Headlinin’: NCAA has a solution for the Cecil Newton loophole

Making the morning rounds.

Oh, that old thing? Something called the NCAA Division I Amateurism Cabinet has proposed an expanded definition of "agent" that would include any "third-party influences, including family members, who market student-athletes' athletics ability or reputation for personal financial gain." The proposal is not called the "Cecil Newton Rule," officially, but it is a transparent attempt to close the "loophole" that allowed superstar Auburn quarterback Cam Newton to remain eligible last winter despite the NCAA's finding that his father had solicited payments from at least one other school (Mississippi State) for Cam's services as a top junior college prospect.

Because it couldn't find evidence that Cecil Newton had solicited Auburn, that Cam Newton knew about any solicitation or that any money had actually been paid to either of them, existing bylaws only allowed the NCAA to take action against Cecil by asking him to "disassociate" from the Auburn program. The proposed legislation would set a tougher standard by defining an agent as any individual who either directly or indirectly:

• Represent[s] or attempt[s] to represent a prospective or current student-athlete in the marketing of his or her athletics ability or reputation for financial gain; or

• Seek[s] to obtain any type of financial gain or benefit from securing a prospect's enrollment at an institution or a student-athlete's potential earnings as a professional athlete.

Just to make it perfectly clear, the release spells it out one more time: "The new definition also would apply to third parties, including family members, who shop prospects to various institutions for personal financial gain." [NCAA.org]

No pirates allowed. Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach — who is still in the process of suing Texas Tech over his termination in December 2009 — said Tuesday he was denied a credential to the Big 12's preseason media extravaganza in Dallas to avoid a potential conflict with his former employer. Leach was in town to sign copies of his new book, "Swing Your Sword," and said he was scheduled to do his regular Sirius XM radio show from the proceedings at the Westin Galleria hotel until he was told by a producer he had been asked not to come. The Big 12, however, denied making the request.

"He [the producer] told me he heard from the conference… They didn't want it to be awkward for Tech," Leach said. "I was told not to go. That's indisputable. I got a call yesterday and told not to go." [CBS Sports]{YSP:MORE}

Cyclone regret. Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said Tuesday he's plagued daily by one play: The fake extra point that could have beaten Nebraska in overtime last November. Down 31-30 after rallying from a 24-10 hole, holder Danny Kuehl short-armed a throw to a wide open Collin Franklin in the end zone, robbing the Cyclones of a two-point conversion, their second consecutive win in the series and their second major upset in three weeks.

"There's not a week that goes by that I don't think about the play and what it could have created for our football team and our football program," Rhoades said. "There was a lot of thought that went into our week's preparation. And as the game went along, it was a play I studied and certainly was there. The intended receiver was wide open, from me to you wide open, and we failed to execute." [The Oklahoman]

Go with what you got. UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel confirmed Tuesday that junior Kevin Prince will open the season as the Bruins' starting quarterback for the third consecutive season, though he also promised "a battle" with fellow junior Richard Brehaut. With Prince and Brehaut splitting time last year, the Bruins turned in one of the most anemic attacks in the country — they finished dead last in the Pac-10 in passing offense, pass efficiency, total offense and turnover margin — but the most promising candidate to replace them, true freshman Brett Hundley, has already fallen victim to the UCLA Quarterback Plague: He'll be out for up to a month recovering from a knee injury.

"It makes no difference the name on the back of the jersey to me. What makes the difference to me is that the guy has all the intangibles that are necessary to play it well," Neuheisel said. "One, intelligence, knows the situation, knows what is required of this particular situation. Two, has the ability to throw it to guys in the same colored jersey accurately. And, three, the team loves him and follows him." Mr. Prince is advised to pay particular attention to No. 2. [Orange County Register]

Bears on parade. The best part of this video chronicling Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III 's afternoon at Big 12 media day comes at 2:12, when attractive female reporter attempts to joke with Griffin in passing about something he said or did to her earlier in the proceedings, and he blows her off in mid-sentence:

Hey, sorry, but you're trying to talk to a busy man. [BaylorAthletics]

Quickly… Chip Kelly fends off the questions about Willie Lyles. … Season tickets are selling like funnel cakes in the state of Mississippi. … A school district in Texas confirms it has a deal to air high school games on the Longhorn Network. … Tommy Tuberville admits Texas Tech dropped TCU from the schedule because TCU "isn't the type of team we need to play now." … Bob Stoops likes his running backs. ... And N.C. State unveils the most boring new uniforms of the season.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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