After a whirlwind year filled with scholarship reductions and a bowl ban, USC has almost become synonymous with the word “sanctions” in the sports world.
Now, as the university awaits word from the NCAA infractions committee on its appeal, the athletic department is taking steps to create an open dialogue between the collegiate and professional sports communities on how to best handle agents.
USC will host the “Agent Awareness, Education and Eligibility Summit” tomorrow at the Galen Center, an invitation-only event that will feature representatives from the NCAA, Pac-10, SEC, NFL and NFL Players Association.
Athletic directors from each of the Pac-10 schools will also be in attendance, along with notable agents.
“Obviously, the issue of college student-athletes dealing with agents is a hot-button topic,” said USC athletic director Pat Haden in a statement released by the university. “We at USC know that first hand. We decided to organize this summit so that all of us at USC can pick the brains of our peers throughout the Pac-10 and also hear from those on the firing lines at the NCAA and Pac-10, at the NFL and within the agent community.”
Haden will attend the summit along with university President C. L. Max Nikias, Vice President for Athletic Compliance Dave Roberts and Senior Associate Athletic Director Mark Jackson.
“Our goal is to gain valuable input in this area as we move forward here at USC, and also to provide a constructive dialogue and exchange of ideas between all of the participants,” Haden said.
Last June, the NCAA levied severe sanctions on USC, stating the university had a “lack of institutional control” over its athletic programs after it was determined that former basketball standout O.J. Mayo and football star Reggie Bush received improper benefits while attending USC.