Posted by Bryan Fischer
The NCAA hosted a Mock "Enforcement Experience" on Tuesday for several media members in order to better explain how the entire process works. CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd was among those in attendance.
While the day was mostly centered on how the enforcement staff goes about its business and how a case goes to the Committee on Infractions, reporters did get a chance to talk to NCAA President Mark Emmert and Vice President for Enforcement Julie Roe Lach. One of the topics that was broached were issues of third parties involving themselves in recruiting.
"Who are these individuals? We're trying to get our arms around that," Roe Lach told The Birmingham News. "And do we do it through legislation or some other means? I imagine there will be some sort of rule change. But it's not a quick fix. It's going to be a multi-faceted solution."
The NCAA sent a select number of the enforcement staff to gather information on the ground at camps and combines around the country earlier this spring. Of particular concern were 7-on-7 events turning into football's version of the AAU basketball scene.
At the heart of the matter are individuals such as Will Lyles, who has been involved in probes at Oregon, LSU and Texas A&M, who act as a go between for highly recruited athletes, their parents and coaches. On top of gathering information about such individuals, defining them for possible legislative proposals is becoming an issue for the association.
"How do you capture that in a definition?" Rachel Newman Baker, NCAA director of agent, gambling and amateurism, said. "The first definition we sent to (the Amateurism Cabinet) they felt was too broad and captured too many people. So now we're trying to narrow that."
The hopes of many at the NCAA is that the definition of an agent will become more sophisticated and that legislation will be introduced that separates legitimate agents and runners or third parties that the NCAA is really targeting.
Really, the only question is not if the NCAA plans on doing something but when. Emmert said in December he would support emergency legislation closing some loopholes and to redefine who an agent is. So far no such emergency legislation has been introduced into the legislative cycle but Emmert called for changes once again on Tuesday.