South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney is one of the best players in the country and an obvious top selection in next year's NFL draft, which has led to the big fuss about his meeting with rapper, producer and now Roc Nation Sports agent Jay-Z.
Clowney is a high-profile athlete who is poised to be a superstar at the next level. Of course Jay-Z wants him.
While contact between college players and virtually anyone who has money is a touchy subject in the world of the NCAA, it is only fair that South Carolina and the NCAA look into the matter.
According to ESPN.com, "The South Carolina compliance office's investigation into Clowney is 'standard operating procedure,' Steve Fink, assistant director of athletics for media relations, told NFL.com."
The compliance office will look into whether Clowney's visit was paid for in any part by Jay-Z or another individual.
ESPN.com news services said, "Under NCAA rules, student-athletes are allowed to speak to and socialize with agents as long as the players pay for all their own costs, including transportation and meals."
The NCAA has its stance and its rulebook, but is this all a big overreaction?
Clowney is a Gamecock. He stayed in school. He has a huge, bright NFL career ahead of him. Clowney also took out a health insurance policy to protect his future.
So what's the big deal about him meeting with an agent to discuss his future?
Clowney did not sign with Jay-Z. Why can't he have a meal with Jay-Z while discussing the prospects of having him as an agent?
Everyone understands what happens when players accept money from others, but is this all just a big overreaction to a meeting to discuss the future?
The answer is yes.
Clowney is a smart kid. He knows the NFL is his future, and he is doing nothing to jeopardize the University of South Carolina. This defensive monster is dedicated to his teammates, coaching staff and ultimately, making it big in the NFL.
Let Clowney talk to agents.
Well, that is allowed by NCAA rules.
Though why is it the end of the world if Clowney doesn't pay for the cab to take him to the meeting or for the burger he orders at a restaurant with Jay-Z?
This is similar to me going to lunch with a potential employer who offers to pay for my food, but the university or a student association saying that I have to pay for it on my own. Sure, there is a brief argument about offering money for my meal, but it ends with the employer insisting to pay, as it was "their treat." It would be rude not to accept.
Clowney does understand these NCAA guidelines.
Is the NCAA too harsh on players meeting with people, especially potential future agents?
Head coach Steve Spurrier told ESPN about Clowney's understanding of the current rules:
All of our conversations [with Clowney] are wait until you have played your last game at South Carolina. When the bowl game is over this coming season, he's free to accept any amount of money anybody wants to give him. But until then, he has to be a student-athlete like all the other guys or he's not going to be eligible. He's done a good job of knowing that.
The NCAA restricts players from signing contracts or accepting money, which is fair to an extent, though this is all an overreaction.
Clowney is the nation's best player, and he is trying to prepare for his future.
Should the NCAA really try to restrict his planning of his life after college?