All-American offensive lineman and current Pittsburgh Steelers
rookie Maurkice Pouncey
has denied allegations that he took money from an agent while still a member of the Gators’ football team.
Allegations came to light recently accusing Pouncey of taking $100,000 from an agent before Florida’s Sugar Bowl victory over Cincinnati. Obviously, if this were true, it would be a violation since Pouncey was still a college athlete at the time. However, on Wednesday, Pouncey issued a statement that any claim to that effect is ridiculous and he never accepted anything from an agent.
Both Florida and the NCAA are investigating the allegations and Pouncey has cooperated with them. He has even turned over numerous statements to prove there was never a large amount of money accepted. Pouncey did purchase a Cadillac Escalade after the NFL draft and was able to do so with a deferred loan.
We’re in the middle of several sticky situations involving agents. USC has already been sanctioned. Florida is investigating the Pouncey situation. Players from UNC and South Carolina are being interviewed. And now the NCAA has an inquiry in at Georgia.
As several college head coaches has said recently, it’s time for the NFL to step up and help police the agents. If an agent partakes in any activity with a client before he is allowed to, that agent should not be allowed to represent that client. Or any client for that matter. While these kids need to take some responsibility and work harder to do the right thing, the agents are presenting them with offers they never imagined. Temptations push the athletes over the edge at times. That’s no excuse, but the agents are the ones that end up with no punishment when all is said and done. The NFL needs to change that.
From the time they left Florida for the NBA, we knew good things were ahead for Al Horford, Corey Brewer, and Joakim Noah. Horford and Noah haven’t disappointed and despite being stuck in Minnesota, Brewer is an improving young player. Before those three came along, there was another former Gator who we weren’t so sure about. David Lee.
Lee has a solid career at Florida and seemed like he could become a decent role player in the NBA. Five years later, Lee is coming off a season in which he averaged 20.2 points per game (the fifth straight season he has increased his scoring average). He also finished with an average of over 11 rebounds a game for the second straight season.
Lee turned his rising success into a six-year, $80 million contract with the Golden State Warriors where he will be counted on to be one of the team’s stars. He was also invited to participate in team USA workouts for the world championships and had a good chance at making the final roster.
That chance is over now as Lee injured his finger during the first day of practice and will be shelved for six weeks. No world championships for Lee, but he should be 100% by the time the new NBA season rolls around.
Missed among the Ilya Kovalchuk news of the last few days was a big trade between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning improved their offensive production by adding Flyers left wing Simon Gagne.
Gagne – who has scored more than 40 goals twice in his career and more than 20 seven times – should add immediate punch to the Lightning offense. The two-time NHL all-star will provide another scoring option for Tampa Bay and brings plenty of experience to the ice.
To obtain Gagne, the Lightning gave up defenseman Matt Walker and a 2011 fourth-round draft pick. Sounds like a great deal for Tampa Bay and one that could produce immediate dividends.