ESPN has cracked the wall of silence the Florida Gators built since it became known UF and the NCAA are investigating allegations Maurkice Pouncey received $100,000 from an agent's representative in December 2009. ESPN reported the allegations were anonymous, which is to be expected. But it gets crazier from there.
Two sources briefed on the anonymous letter sent to Florida told ESPN's Joe Schad that it was postmarked in Canada. Two sources also told Schad that the letter was accompanied by photographic evidence of an alleged runner for an agent in social situations with Pouncey and his brother Mike, including at two awards shows.
The Canada postmark is bizarre, at least to me. Not because Canadian football is 3 downs and 12 men, but because it is not a base of pro sports agents. The line about "photographic evidence" could be anything; screen captures from a broadcast or the anonymous source taking pictures like a private investigator.
The anonymous source eventually will be found because if the allegations are true, the agent involved would be charged with a second-degree felony in Florida court. The source would have to testify. Pouncey's agent, Joel Segal, has not returned requests for comment. Segal sent money to Florida State players in 1995 and represents Reggie Bush. (Yeah, that doesn't look good.) Segal also represents Riley Cooper and Percy Harvin.
ESPN reported the Pouncey family has turned over phone bills, credit card statements and bank deposits that do not show large payments. The Pounceys are expected to release a statement today saying they have complied with the investigation and Maurkice Pouncey did nothing improper.
I hope this is accurate, at least in terms of Mike Pouncey. The ESPN report cites sources who said Mike was seen with the person accused of giving Maurkice $100,000 and Mike borrowed an Escalade bought by Maurkice. If Mike Pouncey or the family had contact with the agent, they have to admit it. Speaking with an agent, who is committing a state crime and ending a college player's career, is bad enough. Lying to the NCAA about it is worse. Remember, Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant had his college career ended for lying about speaking to Deion Sanders, who was acting as an agent's representative.
In terms of immediate impact, Florida could lose the Sugar Bowl win over Cincinnati, if Maurkice Pouncey did receive a cash payment or benefits. There is the possibility Mike Pouncey will be caught up in this. Florida or the NCAA may take the same step as with Bryant and end Pouncey's college career.
All of this is alleged. Only an investigation will give us accurate information as to what happened. Until then, we will have to sit back and guess what is next.