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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Charlie Strong, Kyle Flood weigh in on NCAA's agents issue

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: Tyler_Barto

NEWPORT, R.I. — Louisville coach Charlie Strong made national headlines in early July with strong rhetoric aimed at agents making improper advances toward players' families.

Strong's strong recruiting ties to Florida and the Cardinals' first BCS berth since 2006 made the program a likely target.

Strong explained the tactic Tuesday to The Trentonian:
"I just wanted to get a message out there because what was happening was becoming a new problem for us. Any time you win, new problems come about. The agents were contacting the families of the players. What I wanted the agents to understand was, 'Hey, if you need to speak with a player, come through us. We'll make them available for you.' But I don't want the agents to disrupt what has been built right now with our program. Any time agents get involved or egos get involved, players start thinking they're better than what they are."
I caught up with Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood about the issue, which hasn't occurred in a vacuum. As sports coverage, profitability and marketing grow, so too do benefits for agents that land top prospects.

"I think every coach in the country is guarded about it," Flood said. "We try to do the best we can to educate the players in terms of what appropriate contact should be. They're not supposed to have runners, but it's hard to say they don't exist. You can't be with the players 24-seven, you can't be with every member of their family."

MORE FROM MEDIA DAY: A second look at Kyle Flood

Brandon Coleman could be one such player. The junior wideout ranks No. 18 on's Daniel Jeremiah's top-50 list for the 2014 NFL Draft.

"Hard work pays off," Coleman said Tuesday. "At the same time, that next level will take care of itself. The time isn't now."

Flood said Rutgers held a workshop with players' parents and family leading up to the team's April 27 Scarlet-White game. 

MORE FROM MEDIA DAY: LeGrand, Rutgers to hang up No. 52

Any agent, most of whom have become familiar in Piscataway, must first register with the school's athletic department and compliance staff, Flood said. After that, he said, Flood suggests players have minimal contact with agents to avoid distraction.

"The player is the commodity," he said. "They set the parameters. So if they say we're going to speak on Sunday, they speak on Sunday. The agents that don't respect that, they're the ones you don't want to deal with."

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