By Dennis Washington
HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has no respect for bad agents.
Saban compared them to pimps Wednesday during comments made to reporters at SEC Media Days. The comments came during questions relating to an NCAA investigation regarding a party in south Florida two months ago hosted by an agent where up to 40 college football players reportedly attended, including Alabama Crimson Tide defensive end Marcell Dareus. Saban said he had no evidence Dareus had done anything wrong, then launched into an attack on bad agents.
"I don't think it's anything but greed that is creating it right now on behalf of the agents," Saban said. "Agents that do this, I hate to say this, but how are they any better than a pimp? I have no respect for people who do that to young people, none. I mean, none. How would you feel if they did it to your child?"
Saban admitted not all agents are bad, but said the bad agents are affecting college football in a negative way.
"It's not in the best interest of the young people that are doing it," Saban said. "I mean, if these guys are guilty of doing any of these things that they're being investigated about right now, I mean, the consequences are negative for them and their future. They'll probably not get drafted as high as they could have got drafted if they played and participated. So it's not really good for anyone."
Saban said he has no problems with players talking to agents, but said it needs to happen in the open and in compliance with NCAA regulations.
"We tell our players, we don't want you to do any business on a street corner," Saban said. "We're not trying to keep our guys away from agents. We're just trying to keep what happens on the street corner from happening. We're not trying to deny our guys access. We're proactive in allowing them, the times that they're allowed to talk to agents, get all the education they need about making a good selection when their season is over."
Earlier Wednesday, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said he wanted to see a change in NCAA policy related to agents that would be more supportive of the players. Saban agreed.
"I think we're a little bit in double jeopardy as institutions because we're responsible for the players in a circumstance that's very difficult to be responsible for what they do when it comes to agents," Saban said.
The NCAA is looking into seeing if anyone, including Alabama's Dareus, violated rules by attending an agent's party in South Florida over Memorial Day weekend. Investigators want to know if someone paid Dareus to attend the party or not.
Published reports said up to 40 players and former players from numerous schools, including Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, were being questioned in relation to the party.
Saban said Alabama's compliance office is investigating. He said he did not have any information that Dareus did or did not anything wrong and said the compliance office was working to find out more information.
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