USC opens practice with warning to agents

USC made headlines last season for its self-imposed ban on postseason play and and its dissociating itself with O.J. Mayo. The NCAA eventually detailed how the former star guard received improper benefits both before and during his one year as a Trojan.

In a show of vigilance and an attempt to create an atmosphere of compliance, USC fired off multiple warning shots against would-be agents beginning with Friday's practice.

The program will close practices to the public for the next four years due to NCAA penalties, and just to make sure agents knew about it, the Trojans threw in this as part of the announcement:

Under NO circumstances will the following individuals be permitted access to practice facilities: agents (such as sports agents, marketing agents or financial advisors to athletes) or their employees, representatives or affiliates (including "runners").

Coach Kevin O'Neill told boosters in June, "You cannot control people from the outside. You cannot control agents. You cannot control runners." But new athletic director Pat Haden, who replaces Mike Garrett, is going to at least try to distance his program from them.

Already, Haden has been outspoken about it. He called agents, "idiots, sleazeballs" in an interview with the Orange County Register and according to WeAreSC.com gave this ominous quote about agents at a booster dinner earlier this week:

"It's a disgusting problem. From what I'm finding out, it’s even worse with basketball."