Notebook: Meyer aims to protect sport from unethical agents

Florida coach Urban Meyer has been outspoken about issues with agents plaguing college football.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer
Published: Friday, August 13, 2010 at 1:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 13, 2010 at 1:38 p.m.

Florida coach Urban Meyer said he is encouraged after being on a conference call last week with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, three other college coaches and some sports agents to discuss the agent issue confronting college football.

"I loved it," Meyer said Friday. "I love the fact you have everybody involved and everybody wanting to do right. There actually were some agents on the phone, the NFLPA (National Football League Players' Association), the commissioner and some college football coaches.

"It was about as positive as you can get. Because everybody wants to do right. You get stereotyped, the agents, the coaches, the players. Obviously, there are a lot of people who don't want to do it right. The majority, I would say, want to do it right."

Meyer said with cooperation from all sides, the problem is not hard to solve.

"You don't have to be a brain surgeon to figure this thing out, now," he said. "You want to stop some kind of unethical, illegal activity. How do you do it? You punish them. Players get punished, and you want to stop the other side (agents), too.

"It's almost like in recruiting. If there is no threat of punishment, you'll have at it. Certain people of integrity are going to do it the right way anyway. A good bunch won't because no punishment, have at it.

"In recruiting, some things are going on, too, and this agent thing. There are a lot of positives going around for the good of college football. We can't lose college football. We just can't."

Also on the conference call last week were Alabama coach Nick Saban and Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. There was a fourth coach on the call who has not been identified.

Good news on Rainey, Patchan

Slot receiver Chris Rainey returned to practice Friday after missing practices with an accelerated heart rate, while offensive tackle Matt Patchan was scheduled to have the cast removed from his injured wrist.

"Patchan will have it off and start running tomorrow. That's really good news for him," Meyer said. "Rainey practiced today and looked like he had fresh legs. He'll have contact tomorrow or Monday."

Meyer said there have been no major injuries thus far.

"(Wide receiver/tight end) Omarius Hines is slowed down for a day with just swelling in his legs, but he's going to go (Saturday)," Meyer said. "(Defensive end) Lynden Trail (quad), he's fine. He'll practice (Saturday). All minor stuff."

Meyer pleased so far

Meyer said he likes what he sees from the Gators after a little more than a week on the practice field.

"I love this team so far," he said. "I like what's going on right now. As I get to sit back and watch practice, I'm seeing a lot of effort. We're not very good right now, but I like what's going on.

"And good coaching. I'm very impressed with what's going on with our staff. This is the year of accountability and development, and development is going on. There are only a couple of weeks left to do it, that's the only problem."

First scrimmage Saturday

The Gators will hold their first fall scrimmage today. Meyer said he'll be looking to identify playmakers on offense and checking out the competition on the offensive and defensive lines and at linebacker.

"(Finding) playmakers is still my big issue, and solidifying the front five, who they're going to be," Meyer said. "I think we know who three or four (of the starting offensive linemen) will be.

"We've got to establish a rotation up front (on the defensive line), and I couldn't tell you who our starting linebackers are right now."

Meyer praises Clark, Taylor

Meyer had good things to say about two of the true freshmen who lost the black stripes from their helmets earlier this week — wide receiver Robert Clark and linebacker Michael Taylor.

"(Clark) is the Energizer Bunny. He goes as hard as he can," Meyer said. "I wish he was a little taller and a little faster, but he's tough as nails and making plays. He'll hit you. He was the first guy to get his stripe off. It's kind of cool to see that.

"(Taylor) strikes you. He loves the game. I'm hoping he's our (Ryan) Stamper, a guy that doesn't look physically imposing, but boy, he strikes you."

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