Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN.com that university compliance officials are trying to determine if defensive end Marcell Dareus violated NCAA rules by attending an agent’s party in Florida.
NCAA investigators have reportedly interviewed North Carolina players and South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders regarding the same party in Miami’s South Beach.
The ESPN report said the NCAA is trying to determine who paid for the trip. An Alabama spokesman said the school had no immediate comment.
Dareus emerged as a rising star after winning defensive MVP honors in the BCS championship game win over Texas.
Saban, a former Miami Dolphins coach, told ESPN.com it might be time to ban NFL teams from college campuses to get the league to crack down on rule-breaking agents and "take schools off the hook."
"What the NFL Players Association and the NFL need to do is if any agent breaks a rule and causes ineligibility for a player, they should suspend his (agent’s) license for a year or two," Saban said. "I’m about ready for college football to say, ‘Let’s just throw the NFL out. Don’t let them evaluate players. Don’t let them talk to players. Let them do it at the combine.’ If they are not going to help us, why should we help them?"
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive told The Associated Press this week that he wants the NCAA "to re-examine some of the NCAA rules that relate to agents."
The league brought in consultant Joe Mendes, a former NFL executive, earlier this year to meet with every team. Alabama was among those who hired him to, Slive said, "help provide the kind of information and knowledge that our student-athletes need to make good decisions about their future."
Florida is also reportedly investigating allegations that a sports agent’s representative paid then-Gators’ offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey $100,000 before last season ended.