NFL agent happy to put his record against Nick Saban’s

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban recently raised eyebrows when he bluntly compared some pro football agents to pimps. NFL agent, and former NFL player, Ralph Cindrich joined The Morning Show on 93.7 the Fan in Pittsburgh to discuss Saban’s comments, and agents’ role in the college football world.

To listen to the interview, go to Sports Radio Interviews.

Responses below have been edited for clarity and brevity.

What does Cindrich think of Saban’s wondering how agents are "any better than a pimp"?

Cindrich: First off, that’s taken a little bit out of context, because he said, "some of them." Certainly, I would agree with him in some respects. At the same time, any time Nick Saban wants to put his record up against mine, I’m happy to do that in any form.

Is there a difference between how college coaches and agents recruit players?

Cindrich: No. And old Nick knows that. I’ve seen him out on the road a time or two. He’s maybe contacted a client of mine, or a family member of a client of mine. I know what goes on out there, and he knows that I know. The bottom line is that to stand up on a pulpit and start preaching that way – and maybe I’m doing it, take a shot at me – that bothers me, especially when it comes from a guy like Nick Saban.

Look, this is a billion dollar business, college sports, and it has an unbelievably strong congressional lobby. You’re not going to change it, and there’s no empathy for the agents, nor should there be.

Should the University of Florida be held responsible if allegations former player Maurkice Pouncey accepted money from an agent are true?

Cindrich: Could they have known, or reasonably known, with any diligence on their part? If so, yes. Why shouldn’t they be responsible? Urban Meyer got up on his pulpit, too.

People know what goes on. The guys that are on the recruiting trail out there know where all the dead bodies are… The commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a joke when it comes to enforcing rules. I screw around with them every year just to jerk them around and say, "Look, why should I be paying my fee? You are not doing anything. I’ve reported problems to you before." All they do is shuffle back and forth. If there is one state that needs Viagra it’s Pennsylvania.

Is this concern about agent relationships with players new, or has it been building over time?

Cindrich: It’s been building. And hey, don’t put USC in your rear view mirror. There is a lot more going on there. Those guys out there, from neighborhoods that are deprived, who are driving Range Rovers and the Mercedes and all the rest, they just earn that on their own on the weekends in the off-season.

What is Cindrich’s policy for approaching NFL prospects?

Cindrich: First off, I’ve not had an allegation of impropriety. Not one allegation in 33 years. To be competitive nowadays, you really can’t operate within the framework of all the rules. I’m talking about state laws, the NCAA and the NFL Players Association…

In a lot of states, you have to pay a $1,000 fee before you contact a guy. You don’t know if he is bought already, whether he is interested or not. And then you have to contact the athletic director to get permission, and the head coach to get permission. That’s just not going to happen. So what you invite is that you invite parasites…

If you really want to clean it up, make the agents liable under criminal law like they are right now. Make it a felony like it is right now. But also include the boosters, who are dirty, the head coaches, who are dirty, the others associated with the player, the parents if they joined in and received money, the runners for the financial people. All you have to do is a simple amendment. If you want to know what’s going on or what has just gone on, all you have to do is go to the former high school stars who didn’t make it in college, the college stars who didn’t make it in the pros, and you pay a bounty… If you want to clean it up, that chills the guys out there who want to break the rules.

More from SRI
Marvin Lewis talks about getting through to the Bengals
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Alabama head football coach Nick Saban recently raised eyebrows when he bluntly compared some pro football agents to pimps. NFL agent, and former NFL player, Ralph Cindrich joined The Morning Show on 93.7 the Fan in Pittsburgh to discuss Saban’s comments, and agents’ role in the college football world.

To listen to the interview, go to Sports Radio Interviews.

Responses below have been edited for clarity and brevity.

What does Cindrich think of Saban’s wondering how agents are "any better than a pimp"?

Cindrich: First off, that’s taken a little bit out of context, because he said, "some of them." Certainly, I would agree with him in some respects. At the same time, any time Nick Saban wants to put his record up against mine, I’m happy to do that in any form.

Is there a difference between how college coaches and agents recruit players?

Cindrich: No. And old Nick knows that. I’ve seen him out on the road a time or two. He’s maybe contacted a client of mine, or a family member of a client of mine. I know what goes on out there, and he knows that I know. The bottom line is that to stand up on a pulpit and start preaching that way – and maybe I’m doing it, take a shot at me – that bothers me, especially when it comes from a guy like Nick Saban.

Look, this is a billion dollar business, college sports, and it has an unbelievably strong congressional lobby. You’re not going to change it, and there’s no empathy for the agents, nor should there be.

Should the University of Florida be held responsible if allegations former player Maurkice Pouncey accepted money from an agent are true?

Cindrich: Could they have known, or reasonably known, with any diligence on their part? If so, yes. Why shouldn’t they be responsible? Urban Meyer got up on his pulpit, too.

People know what goes on. The guys that are on the recruiting trail out there know where all the dead bodies are… The commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a joke when it comes to enforcing rules. I screw around with them every year just to jerk them around and say, "Look, why should I be paying my fee? You are not doing anything. I’ve reported problems to you before." All they do is shuffle back and forth. If there is one state that needs Viagra it’s Pennsylvania.

Is this concern about agent relationships with players new, or has it been building over time?

Cindrich: It’s been building. And hey, don’t put USC in your rear view mirror. There is a lot more going on there. Those guys out there, from neighborhoods that are deprived, who are driving Range Rovers and the Mercedes and all the rest, they just earn that on their own on the weekends in the off-season.

What is Cindrich’s policy for approaching NFL prospects?

Cindrich: First off, I’ve not had an allegation of impropriety. Not one allegation in 33 years. To be competitive nowadays, you really can’t operate within the framework of all the rules. I’m talking about state laws, the NCAA and the NFL Players Association…

In a lot of states, you have to pay a $1,000 fee before you contact a guy. You don’t know if he is bought already, whether he is interested or not. And then you have to contact the athletic director to get permission, and the head coach to get permission. That’s just not going to happen. So what you invite is that you invite parasites…

If you really want to clean it up, make the agents liable under criminal law like they are right now. Make it a felony like it is right now. But also include the boosters, who are dirty, the head coaches, who are dirty, the others associated with the player, the parents if they joined in and received money, the runners for the financial people. All you have to do is a simple amendment. If you want to know what’s going on or what has just gone on, all you have to do is go to the former high school stars who didn’t make it in college, the college stars who didn’t make it in the pros, and you pay a bounty… If you want to clean it up, that chills the guys out there who want to break the rules.

More from SRI
Marvin Lewis talks about getting through to the Bengals
Jason Campbell discusses the upcoming season with the Oakland Raiders

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