Saban compares unscrupulous agents to a ‘pimp’

UPDATE: NCAA statement included in this updated AP story. The AP reports, “In statement released Wednesday afternoon, Rachel Newman-Baker, the NCAA’s director of agent, gambling and amateurism, said the governing body is reviewing its policies, but pointed out that schools can ‘change or amend the agent rules through the normal legislative process.'”

Want to know what Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban thinks of agents? Well, today Saban tells you what he thinks of unscrupulous agents.

From the AP: Nick Saban didn’t pull punches Wednesday when discussing the improper contact with athletes by unscrupulous agents, comparing their behavior to that of a “pimp.”

The Alabama coach was upset about the rash of recent agent-related incidents that have resulted in NCAA investigations at several Southeastern Conference schools.

“I don’t think it’s anything but greed that’s creating it right now on behalf of the agents,” Saban said in a rant at the Southeastern Conference media days. “The agents that do this — and 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. How would you feel if they did it to your child?” (read the entire report below)

And what did Mike Slive think about this problem?

The AP provides some info on that too: Slive said he wanted the NCAA to change its philosophy for dealing with agents from one based on rules enforcement to a policy that is more oriented toward educating student-athletes.

He said the current NCAA rules “may be as much part of the problem as they are the solution.”

And what about the players? The AP provides that info too: “We have a great program in our organization that teaches us how to deal with situations like that,” said Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Mark Ingram, a junior. “Everybody is educated on how to deal with situations and how to approach those situations.

“My focus is on this team and this football season. Anything else is irrelevant.”

Tide junior linebacker Dont’a Hightower said he hasn’t personally been contacted by agents.

“We try to keep away from things like that and not bring it into the team,” Hightower said. (read the entire AP report below)