The USC Trojans took an unprecedented step towards complying with NCAA rules on relations between players and agents. USC held an “Agent Day” on July 30 at the Southern California campus that featured agents being hosted by first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian. The agents were given access to the Trojans players in a quick fashion, only allowing for 10 minute conversations between the junior and redshirt sophomore players.
The agents were given a strict set of mandatory guidelines that they were required to follow while holding court with potential future clients. The players were also prepared for what potential questions might be asked by agents.
This is not only a good step in compliance for the Trojans program, but for the NCAA as a whole. Under the current set of circumstances, there’s no definite way to monitor interactions between player and agents. An open gateway has been established for potential NCAA violations from agents offering players improper benefits, and this can all be avoided by a university setting regulations. All NCAA programs should take notice of this and develop an “Agent Day” as a standard practice.
The players are the ultimate beneficiaries of this by gaining the opportunity to develop a business relationship with an agent. If university officials can be there as the mediators to insure that NCAA guidelines are followed, the room for error will be eliminated. The players think they’re doing the right thing and are following the rules, but the end often results in sanctions handed down by the NCAA, similar to what the Trojans football program has endured over the last several years.
This is a very creative and effective plan set forth by USC to help the players develop a strong post-collegiate relationship between them and someone who will make major business decisions on their behalf. It’s clear to say that the Trojans understand the importance of their program being on the straight and narrow towards a bright future.