POSTED 8:36 a.m. EDT, June 27, 2006 NOTRE DAME DENIES THAT WEIS TOLD PLAYERS TO PICK AGENTS
According to the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette, Notre Dame denied on Monday that coach Charlie Weis has told his senior players with NFL aspirations to select agents prior to the start of the 2006 football season.
After reporting last week that quarterback Brady Quinn has honed in on agent Don Yee (at, as we've heard, the urging of both Weis and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady), we were told by a league source that Weis has given his guys the directive to pick their agents before the season begins, in order to minimize distractions. There mere fact that Quinn, who potentially will be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, has spent time (as reported elsewhere) narrowing the universe of potential agents to six (and as we've heard unofficially cutting the list to one) tends to support the notion that Weis has put out such an edict.
But Notre Dame associate athletic director for compliance Mike Karowski says that any such suggestion is "far-fetched."
"Did I find it a little ridiculous? Yeah," Karowski said Monday. "No one from the site has called me or Charlie or anyone else asking how anything is handled."
But so what if we haven't called Charlie or Karowski? Either Weis has told his guys to pick agents early or he hasn't. The fact that we haven't dialed up someone for a self-serving perfunctory denial doesn't mean that what we've heard isn't true.
Says Karowski: "We told them they can't make the final decision or any overtures. Are some of our kids working with a list of 10 as opposed to 30, sure, it’s permissible."
A league source with intimate knowledge of the applicable NCAA regulations tells us that Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis might have rendered quarterback Brady Quinn and other incoming seniors ineligible if, as we previously have reported, Weis has directed the seniors with designs on pro football to pick their agents before the start of the 2006 season.
So what does it all mean? If Quinn or any otherof his teammates actually pick a football agent before the completion of their eligibility, their eligibility might be completed far sooner than they realized.
The key is that eligibility evaporates per Rule 126.96.36.199 even if there's only a verbal agreement between, for example, Quinn and agent Don Yee that Yee will represent Quinn, and that a written agreement for the representation will be signed later. Although it might be difficult for the NCAA to prove that there's a violation if Quinn and Yee mutually agree to claim that there was no agreement, the fact that Quinn is going through the process of interviewing agents and narrowing the field before his final season of college ball is strong circumstantial evidence of an intention to pick his agent while still otherwise eligible. The fact that Yee and others are participating in the process is likewise circumstantial evidence of an implicit agreement that they'll agree to represent Quinn, if picked to do so.