As NCAA investigators continue to hunt for signs of major rules violations up the road in Chapel Hill, new NC State athletic director Debbie Yow is making sure unscrupulous sports agents know to stay away from her school.
Yow told the Raleigh News & Observer she intends to send letters to every agent registered in North Carolina to warn them that NC State will take legal action if they break any laws while recruiting the university's athletes. Of course, the obvious joke is that the Wolfpack lately haven't produced enough NFL- or NBA-caliber talent to interest agents anyway, but Yow's concept is nonetheless a good one.
"I'm going to protect N.C. State University from any agent abuse," Yow told the News & Observer.
Yow's police is similar to one she implemented during her 16-year tenure as Maryland's athletic director. Both North Carolina and Maryland were each among the states that adopted uniform athlete-agent laws in 2003 requiring agents to register with the state and refrain from promising anything of value to athletes while they're in school.
Although violations of that law are already a felony that comes with a hefty fine, Yow is hopeful that the threat of a lawsuit will only add to the deterrent. The law specifically mentions that "an educational institution has a right of action against an athlete agent or former student-athlete for damages caused by a violation of this Article."
Even if Yow ultimately never follows through with her threat of a lawsuit, the perception that she's serious about this topic is a positive for NC State.
It's public relations coup for Yow to issue a warning like this at a time when so many other marquee programs are embroiled in agent-related scandals. And furthermore, she puts her own coaches on warning that they must be vigilant about keeping agents away or risk details that they don't want divulged coming out in court.