now.
After opening the season in front of
an extremely energetic crowd with a
66-36 win over New Mexico State, the
Ilorns have dropped two straight deci-
sive games to UCLA and Kans4
Many orangebloods were quick to
leap from the Texas bandwagon a year
ago as the Ilorns' season grew worse
game after game, and Brown is deter-
mined to prevent a similar occurrence
this year.
"We need our fans Saturday night to
win," Brown said. "Like I told them
dtring the spring, 'Get on board and
stay on board, because it's going to be
a bumpy ride."'i


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