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Colleges can address agent problem by not giving them sideline passes to games

During his Saturday sideline interview with Alex Flanagan of NBC Sports, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell indicated a clear desire and intention to help the NCAA and the NFLPA solve the problem of agents paying players.

Here’s one thing that every NCAA institution immediately should do: Quit giving agents sideline passes to games.

We’ve caught wind of multiple names of agents who were spotted via television coverage of Saturday games on the sidelines at college football contests. Though we won’t go Hop Sing on the agents involved because we didn’t witness it with our own eyes, one source said that an agent was seen giving a high five to a player who was leaving the field.

The presence of agents on sidelines speaks to a deeper problem that rarely gets mentioned. Plenty of college football coaches have cozy relationships with agents who represent players, and folks in the know know the names of the agents who are tied in tightly with certain coaches.

So even if it’s only a matter of improving the perception, why not ban all agents from sidelines of college games, and why not prevent college coaches from being represented by agents or firms that represent players?

If the NFL is willing to roll up its sleeves and help fix a problem over which the NFL technically has no jurisdiction, the folks who are directly responsible for cleaning up the situation -- the NCAA and the NFLPA -- need to lend a hand, too.