Osborne wants us secure -- from agents

Monday, July 1, 2002

Don't fret, America, Tom Osborne is working for you.

The stock market is plunging; unemployment is rising. The Middle East is a powder keg of suicide bombers and helicopter gunships. Terrorism threatens our own homeland security.

Not to worry.

Congressman Osborne is going to squash those pesky sports agents if it's the last thing he ever does.

In case you missed it, Osborne, the legendary former football coach at the University of Nebraska, was recently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Although he has been in his new job only for a few months, Osborne is quickly showing that as a U.S. congressman, he's still one helluva football coach.

You know what bill Osborne is trying to get pushed through? It's called The Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act. Osborne, it seems, wants us to be able to prosecute unscrupulous sports agents in federal court on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission. No, really.

And, pray tell, what's next on your congressional calendar, Rep. Osborne? Trying to get the zone blitz outlawed? Sponsoring the Federal Chop Block Protection Act? Giving the FBI a break from this terrorism stuff so they can start investigating the tuck rule?

You've heard of the National Missile Defense System? Osborne is presumably working on legislation to protect Nebraskans from the University of Miami Offensive Assault System.

Hey, here's an idea, Congressman Tom. How about making it a federal crime for win-at-all-cost coaches to allow a player like Lawrence Phillips to suit up even after he's beat up a woman and dragged her down three flights of stairs by the hair?

Seriously, shouldn't there be a place where we are required to check our priorities -- and shouldn't that place be at the top of Capitol Hill? I know this may sound naïve, but isn't college football still a game? And aren't games supposed be governed by rules -- not laws? Besides, why does there have to be a law when there are already disciplinary mechanisms in place? The NFL Players Association already bans rules-breaking agents from negotiating contracts. The NCAA automatically suspends players who are caught accepting money from agents.

Then again, old-school coaches like Osborne don't think players should be held accountable. If our institutions of higher earning really wanted to stop handouts from agents, they would permanently ban the guilty players.-- Mike Bianchi,

Orlando Sentinel

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