In what could be a serious issue, Florida and the NCAA are investigating allegations Maurkice Pouncey was paid $100,000 by the representative of an agent between the SEC Championship Game and Sugar Bowl. From ESPN's Pat Forde;
Florida is internally investigating what sources described as an allegation that a representative of an agent paid Pouncey $100,000 between the Gators' loss to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game to Alabama and their season-ending Sugar Bowl victory over Cincinnati. Florida apprised the NCAA of the allegation after it became aware of it.
"We were made aware of some information in early June that we reported to law enforcement and we then shared with the NCAA and the SEC," athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement released Monday morning to ESPN.com. "At this time we have no information that has indicated that there are any compliance issues for the University of Florida."
Florida law enforcement could be investigating whether the state's agent registration laws were violated.
These are only allegations at this point, but any possibility of agents paying players is serious enough to make your stomach turn. In this case, it doesn't matter if UF reported the possible violation or if it was a player on his way out of Gainesville. The NCAA holds the program responsible for all matters within the program. It is up to UF to keep agents away from players, even if it is impossible to babysit a player focused on the NFL.
Foley's comment is interesting in that he immediately thought of NCAA compliance. My impression of this is that Florida is far enough along in their investigation that they know they are clean. (For example, a booster or someone connected to the program not doing the paying. Also, Mike Pouncey's hands are clean.) But, December to June is a long time to find out if one of your players got $100,000 while he was a college athlete. That is where any NCAA investigation really starts. It is up to UF to know what is going on at all times.
If this was Maurkice Pouncey talking to an agent, maybe it is not significant. But when the allegations are that he was paid, as a member of the Florida Gators, it creates a serious issue for Florida.
[Update 4pm] The NCAA issues their "no comment comment" to ESPN;
"The NCAA is working cooperatively with the university. However, it is NCAA policy to not comment on current, pending or potential investigations," the organization said in a statement released Monday.