Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina's world-eating defensive end and a likely top-three pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, is reportedly set to join Jay Z's Roc Nation agency after the season is over. Clowney and Jay (Jigga, Hova, Young Hov, S Dot, Shawn Carter, whatever you want to call him) began talks in earnest back in July, which briefly concerned compliance officials at South Carolina until they investigated and announced no impermissible conversations had taken place.
Widely regarded as one of the most innovative business minds in the music and entertainment industry, Jay Z has been the subject of intense scrutiny since entering the sports agent business.
A number of agents have expressed displeasure with him - both publicly and privately - based on their belief he has blatantly bent, if not broken, NFL Players Association regulations while escaping union discipline.
Union regulations require all individuals who participate in the recruitment of prospective athlete-clients to be certified by the union. Jay Z does not have NFLPA certification.
Also, while we're on the subject, signing with an agent is something every NFL player will do at some point. It's not illicit behavior, it's a part of the process of becoming a professional player. But if Clowney were to sign with Jay Z right now, he'd likely be declared ineligible immediately.
It's hard to think of another collegiate program that is so vital for preparing its students for a specific career but also steadfastly refuses to acknowledge that profession and actively kicks out students who try to go forward with it on their own. If Clowney were to announce tomorrow that he has signed with Roc Nation (he won't, but if) and was summarily declared permanently ineligible, who would benefit from Clowney no longer playing? How would college football be any better for enforcing that rule?